A dual diagnosis is when someone experiences a mental health condition as well as an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Many times, addiction and mental health correlate closely. More and more, the medical world is showing the effects mental health issues can really have on someone falling into drug use, or developing a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment centers in California and all over the United States have treatment programs specifically focused on treatment for these co-occurring disorders. 

Addiction and Mental Illness in California 

It can be common for an individual struggling to fight an addiction to feel like a “failure” because they can’t keep up with sobriety. But what some people may not even be aware of is that one reason they find drugs or alcohol so appealing is because there’s an underlying issue. A mental health issue– such as depression, anxiety disorders, or personality disorders– may be present. 

How Common is Dual Diagnosis?

Nearly 8 million people in America have some kind of dual diagnosis– Half of which are men. It’s not known how many people go through life with an undiagnosed mental disorder, but it’s not unusual for someone in an addiction recovery program to realize they have a mental illness diagnosis through therapy and professional support. 

Ironically, a large number of people who experience mental health issues can turn to substances early on as a way to cope with their difficult feelings. Whether someone is aware of it or not, their mental disorder could be a huge setback in their personal lives. From depression or anxiety to mood disorders or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), mental illness can affect all aspects of our lives. 

If left unaddressed, the effects of a dual diagnosis can lead to dependency on drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain. So many people use drugs to mask the pain and confusion of mental illness. When we use coping methods like this, it gradually leads to a dependency or addiction. 

What Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California Offer

Finding an addiction treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis can benefit you greatly in recovery. With professionals in therapy and treatment, the combined focus of both treatment options helps the whole person, not just aiming to focus on one thing like sobriety. 

Each dual diagnosis treatment center should have an individualized approach, which means the treatment is geared toward the individual and what they need. Everyone’s dual diagnoses are different, and so is every addiction. With evidence-based treatment methods, good rehab centers with the dual diagnosis program approach can be beneficial to the whole person. 

Depending on the severity of the substance abuse and mental illness, after a series of treatments the individual can safely start to live drug-free. From there, underlying mental or medical issues can be treated throughout the person’s remaining recovery, or sometimes the rest of their lives.

Therapies for Dual Diagnosis

There are many types of therapy for treating dual diagnosis. These include: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma recovery therapy
  • EMDR Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

A successful treatment for dual diagnosis includes therapy for both mental and substance abuse. One or the other often will not lead to a full recovery. This is why many people who only focus on one or the other find themselves falling back into addiction. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs in California 

There are many places in California that serve patients with dual diagnoses. The first step is to define what addiction is present as well as any other mental illnesses. From there, a treatment plan can be put in place to treat the patient holistically (the whole person instead of just one or a few parts). 

Often, Medication-Assisted Treatment will be utilized. This is when medications are prescribed by a psychiatrist to help establish a chemical balance within the brain after long-term drug use. 

Treatment options also include lifestyle support such as: 

  • 12-step programs
  • Group therapy
  • Sober living homes
  • Meditation
  • Life coaches
  • And more

It’s important to remember that even though dual diagnosis seems like an impossible struggle to overcome, there is tons of help out there. Recovery is possible, even when mental setbacks may be involved. The more support a person gets the better. Recovery is something nobody can do alone. 

At Opus Health we’ve seen first hand what dual diagnosis is like and many of our staff understands how important it is to receive individualized care through this treatment process. Our approach is a trusted, evidence-based modality including community and professional care.

If you or a loved one needs recovery from Dual Diagnosis, contact us at Opus Health today:

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