Individuals who struggle with substance abuse and chemical dependency often have other underlying psychological disorders that can go unidentified and, therefore, untreated. This is referred to as dual diagnosis. Quite regularly, substance abuse is a coping mechanism used by individuals to treat their undiagnosed underlying mental health disorders. The addiction treatment therapy program in CA offers a dual diagnosis treatment center to address this condition.
Although the patient struggles with addiction, we at Westwind Recovery® believe that addiction metastasizes and cripples the whole family. This setting creates rifts between you and your loved ones that sometimes cause irreparable harm to your most valuable relationships. That is why it is desperately important that family members and loved ones be as involved as possible in the treatment process as they can be.
Westwind has developed a comprehensive Family Therapy Program in Los Angeles. With professional Family Therapy and Couples Therapy, Westwind Recovery® can:
- Help family members learn and practice more effective communication tools
- Help parents take a proactive role in a parent-child relationship
- Help family members work toward healing and reconciliation for past wrongs
- Help each family member recognize their needs and the validity of those needs
- Help an addict or alcoholic identify social, economic, medical, or psychiatric threats to continuing recovery and, with the help of family members, develop strategies to deal with those threats
- Help develop long-distance therapeutic relationships utilizing existing technologies like Facetime, Skype, etc
We offer these services at the dual diagnosis center. First, as a stop-gap to ongoing harm, and then as a more permanent solution, bringing health and serenity to the damaged family unit.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center Los Angeles Trusts
Primary diagnoses for individuals struggling with chemical dependency at the dual diagnosis treatment center program in Los Angeles include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
For example, if an individual suffers from depression, and drinks alcohol to self-medicate, alcohol addiction becomes more prevalent than depression. It is treated as the primary diagnosis, but when the drinking stops, the depression remains and often worsens to a debilitating level. This cycle makes it almost impossible to stop using because substance abuse exacerbates mental health disorder.
Dual-diagnosis cases are quite prominent, and individuals suffering from substance abuse and this co-occurring disorder have a significantly lower recovery prognosis. Nearly 9 million adults in the United States suffer from co-occurring disorders, and less than 8% of those receive treatment for both disorders. More than 50% of individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders receive absolutely no treatment whatsoever (SAMHSA, 2014).
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
Often known as co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis is the condition of suffering from both a mental illness and substance addiction at the same time. It is common for people who have a mental illness to self-medicate using drugs, leading to addiction. The opposite is also possible where substance abuse leads to mental health illness.
For the most part, it doesn’t matter which came first, what matters now is finding out dual diagnosis treatment center program options and moving forward with them.
Original Causes for a Drug Problem or Mental Illness Can Include Things Like:
- A recent loss
- A medical diagnosis
- Financial problems
- Relationship problems
- Unresolved conflict
Often a cycle can develop rather quickly of using drugs to treat emotional or mental issues without dual diagnosis treatment programs.
This cycle is often the reason why many drug addicts who successfully go sober can relapse because they haven’t dealt with the underlying mental and psychological issues or vice versa.
What Causes Co-occurring Disorders?
Often there is a genetic risk factor for both substance use and certain mental health disorders, but genes alone usually don’t explain all causes of co-occurring disorders. Other factors include family, environment, and life stress, including traumatic life events, poverty, and loss. Stressful experiences can also trigger genetic factors that contribute to co-occurring disorders. People with mental health disorders may be more biologically sensitive to the effects of mood-altering substances.
They may use alcohol or other drugs to cope with mental health symptoms or to counter social anxiety. People who have a mental health disorder are at much higher risk of also having a substance use disorder, and, conversely, people who have a substance use disorder are at much higher risk of developing a mental health disorder.
If you or a loved one struggles with co-occurring disorders, contact Westwind Recovery® for dual diagnosis treatment center programs in Los Angeles.
What’s Involved in the Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders?
It is essential to recognize that both addiction and mental health disorders need treatment. Treating only one of the disorders will result in inadequate treatment and a potential worsening of the other condition. To accurately diagnose and help a dual-diagnosis patient, first, substance abuse must be eliminated for some time.
This remission allows psychological symptoms to surface without being tainted by drugs and alcohol. Detoxification at a CA drug and alcohol detox center, in such situations, should be monitored and take place within a licensed dual diagnosis treatment center, enabling doctors, nurses, and therapists to carefully monitor and assist with physical withdrawal and psychiatric symptoms. Continuing at an inpatient drug rehab center in Los Angeles after detox gives the patient time to stabilize their mood and learn how to manage symptoms produced by the mental health disorder without using drugs or alcohol.
What Type of Treatment Is Recommended for Co-occurring Disorders?
An integrated treatment approach is vital, with a focus on stabilizing symptoms of the co-occurring mental health disorder while providing the patient with a foundation for recovery from addiction.
Integrated Treatment Involves a Combination of the Following:
- Accurate diagnosis of both disorders
- Education about substance use and psychiatric disorders
- The interaction between both addiction and mental health concerns and the options for treatment
- Exploration of the individual’s motivation and commitment to addressing his or her co-occurring disorder
- Therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Appropriate use of medications—there are many safe and non-addictive medications used to treat mental health disorders that will not interfere with an individual’s recovery
- Involvement in treatment, including opportunities for education and skills development
- Ongoing and frequent monitoring for the return of psychiatric symptoms and substance use
- Participation in peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous
What Is the Family’s Role in Treatment and Recovery for Individuals With Co-occurring Disorders?
- Educate yourself about your loved one’s addiction and mental health issues
- Learn about the impact of addiction and mental health issues on family members and loved ones
- Participate in family support such as Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, or a support group for families coping with addiction and mental health issues
- Support your loved one’s involvement in a 12-step program and therapy
- Learn new ways of coping with a loved one’s addiction and mental health issues, including what it means to “detach with love” and why it’s crucial to develop your self-care program
- Encourage participation in peer support groups for your loved one
- Know the signs of relapse
Call us for addiction and mental health treatment at the dual diagnosis treatment center in Los Angeles, CA. Reach out today for a full recovery.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.