When people seek professional addiction treatment, they may hear therapists talk about dual diagnosis treatment. It is especially common to find facilities that focus on taking a holistic approach. They tend to offer multiple supportive therapies, and those approaches are designed to address spiritual, physical, and psychological needs. For many people who suffer from mental health issues, dual diagnosis treatment is a vital part of recovery. The good news is that there are dual diagnosis treatment centers in CA that treat addiction and mental health disorders.
Having a dual diagnosis means that a person has both a mental health disorder and an addiction. Addiction can be to drugs or alcohol, and the term can refer to any type of mental health disorder. There are several types that are more common among people who suffer from addiction.
Many treatment centers refer to dual diagnosis as a treatment approach for addressing mental health and addiction issues, and they refer to co-occurring disorders as any variety of mental health issues that may occur with addiction. In some cases, people refer to dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders in the same context. Others refer to co-occurring disorders as multiple mental health issues, and some say that co-occurring disorders are mental health issues that only develop after addiction. For several years, the National Institutes of Health has been calling for standardized definitions for clarification.
It is not always possible to know if a mental health issue or addiction occurs first. For instance, if a person never had a mental health evaluation before, there is no known history of mental illness. As an example, someone in a disadvantaged living situation may not have access to mental health care and may have limited records. Experts estimate that about 25% of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder.
For a person who has a history of psychological evaluations with no diagnoses, addiction can change that. As a result of using substances, a person can develop a mental health disorder. The chemical effects on the brain from substance use can cause disruptions and changes in different areas. Also, those are the same areas that are disrupted in anxiety, schizophrenia, impulse control, and mood disorders.
When a person enters treatment, therapists may know which disorder occurred first if there is sufficient medical history information. If not, therapists do not focus on investigating which one came first. The key goals are to uncover mental health disorders and treat all issues together. Mental health disorders require ongoing management after a person leaves the facility. As a result, therapists help people develop plans to minimize their relapse risks and live fuller lives.
In 2019, about 9.5 million adults were diagnosed with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. That was nearly 4% of the adult population. According to data from 2021, about 20% of people with a diagnosed mood disorder also had an addiction. While there are many types of mental health disorders, some are more common than others in people with substance addiction. Also, some types of mental health disorders are more common with specific types of substances.
Depression is a mental health disorder that is also a physical illness. It affects how people think, act, and feel. There are several common symptoms of depression. These are some examples:
- Feeling hopeless or empty
- Feeling sad and tearful
- Anger outbursts
- Frustration and irritability
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities
- Lack of energy and tiredness
- Sleep disturbances
- Feeling agitated
- Slowed speaking, thinking, or movement
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Physical pain
An estimated 20% to 67% of people entering treatment for alcohol addiction may have depression. Additionally, nearly 12% of people with major depressive disorder use illicit drugs.
Anxiety is a disorder that causes people to feel uneasy, fearful, and dreadful. They may feel these ways for no reason, and they may perceive some issues as much worse than they truly are. As a result of those feelings, people may experience physical effects. For example, these feelings may cause them to sweat or have an elevated pulse. Some people experience panic attacks, and many people with anxiety experience these symptoms:
- Hard-to-control thoughts
- Feeling restless and tense
- Pounding heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained physical pain
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Worsening symptoms with caffeine use
About 20% of people who have anxiety are also addicted to alcohol or drugs. People with social anxiety disorders are especially prone to misuse alcohol.
Formerly referred to as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a condition with extreme mood changes. There are several variations of the disorder, and people often experience emotional lows and highs that feel like a rollercoaster. These are some common symptoms of bipolar disorder with manic episodes:
- Increased energy and agitation
- Less need for sleep
- Racing thoughts and talkativeness
- Impulsive and poor decisions
- Unrealistic sense of wellbeing
- Abnormally upbeat
- Feeling distracted
As a result of depressive episodes, people may experience these symptoms:
- Feeling extremely depressed
- Not getting out of bed
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Weight loss
- Excessive sleeping or insomnia
- An exaggerated sense of guilt
- Feeling worthless
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
Health experts estimate that between 30% and 50% of people with bipolar disorder will develop SUDs. In one study, 60% of people with bipolar I disorder had a lifelong SUD diagnosis, and the most common substances people with bipolar disorder used were alcohol and cannabis.
Post-traumatic stress disorder comes from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. It can be a one-time event or a perpetual one. For example, a person may develop PTSD as a result of a car accident. Another person may develop it as a result of experiencing ongoing childhood abuse. These are some common symptoms of PTSD:
- Recurrent and distressing memories
- Feelings of continually reliving the trauma
- Severe emotional distress
- Upsetting nightmares
- Avoiding certain places or people related to the trauma
- Not wanting to think or talk about the trauma
- Negative self-perception
- Withdrawal from usual activities
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Trouble maintaining any type of relationship
- Feeling numb and hopeless
- Always being on guard
- Easily frightened or startled
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
According to one study, more than 45% of adults with PTSD had a lifetime SUD diagnosis. The rate for men was double the rate for women.
Many people may attribute symptoms of mental health disorders to the world around them, and they often blame themselves or others for their feelings instead of investigating them. When people do not reach out to mental health professionals for help, they often start drinking or doing drugs. Those substances can temporarily mask the negative symptoms. However, they can also worsen existing problems since they have both short-term and long-term effects on the brain.
Without treating the addiction and the mental health disorder together, a person is much more likely to relapse. When people relapse, they may also be at a higher risk for a harmful or fatal overdose.
Adler Health uses dual diagnosis treatment for people who struggle with mental health disorders and addiction. While some people may have one mental health disorder in addition to addiction, others may have multiple disorders. For example, some people have PTSD, anxiety, and addiction.
Adler Health believes in thoroughly examining every person’s needs and experiences to find the right treatment solution. With a customized approach that addresses every person’s goals and needs, the chances of staying in recovery may be higher.
At Adler Health in Orange County, CA, people experience individual therapy to address their personal needs. There is also group therapy to provide them with support and the chance to support others. To learn more about dual diagnosis treatment centers in CA, please contact us.