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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California

When addiction and dual diagnosis disorders occur, it can be a frustrating struggle in a person’s life. Both of these illnesses put constant mental and physical strain on an individual. And they will continue to struggle until deciding to seek professional help at our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Southern California. 

People tend to use drugs and alcohol to cope with uncomfortable and distressing feelings. It is used to cover up any deeper underlying issues they may have. 

A dual diagnosis is often characterized when an individual has one or more mental health issues according to the DSM-5. When two co-occurring mental health issues occur together, they work as catalysts for each other’s destructive natures. When an addiction exists with another mental illness, it can be more difficult to treat and overcome. 


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At the dual diagnosis treatment centers in California, clinicians assess each patient for substance addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. Because of the damaging effects of a dual diagnosis, Hotel California by the Sea specializes in treating both disorders simultaneously. 

Within our dual diagnosis treatment in Orange County, we use a collection of effective co-occurring mental health disorders treatments. In order to fully recover from a substance use disorder, we believe in holistic treatment. 

Every aspect of the patient’s addiction is addressed. This includes substance abuse treatment and mental health problems. This results in a more accurate diagnosis to help create a targeted comprehensive treatment plan for each of our clients.

What is a Dual Diagnosis and how do I know if I have a Co-occurring Disease?

An individual with a co-occurring disorder has a mental health illness in addition to a drug or alcohol abuse disorder. Also known as a dual diagnosis, these mental health issues are normally associated with those who suffer from substance use disorder. Though these conditions can occur together, they are not necessarily caused by one another.

There are many common risk factors that can contribute to the development of both mental health disorders and substance use disorders. For some people, mental health disorders can lead to drug and alcohol use. This leads to individuals trying to “self-medicate” in an attempt to try and feel better.

The misuse of drugs and alcohol can also contribute to the development of a mental health disorder. This is due to a substance’s ability to alter proper brain function and development.

Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of a co-occurring disorder can vary. Indicating factors include which mental illness is present and if there is more than one mental illness. Sudden changes in behavior and extreme mood changes are common signs of someone who may be suffering from a dual diagnosis. 

Addictive substances along with a mental illness can alter and change brain cognition making someone act differently and out of character. This also leads to engaging in riskier behavior and acting out erratically. 

People suffering from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression often turn to substances to “feel better.” They use substances to self-medicate and as a coping mechanism. Continued abuse leads to a higher tolerance and failure to function without it. Another major sign of a dual diagnosis is withdrawal from friends, families and social activities they were once engaged in

Common symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders:

  • Social withdrawal and strained relationships with friends and family
  • Lack of appetite and poor nutrition 
  • Lack of sleep, insomnia and lethargy 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Experiencing delusions or hallucinations
  • The development of an obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Difficulty participating or functioning in daily life activities 
  • Dramatic mood and energy changes 
  • Excessive usage of drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for distressing feelings and behaviors 
Man in dual diagnosis treatment in Orange County getting support from others

What are common types of Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders at our Dual Diagnosis Treatment centers in Orange County?

Having a mental health illness on top of an addiction or substance use disorder can have compounding effects. In order to properly treat them, it has to be properly diagnosed. At the dual diagnosis treatment centers in California, our certified clinical psychiatrist will work with each patient to help identify any and all disorders. They will help each patient create a comprehensive treatment plan to best suit their needs. 

Because mental health illness can often occur alongside SUD, some of the most common disorders include depression, anxiety, OCD and ADHD.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is defined as a mental illness impacting a person’s ability to regulate and control their emotions. It often stems from a deep and intense fear of abandonment or perceived abandonment. 

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder also exhibit other symptoms of mental illness. These include substance abuse, self-harm, and intense mood swings. Damaging behaviors, chronic feelings of emptiness and sometimes eating disorders can also develop. 

Those with a family history of the illness have a much higher risk of developing the disorder. People who have experienced traumatic life experiences stemming from environmental, social and cultural factors also present a high risk. Borderline Personality Disorder is most often diagnosed in teens and young adults.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder (depression or clinical depression) is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loneliness. There are also many different forms of depression that can develop under unique circumstances. These forms include persistent depressive disorder, postpartum depression, psychotic depression and seasonal depression. 

Depression can develop at any age depending on personal and family history of depression as well as trauma and stress. Many people who suffer from depression self-medicate by using drugs and alcohol leading to substance use disorder and addiction.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined by overwhelming thoughts and behaviors that need to be repeated over and over again. There are multiple forms of OCD. Its symptoms can include obsession with germs or cleanliness, superstitious behavior, intrusive thoughts, social isolation and many more. 

OCD can affect people of all ages with the causes still unknown. Some of the most common risk factors that can contribute to the development of OCD include genetics, family history and various environmental factors. Vital factors include childhood trauma and social relationships.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Anxiety is defined as excessive, uncontrolled and ongoing worry or fear. Many people experience occasional anxiety and it is a normal emotion. But when it begins to affect one’s daily life and daily functions, it is categorized as a generalized anxiety disorder. 

Some of the symptoms of anxiety include feelings of restlessness, irritability and fatigue. Having difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating and experiencing unexplained bodily pains are also signs of anxiety.

Generalized anxiety disorder is often associated with other mental illnesses such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and various phobia disorders. There are many ways to treat anxiety including comprehensive therapies such as CBT and medication treatments.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that can develop when someone has experienced a very distressing event in his or her life. PTSD causes actual lasting chemical changes in the brain such as memory changes and lessened ability to focus. War, crime and mass shootings are examples of events that can trigger PTSD. Sexual assault, abusive relationships and the death of a loved one are also factors that can profoundly affect the stability of a person’s mind.

Everyone experiences trauma and is normally able to recover from its symptoms naturally. People who continue to feel distressed even when they are no longer in danger or in a dangerous situation can develop PTSD. PTSD can actually put more people at risk for substance use disorders and addiction.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent physical and psychological eating behaviors that negatively impact health and mental well-being. Eating disorders come in many different forms, three of the most common include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. 

Bulimia occurs when a person engages in episodes of binge eating followed by purging. Purging is due to guilty feelings of the lack of control over eating habits. With anorexia, individuals exert extreme control over their caloric food intake due to distorted images of their body shape. Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder and is characterized by regularly overeating even when you are uncomfortably full. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. Emotions range from the highs of mania to the lows of depression. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience various periods of intense emotional ups and downs called mood episodes. There are three types of bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar I Disorder is when a person experiences a manic episode lasting at least seven days. This is followed by a major depressive episode. Bipolar II Disorder is when a person experiences manic episodes without the depressive episode. 

Cyclothymic Disorder is defined as a person experiencing periods of manic episodes followed by periods of depressive episodes. This can last for at least two years. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder often attempt to control their moods with substances. This leads to substance use disorder and addiction. 

Is there a correlation between Dual Diagnosis Disorders and Substance Addiction?

Mental health illnesses are a common occurrence in those who suffer from substance use disorders and addiction. They are not direct causes of each other but they do often exist simultaneously. Research has found that almost half of individuals suffering from SUD also experience a co-occurring disorder. Mental health conditions include anxiety, depression, ADHD or personality disorders.

Substance addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions are best treated at professional behavioral health programs. The dual diagnosis treatment centers in California provide all the necessary resources and tools for clients to heal from their addiction. 

Hotel California by the Sea’s specialized program for Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Orange County

Treating the whole person on a physical and psychological level is crucial in the case of someone with a dual diagnosis. If one disorder is not adequately addressed in treatment, it can potentially lead to a relapse in the other. Dual diagnosis treatment in Newport Beach is recommended for most of our clients. Specialized treatment will last throughout the duration of their rehab with us through aftercare planning. 

Those suffering from a mental health illness may need specialized dual diagnosis treatments to help aid in their recovery. At the dual diagnosis treatment centers in California, we offer a number of clinically proven cognitive therapies and medication treatments. The varying methods allow our experts to understand all aspects of a patient’s condition.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

One of the most commonly recommended types of therapy used to treat co-occurring disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps the patient focus on changing negative thoughts and behaviors related to their addiction. Therapy helps turn distressing emotions into positive affirming feelings. 

This type of therapy is often used to help patients learn effective coping techniques. Learned coping skills help patients manage daily life situations after substance abuse and addiction.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy helps patients learn problem solving and acceptance techniques in relation to their addiction. In DBT patients develop their skills in emotional regulation, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance. 

Patients then take these learned skills and apply them to everyday aspects of life that may be triggering their addiction. DBT can be conducted as an individual treatment therapy or even in a group setting. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the addiction and the needs of the patient.

Integrative Group Therapy

Group therapy can be especially helpful in treating co-occurring disorders because it helps patients feel like they are not alone. Groups of patients with similar disorders and experiences come together to share, listen and support each other in recovery. 

This form of healing may be greatly beneficial for some who feel very alone and isolated in their addiction recovery. In group therapy, members develop trust and meaningful relationships with like-minded peers. These peers resonate with specific experiences and can motivate each other through lasting recovery.

Psychotropic Medication

Psychotropic medications are medications typically used to treat mental health illnesses. They fall into five main categories of medications:

  • Antipsychotics – these are usually prescribed to help patients with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • Antidepressants – these are usually prescribed to help patients dealing with any form of depression.
  • Antianxiety – these medications are usually given to patients dealing with chronic or acute anxiety.
  • Stimulants – these medications are recommended to patients dealing with ADHD to help them regulate disorganized thought processes in the brain.
  • Mood stabilizers – these are usually prescribed to help treat patients suffering from disorders such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.

Medication isn’t right for everyone, nor is it a mandatory treatment method. It can be extremely helpful for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring disorders. Certified clinical psychiatrists at Hotel California by the Sea have experience in effective medication management. 

This allows patients at our dual diagnosis treatment centers in California the option to decide the best course of treatment for their needs. This may include a combination of various therapies and recommended medications.

Addiction typed on note pad in red and white with syringes in background

What are the benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Orange County?

Treatment of substance abuse alongside mental health disorders is more beneficial to the individual suffering. Symptoms of substance abuse and mental health conditions can be overlapping. Addressing both conditions allows clinical rehab professionals to accurately diagnose each disorder and utilize the best targeted treatment methods.

Unfortunately, the effects of using drugs and alcohol can mimic many of the mental illness symptoms. This makes it more difficult to properly diagnose.

At the dual diagnosis treatment in Newport Beach, our program involves meeting in person with certified rehab psychiatric physicians. This allows for a complete assessment of each patient’s overall health and well-being. This information will help identify mental health disorders to create the best possible dual diagnosis treatment program.

These treatments range from various individual and group therapies to medication treatments as needed. At the dual diagnosis treatment centers in California, patients will have routine follow ups with physicians. This allows for adjustments to the patient’s treatment plan when necessary.

Our dual diagnosis treatment in Orange County also offer individualized programs targeted for women, men, and young adults. Each patient’s needs are unique. Each patient has a combination of specific symptoms and disorders. A diagnosis should be personalized to create a treatment plan for the best possible outcome.  

Get Help at our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California

Having an addiction and mental health disorder can be overwhelming to process. The symptoms for both are often overlapping. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two without the help of medically trained professionals.

Within our dual diagnosis treatment in Newport Beach, each patient entering our program will be thoroughly screened and assessed. Hotel California by the Sea looks for signs of SUD and any mental health disorders that may be present. Call and reach out to the admissions team at our dual diagnosis treatment centers in California today. Learn how our inpatient residential treatment and outpatient rehab programs can help you achieve a fulfilling life in long-term recovery.

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