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Co-occurring and Dual Diagnosis Treatments

Treating substance and alcohol addiction alone requires a comprehensive approach by an extensively trained treatment team. When other mental health conditions present themselves in those who suffer from substance use disorders, their course of recovery can become even more complex. Through the utilization of evidence-proven therapies effective for treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, patients will be able to tackle the psychological issues along with their addiction struggles. 

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At Hotel California by the Sea Ohio, we specialize in dual diagnosis treatment programs aimed to seek out the underlying root causes of addiction and treat any other co-occurring mental health conditions that may be present. An effective addiction program should not only support the physical treatment, but the emotional and psychological treatment as well. Sometimes the effects of drugs and alcohol on someone’s brain are temporary, causing only minor mental health disturbances. In other cases, co-occurring disorders can be the root cause of an addiction. In either of these scenarios, in order for a treatment plan to be successful, mental health conditions must be taken into consideration when treating for a drug or alcohol addiction.

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

A co-occurring mental health disorder, also known as having a dual diagnosis, is when a mental illness condition is present alongside a substance use disorder. Some examples of this may include alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a prescription drug use disorder paired with major depressive disorder. In some cases, clients may experience multiple co-occurring mental health conditions such as AUD, anxiety and PTSD. Though these conditions coincide with one another, it does not always mean they are a catalyst for each other’s disorders. 

Sometimes mental health illnesses arise in response to the chemical changes that occur in the brain after long-term abuse of substances. In other cases, individuals may not even be aware of a co-occurring disorder until they remove all mind-altering substances from their life and realize they are still struggling. Without the proper attention and treatment to both conditions, they will eventually feed off of one another and exacerbate symptoms of both the SUD and mental health condition. Because these conditions occur simultaneously, they should also be treated concurrently in order to achieve a successful addiction recovery.

Common Cues to look for in a Dual Diagnosis

Co-occurring mental health disorders produce a variety of signs and symptoms depending on which mental illness is present and if there is more than one. Changes in behavior and extreme mood swings are just some of the signs an individual may be suffering from a dual diagnosis condition. This is because substance use disorders in conjunction with a mental illness can change brain cognition causing them to behave out of character. 

For some people dealing with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, they often turn to substance use as a form of self-medication. It is a way to “feel better,” manage and cope with any distressing emotions that are a result of their mental health disorder. 

Common symptoms of co-occurring mental health conditions:

  • Social withdrawal from friends and family
  • Development of a strained relationship with loved ones
  • Lack of appetite and poor nutrition 
  • Lack of sleep, insomnia and lethargy
  • Inability to concentrate and focus
  • Experiencing delusions or hallucinations
  • Difficulty participating or functioning in daily life activities
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Excessive usage of drugs and alcohol as a way to cope 
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What are common classifications of Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders?

Having a mental health disorder on top of a substance use disorder can have double the amount of compounding effects. Our certified clinical psychiatrists and team of medical staff will work with each patient to help them identify and address any mental health disorders. A comprehensive treatment plan will be created to best suit his or her personal needs. Some of the most commonly seen mental health conditions include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD) usually struggle with intense fear of abandonment and rejection that often stems from childhood trauma. BPD is a mental illness affecting an individual’s ability to regulate and control their emotions. It can be difficult to treat and diagnose because of the more subtle personality traits that appear and pass as characteristics of other mental health conditions. Some other signs of BPD can include substance use disorders, self-harm, suicidal ideation, self-destructive behaviors, chronic feelings of hopelessness and more. BPD is most often associated and diagnosed in teens and young adults. 

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, also known as depression, is a mood disorder that causes consistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and sometimes thoughts of suicidal ideation and self-harm. In severe cases, individuals suffering from depression can have trouble executing normal daily activities. Depression can develop at any age and can also be caused by personal and family history of trauma and stress. For individuals who have depression, turning to substances such as drugs and alcohol, is used as a form of relief to better cope and manage distressing feelings. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), is a mental health condition defined by when a person has uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that need to be repeated over and over again. Some of the symptoms can include obsession with germs or cleanliness, intrusive thoughts, social isolation and superstitious behavior and thoughts. It is still unknown what exactly causes the development of OCD, but some factors that can contribute to this mental condition are genetics and biological makeup, environmental factors, trauma and unhealthy social relationships.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder is defined as excessive, uncontrolled and ongoing feelings of worry or fear. Those who struggle with anxiety disorders are at significant risk of developing a substance use disorder due to self-medicating behaviors to control these distressing feelings. Some symptoms of anxiety disorder include restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, stress and increased heart rate. Anxiety is also often associated with other mental health illnesses such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and various types of phobias. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post traumatic stress disorder leaves individuals highly vulnerable to developing substance use disorders due to a person’s inability to cope with stress and the numbing effects of drugs and alcohol. PTSD is a mental disorder that can develop when a person has experienced a traumatic and distressing event. PTSD can result from childhood trauma, death of a loved one, a car accident and even acts of violence and war. This can have lasting effects on the brain and even chemically changes how a person thinks and behaves. 

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders is a condition in which persistent physical and psychological eating behaviors negatively impact a person’s health and wellbeing. Eating disorders can come in many different forms with the most common being bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Bulimia occurs when a person engages in binge eating followed by purging due to feelings of guilt and lack of self control over their eating habits. Anorexia occurs when a person extremely limits their caloric food intake due to a distorted image of their body image. Binge eating disorder occurs when a person regularly overeats even when they are uncomfortably full. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is classified by intense mood swings ranging from serious highs and lows. Individuals can experience the highs of mania and then the lows of depression. Many of these individuals suffering from bipolar disorder use drugs in an attempt to manage and stabilize their extreme emotional mood swings. Substances only exacerbate their symptoms and lead to substance use disorder and addiction. 

What is the correlation between Co-occurring Disorders and Substance Addiction?

Research has found that an estimated half of individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder also experience a co-occurring disorder. These mental health conditions can include anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD and various types of eating disorders. In some cases, those who suffer from mental health disorders, turn to substance use as a form of self-medication to help alleviate the emotional symptoms of their mental illness. In other cases, those who suffer from a substance use disorder often develop a co-occurring disorder as a result of altered brain functions from substance abuse. Though both of these conditions can occur alongside each other, there are other cases in which they are not a catalyst for each other’s conditions, and simply present themselves simultaneously.  

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

At our dual diagnosis treatment centers, we focus on providing the latest evidence-proven methods to help our clients understand and address their mental health conditions. We help them decipher the possible contributors that may have led to the manifestation of any of their mental health conditions. Together with the guidance of therapists, psychiatrists and other physicians, patients will decide the appropriate approach to treating their mental health illness. 

Addiction is not a disease specific to any socioeconomic class, ethnicity or gender. In fact, addiction is one of the most non-discriminatory diseases. When a mental illness condition is added on top of an addiction, a patient’s diagnosis becomes much more complicated and more difficult to treat. Because of this, we believe in treating each patient holistically by addressing both the physical and psychological aspect of his or her addiction. We offer a multitude of clinically proven behavioral therapies and medication treatments to address every aspect of a patient’s addiction. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly utilized types of behavioral therapy used to treat those with substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. CBT focuses on re-evaluating a patient’s negative thoughts and behaviors and reprocessing them into positive affirming feelings. CBT teaches effective coping skills to help patients manage daily life situations that can be triggering due to their mental health illness. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a subtype of CBT and focuses on helping patients learn to recognize, accept and then change their feelings towards their addiction. DBT helps patients develop emotional regulation, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance skills to apply to stressful situations related to their addiction and mental illness. 

Integrative Group Therapy

Group therapy can be very beneficial for those who are suffering from a mental illness and substance use disorders. Addiction and mental illness can be a lonely space; group therapy sessions with other like-minded peers offers a community of support for those who are suffering from co-occurring mental health conditions and addiction. Individuals are able to develop meaningful relationships, receive support and develop a level of self-motivation throughout their recovery journey. 

Psychotropic Medication

For some patients who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol, carefully managed medication treatments are necessary in order to help keep the patients comfortable and most importantly safe, during their recovery journey. Under the care of certified psychiatrists and medical physicians, carefully managed medications can be highly beneficial to the recovery progress of a patient. Patients along with their clinical team will decide on the best course of treatment, which can include forms of medication management. 

The most commonly utilized medications fall into five main categories:

  • Antipsychotics – used to help patients with psychotic disorders
  • Antidepressants – used to help patients who are experiencing severe depressive feelings and emotions
  • Antianxiety – used to help patients dealing with chronic or acute anxiety
  • Stimulants – used to help patients regulate their ADHD and disorganized thought process
  • Mood stabilizers – used to help treat patients suffering from bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder
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Why should Co-occurring mental health disorders be treated in conjunction with Substance Use Disorders?

Substance addiction and co-occurring disorders can sometimes present with overlapping symptoms and therefore should be treated simultaneously. This way, clinical rehab professionals can accurately identify and diagnose each disorder and utilize the most effective targeted treatments. At Hotel California by the Sea Ohio, our co-occurring disorders treatment program begins with a complete biopsychosocial assessment of the patient to make a proper diagnosis of their mental health conditions. 

The vital information gathered by the clinical team will help identify any mental health disorders separate from addiction symptoms and formulate a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatment options vary from individual to group therapies, marriage and family counseling and medication based treatments if necessary. 

We specialize in treating co-occurring disorders and offer targeted programs for women, men and young adults. Each group of patients has unique obstacles and needs when it comes to substance abuse and mental health disorder treatments. By offering individualized care plans through our inpatient and outpatient facilities, patients have a greater chance of a successful recovery and maintaining sobriety. 

Get Help

Having a mental health disorder in addition to a substance use disorder can be difficult to maintain. Overlapping mental health symptoms that can trigger addiction symptoms can make it more difficult to diagnose and difficult to manage alone. Hotel California by the Sea Ohio has a team of expert rehab clinicians trained to identify, understand and treat these mental health conditions and substance use disorders. We specialize in treating co-occurring disorders and offer unique treatment therapies that target these conditions. Call our admissions team today to learn more about how you can alleviate your physical and emotional pain through our rigorous co-occurring disorders treatment program. 

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