However, each also increases vulnerability to the other. So, while 40.2 million Americans have a substance use disorder, 17 million of us have both a substance use disorder and a mental illness diagnosis.
Here, this phenomenon is known as dual diagnosis or comorbid disorders. Often, it can be difficult to tell if the substance use disorder or the mental health disorder came first. However, both exacerbate the other and get in the way of treatment. This means that treating dual diagnosis patients requires custom treatment plans working to assess the root of the issue, to treat barriers to recovery, and then to mitigate the impact of the mental health disorder on your mental health.
At Asana Recovery, our approach is just that. We offer home-like treatment centers with high staff to patient ratios, utilize evidence-based treatments like CBT, and work to ensure that every patient receives a custom treatment program built around their mental health needs. Dual diagnosis means there are additional challenges to getting clean and sober, and Asana Recovery is here to help you meet those challenges.
Dual diagnosis occurs at any point when you have both a substance use disorder (addiction) and a mental health disorder. This is also referred to as co-occurring disorder and comorbid disorder. It means that you have two separate disorders, which may influence each other, but which likely developed at different times.
Here, common mental health disorders that overlap with substance use disorders include PTSD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, OCD, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia. However, any mental health disorder can overlap with a substance use disorder. In addition, you may have more than one mental health diagnosis and still have a dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis treatment requires a personalized treatment program designed around the specific needs and current mental health of the patient seeking that care. In most cases, dual diagnosis tracks require residential care, longer treatment periods, and more one on one time with staff. At Asana Recovery, we use the following approach:
If you’re currently struggling with drugs or alcohol, that addiction is life threatening. Drug and alcohol detox gets you clean or sober, using either a social approach where you quit and go through withdrawal, or a medication assisted treatment program.
Asana Recovery uses both options, which will be recommended based on the amount of substance you’re using, which substances you’re using, and your mental and physical health.
Detox normally involves staying at our clinic where you can be monitored and given the medical attention to move through withdrawal safely.
That’s especially important for people with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, which can cause more extreme mood swings, depression, and suicidal ideation during withdrawal. We ensure you have the emotional, psychological, and medical support to stay safe as you get clean.
In addition, if you’re addicted to a benzodiazepine, you may be asked to go onto a tapering schedule. This can significantly extend the detox period, because you will sometimes spend several weeks on detox instead of the standard 7-14 days.
After you’ve moved out of detox, we move you into one of our rehab facilities. Here, we maintain multiple residential treatment centers in Orange County, allowing us to keep the patient population small. This means you get more one-on-one time with nurses and doctors, so we have more time to receive personalized treatment and care. Asana’s approach is to triage first.
This means that we treat symptoms impacting your health first, then those getting in the way of treatment, and then the substance use disorder. Afterwards, we’ll work on quality-of-life improvements. Our treatment centers provide a holistic approach, blending therapy, counseling, medication, and psychological support. This includes:
Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered one of the most effective treatments for both substance use disorder and many mental health disorders. Here, CBT helps patients to identify underlying problems, to identify behaviors negatively contributing to substance abuse, and to create and follow through on positive changes in behavior and coping mechanisms.
Individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist, where patients discuss problems, obstacles, and work on building strategies to improve or overcome those issues.
Counseling and group counseling incorporate evidence-based treatment to help individuals work through cravings, build life skills, manage symptoms of mental illness, build relationship skills, manage stress, and much more.
We also deliver social recovery, which means that you get nutritional therapy and meals, activities, and life-skills training to learn to improve your mental health and mitigate the effect of symptoms. This can include education and recreational activities, complementary therapies such as music therapy or mindfulness, and wellbeing courses built around your specific needs and your current mental health. Our goal is to deliver a program aimed at improving your mental health where it’s at, giving you the specific tools, you need to recover and improve your life.
A mental health disorder will almost always mean that you need long-term care and treatment to stay in recovery. At Asana Recovery, we understand that you should always have someone to talk to in case things go wrong. Mental health disorders will always mean that you will have bad days, you are more vulnerable to relapse, and you need ongoing mental healthcare and counseling. Asana Recovery can help you on this journey, offering support, ongoing counseling, and help finding local support groups.
Every aspect of dual diagnosis treatment has to be personalized to treat your specific mental health problems, as they impact you when you move into treatment and as you progress through treatment. At Asana Recovery, we take that seriously.
If you or a loved one has a mental health disorder, you are more vulnerable to substance abuse and to addiction. Often, it can be difficult to tell if your loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol because the mental health disorder can mask the symptoms of substance abuse. In other cases, people with mental health problems actually abuse the very drugs they’ve been prescribed as treatment, which can be difficult to spot until things get out of hand. That also holds true internally, where mental health problems can make it even more difficult to tell when substance abuse is getting out of hand.
They may withdraw from friends and family, refuse to hang out, spend most of their time alone, and may even spend less time at social outings or venues where they cannot drink or use.
This can range from automatically taking painkillers without needing them to chugging bottles of alcohol or even reacting with extreme emotions when you try to prevent them from using.
People with substance use disorders increase risky behavior, including lying, risking traffic accidents, breaking the law, using substances before driving or operating machinery, etc.
Physical dependence is characterized by high drug tolerance and an inability to stop using the substance without withdrawal symptoms. For many people, using becomes about being able to function or feel okay because if they don’t, withdrawal symptoms kick in.
Often people start out using substances to self-medicate. This can mean taking prescription medication, drinking alcohol, or even using illicit drugs. However, the individual wants to numb physical or emotional pain or have a break. Over time, usage increases as tolerance does, eventually leading to psychological reliance, dependence, and eventually addiction. Unfortunately, heavy substance abuse only makes mental health symptoms worse, meaning that symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and fatigue will keep getting worse as the addiction progresses.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems and a substance use disorder, there is help. Asana Recovery offers a dual diagnosis track designed to help you overcome the worst of symptoms, get your substance abuse under control, and then work on getting your life back. Our program is fully personalized, delivered in home-like residential facilities designed to keep you comfortable, and adjusted to your needs as you progress through treatment.
Dual diagnosis complicates addiction treatment. It’s important that you have the hands-on support, full-time care, and personalized approach to ensure that your needs are being met – even as addiction and mental illness interact in unexpected ways.
Our trained and licensed addiction treatment team will be on-hand to guide you through every step of the way, to find medication and treatment options that work for you, and to help you move through obstacles and into recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling, we can help. Contact us at (949) 763-3440 to learn more.