If you are struggling with drug abuse and/or addiction, there’s a good chance that you are also struggling with your mental health. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with your mind, but it does mean that you may have a chemical imbalance causing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other number of mental illnesses that may lead to drug abuse. And recognizing this is a good thing, because it means you actually have more treatment options!

Don’t worry — you are far from alone. In fact, addiction itself is now recognized as a mental illness, albeit one that often coincides with others. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, approximately 8 million American adults suffer from both a substance use disorder and another mental illness. In fact, they are often called “co-occurring disorders” as a result, and individuals with a mental illness have been found to be more susceptible to addiction in the first place. 

As a result, increasing focus is being placed on “dual-diagnosis treatment“, or rather, treatment that gives priority to both addiction and the mental disorders linked with it. Studies are finding that addiction and drug abuse relapse rates are lower when mental illness is treated in conjunction. While each case is different and your specific needs may vary, dual-diagnosis treatment may nevertheless be just the thing that helps you finally learn to overcome drug abuse and regain control of your life. 

What Exactly Is Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?

Any form of addiction combined with mental illness can be considered for dual-diagnosis treatment. Depression and anxiety disorder remain the most common mental illnesses that can both result in addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.) and be worsened by ongoing abuse. 

When you enter rehab for dual-diagnosis care, your addiction will usually be addressed first. This is because many addictions can be life-threatening and/or result in serious health risks, but as can stopping drug abuse cold turkey. For your health and safety, it is therefore crucial that the initial stages of treatment (including detox depending on the substances you’re abusing) be under the supervision and guidance of experienced addiction professionals and medical staff. 

Once detox has taken place and the actual drug abuse ends (you are no longer introducing substances into your system), the mental health aspect can be treated. Treatment of depression and other kinds of disorders will primarily consist of one-on-one counseling and group therapy, but the use of medication may be included as well in more severe cases. You will also be able to participate in outings and other activities to help improve your mental health status as a whole and give you a fresh new perspective on life. 

Why Dual-Diagnosis Is Effective

Dual-diagnosis remains effective for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, the goal here is to not simply treat the addiction and get the patient through detox, but to address why the patient began their drug abuse (or other unhealthy activities) in the first place. By doing so, the patient can leave treatment more confident, more complete and better equipped to cope with future challenges. 

Overall, there are many effective reasons to consider dual-diagnosis care:

  • Go beyond just physical symptoms – Regular detox programs only focus on the physical problem, but dual-diagnosis finds the link between the physical dependency and the mental illness that is worsening it. 
  • Longer treatment – Dual-diagnosis typically spans a longer period of time than regular addiction treatment, but this also means the patient can progress at a pace more comfortable to them and will have a lower likelihood of relapse as a result. 
  • Dual-diagnosis teaches coping skills – There is much debate over whether addiction and mental illness can ever fully be cured, but with dual-diagnosis, the patient can get to the root causes of both and learn to recognize their triggers. 
  • Understanding and acceptance of self – Dual-diagnosis patients have the unique opportunity to better understand themselves and how their mind operates. This leads to greater self-acceptance and the ability to take back control of their life. 

Where to Get Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

We offer dual-diagnosis, detox, and drug rehab at Enlight Treatment Center in Moorpark, CA. Our programs are tailored to the individual in order to meet your specific addiction and mental health needs. Once detox is achieved, the focus on overall health (including mental) can begin. As with any advanced dual-diagnosis treatment, the focus here is on improving both addiction and related mental illness, as well as teaching important coping methods that can be used for both long into the future. Long-term recovery is always the ultimate goal. 

If you’re suffering from addiction and/or drug abuse, don’t wait to get in touch with us. The time to regain control of your life is now. Contact us today!

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