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Dual diagnosis treatment is actually a relatively new, though very effective, innovation in addiction recovery. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that people who experienced mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and delusional behavior were treated separately and differently from those who sought addiction treatment only for drug and alcohol abuse. Before the 1990’s, if someone was suffering from both a mental health condition and addiction, clients were often turned away from treatment programs until they got clean.However, because drug and alcohol addiction is oftentimes driven by a psychiatric disorder, this meant that many people who had a dual diagnosis weren’t able to get the help that they desperately needed.

Now in the 21st century, dual diagnosis addiction recovery combines mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Instead of drawing a line between psychiatric health and addiction, medical professionals who work in addiction treatment can now receive training and even credentials to help treat co-occurring mental health disorders. Here at Restore LA, we offer addiction recovery services that are personalized for those clients with a dual diagnosis.

Truly effective addiction treatment for a dual diagnosis involves considering both the specific addiction and the particular mental illness as the client goes through the recovery process. If the client meets the criteria for a mental health disorder (depression, bipolar disorder , anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.) and for an addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, etc.) they may be classified as a dual diagnosis when they enter an addiction treatment center.

To increase the chances of achieving a full recovery from addiction, dual diagnosis treatment programs should include:

  • Simultaneous treatment of the mental health disorder and the substance use disorder by a highly trained medical staff
  • Acknowledgement of the importance of medications antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to help treat co-occurring disorders
  • Therapy that reinforces self-esteem and builds self-confidence instead of confronting the client with negative statements
  • An addiction treatment strategy that brings spouses, children and other household members into therapy for individual counseling and group meetings

To actually receive a dual diagnosis, the client has to meet the criteria for a mental health disorder as defined by the current version of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM is a guideline for mental health professionals that need to diagnose and treat patients in a variety of clinical settings.

Signs of an Addiction and Symptoms of a Mental Health Disorder

  • Decreased performance in school and work
  • Lying or stealing to continue an addiction
  • Staying up late at night and sleeping during the day
  • Trying to quit using drugs or drinking but relapsing repeatedly
  • Taking increasingly larger doses of drugs, alcohol to get the same high
  • Deliberately withdrawing from others and refusing offers of friendship or support
  • Expresses despair, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Difficulty holding down a job, keeping an apartment or maintaining friendships because of behavioral issues or mood swings
  • Dramatic changes in mood and energy levels

The only way to know for certain if someone has a dual diagnosis is to consult an addiction treatment specialist with a background in psychiatric care. Here at Restore LA, we have highly experienced and educated staff of addiction specialists that can diagnose co-occurring disorders. Our intake counselors and evaluation specialists will review the client’s psychiatric history and evaluate substance use patterns before developing an individualized addiction treatment plan. Reaching out for help can be the hardest part of getting the support you need to begin the addiction recovery process.

Our experienced clinical team can set you up on a personalized dual diagnosis treatment plan that focuses on recovery, healing and long-term sobriety and happiness.

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