It is a natural human impulse to seek relief from pain, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional.
So, it’s not uncommon for people suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to self-medicate by using alcohol or drugs.
There are also those struggling with the impossible chaos that addiction continues to create in their lives, a cycle that all too often leads to bouts of depression, anxiety, impulsivity followed by even more destructive behavior.
Whether it was a battle with depression that led to an addiction, or substance abuse that caused mental health issues, Pure Recovery understands that lasting recovery can only take place when both conditions are diagnosed and treated simultaneously.
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What is a Dual Diagnosis?
The combined presence of a mental health disorder combined with a substance use disorder is referred to as a dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders.
A person may develop either disorder first, but research shows that each condition significantly worsens or amplifies the symptoms of the other condition.
Left untreated, the progression of a dual diagnosis can devastate a person’s family life, personal relationships and their professional career.
Pure Recovery provides integrated programs that offer substance abuse treatment and mental health care. Our treatment plans are designed to address each client’s unique situation and needs.
Who Suffers from a Dual Diagnosis?
Despite the unnecessary stigma surrounding the disease of addiction and mental health issues, they are much more common than most people might realize.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) reports that around 27 million Americans struggle with substance abuse and addiction.
Nearly half of all Americans have a family member or close friend that’s been addicted to drugs, according to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center.
Where mental illness is concerned, 1 in 5 adults, or just fewer than 47 million people, deal with mental health problems in a given year.
Some common mental health disorders that can lead to a dual diagnosis include:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Personality Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Almost 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from both mental illness and addiction – a dual diagnosis – and more than half of those are men.
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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis?
In many cases, people are unaware that they are self-medicating to numb the symptoms of depression, or other mental illnesses, with drugs and alcohol.
For a time, they might even feel better, though that window closes quickly.
Though the symptoms of mental illness vary, there can be signals like some of the following:
- A loss of interest in activities, hobbies or friends a person once enjoyed
- Erratic moods or drastic shifts in mood
- Changes in sleep habits, such as sleeping all the time or suffering from insomnia
- Changes in eating habits, such as a loss of appetite or binge eating
- A loss of focus or difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing
- Suicidal thoughts or subtle suggestions that others would be better off if they were gone
Addiction Can Induce Mental Illness
People living with addiction can also develop a mental illness. Alcohol and some drugs are depressants, which can change the brain’s chemistry, making it harder to enjoy life without external stimulants.
Substance abuse also has the potential to create personal, professional and social chaos that may result in isolation, anger, frustration and sadness.
Many people try repeatedly to curb their addiction or quit using drugs or alcohol all together, only to grow deeply depressed with each unsuccessful attempt.
This cycle can lead to clinical depression, as well as other mental illnesses, that drive a person deeper into addiction.
Some of the warning signs of a dual diagnosis include the following:
- A severe turn in physical and mental health
- Severe mood swings that range from mania to aggressiveness
- The loss of a job and the potential for ending up homeless
- Withdrawing from friends and family, feelings of isolation and a spike in substance abuse
- Increase in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or having impulsive, unprotected sex with strangers
- Continued substance abuse to avoid withdrawal or to feel “normal,” despite increasingly negative consequences
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Pure Recovery follows a scientific, evidence-based approach to treating dual diagnosis conditions. We use an integrated program that addresses the complex issues of both addiction and a mental health condition simultaneously.
Each disorder is treated individually at the same time so that our clients can start to address the underlying issues that lead to a dual diagnosis in the first place.
The fear of withdrawal is often one of the biggest barriers to treatment for those that need at help. At Pure, we offer safe and effective detox from prescription drugs, alcohol and other illegal drugs.
All detox is monitored by medical professionals and in severe cases, medication assisted treatment is available so that client’s can get past the physical symptoms and move on to the start of the recovery process.
Once the formal treatment program begins after detox, we take a holistic approach to uncover the root causes of addiction and mental health issues and work on healing the brain.
We utilize 3D Brain Mapping technology to isolate areas of the brain to target during treatment, and focus on improving those areas for a successful recovery.
In addition, we offer the following evidence-based therapies that have proven to be successful for treating dual diagnosis disorders:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Trauma Therapy
- Relapse Prevention Therapy
Pure Recovery California’s advanced cognitive neuroscience treatment addresses each of our client’s individual physical and psychological needs for successful recovery.