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Understanding Dual Diagnosis: Navigating the Intersection of Addiction and Mental Health

May 28, 2024

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, presents one of the most complex challenges for individuals struggling with both a substance use disorder (SUD) and a severe mental illness (SMI). Recent studies underscore the strong relationship between mood and anxiety disorders and SUDs, shedding light on the intricate interplay between addiction and mental health.

The crux of effective treatment for dual diagnosis lies in an integrated approach—one that tackles both the substance use disorder and the mental health diagnosis concurrently. This journey often begins with detoxification from the drug of choice, paving the way for a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the individual's unique needs and challenges.

Certain disorders, like depression or anxiety, could be real triggers for excessive substance use. If that’s the case for you, you’re more likely to conquer your addiction when you obtain therapy for your co-occurring mental disorder, too.

Why Do Mental Health And Substance Use Disorders Occur Together?

Articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlight staggering statistics: approximately 50% of individuals with severe mental disorders also grapple with SUDs. Among these, 37% exhibit alcohol use disorders, while 53% face drug use disorders. Moreover, among those diagnosed with some form of mental illness, 29% contend also with a co-occurring substance use disorder.

There are many likely reasons for these disorders occurring together so often:

  • Having an SMI or mental disorder may contribute to developing a substance use disorder. The mental conditions are such that the individual will inevitably engage in self-medication. Or even that the mental health disorder itself has changed the brain so that a substance use disorder is more likely to take hold.

  • Similarly, having a substance use disorder may contribute to developing a mental disorder. This describes the ways in which addiction changes the brain to render a mental disorder likely.

  • Common risk factors may contribute to both disorders, including genetics, stress, or trauma.

Taking The First Step In Treating Mental Health And Substance Use Disorders

Sunrise Detox (SDC) offers support for substance detox and co-occurring disorders. At Sunrise, we recognize the multifaceted nature of dual diagnosis and offer comprehensive support for individuals navigating both addiction and mental health issues. Our compassionate team of professionals is committed to crafting individualized care plans tailored to each person's specific needs and goals, ensuring a holistic approach to recovery.

We understand that detoxification is just the first step in the recovery journey and that ongoing support is essential for long-term success. During the detoxification process, our dedicated counselors provide emotional support and ensure that clients receive proper medication management. We also offer a range of therapeutic modalities, including individual and group therapy sessions, designed to address underlying mental health conditions and promote healing.

Furthermore, it's crucial to acknowledge that individuals with co-occurring disorders often face unique challenges during the detoxification process. The interplay between substance use and mental health disorders can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms and complicate the treatment approach.

Integrating Treatment For Mental Health And Substance Use Disorder

At SDC, we prioritize a comprehensive and tailored approach to address these complex needs. Our experienced team of healthcare professionals is well-versed in managing dual-diagnosis cases and is committed to providing personalized care every step of the way.

No matter if you have anxiety, depression, or other co-occurring disorders, we ensure that everyone receives the support and resources they need to achieve stability and sobriety. Whether the substance use or mental challenges arose first, long-term recovery depends on getting treatment for both, pivoting around detox from habit-forming drugs or alcohol in a safe fashion.

The rigors of our processes identify and treat dual diagnosis through:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: While detoxification is paramount, to understand your unique situation, we begin with a thorough assessment that includes your mental health history, substance use patterns, and overall well-being. Then, we'll tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs and goals.

  • Integrated Treatment: Our approach addresses both mental health and substance use disorders simultaneously. Based on your treatment plan, you may proceed following detox with participation in individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), trauma-informed therapy, and other evidence-based modalities.

  • Supportive Environment: We provide a safe and comfortable environment where you can focus on your recovery. Our facility features modern amenities, delicious meals, and recreational activities to help you relax and de-stress.

SDC has twenty years of experience with dual diagnosis treatment, including planning, facilitating, coordinating care, evaluating, and advocating for services that meet our residents’ ongoing health needs and those of their families. In addition to individual case management, we offer and nourish a range of conventional and complementary therapies including other opportunities for the connection and growth that we foster, propelling you into a continuum of care. From individual therapy to group counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and trauma-informed care, we offer a holistic treatment experience that addresses both substance use and mental health concerns simultaneously.

Mental Health Support During Detox

It is imperative in addressing mental health to know that we support you in a balanced manner in the knowledge that detox and the challenges of withdrawal could trigger pre-existing mental illness.

Our counselors are here to offer emotional assistance and help you control your mental health for a more comprehensive detox experience. If you are taking prescription drugs, we will ensure you receive them at the proper time. We also deliver access to the following optional support groups and therapy:

  • Individual therapy to talk privately with a licensed therapist

  • Group therapy with a counselor leading group discussion

  • We supply all your basic needs, including cozy accommodations and nutritious dining. Our well-planned schedule provides you with time to rest.

Traditional programs have a great impact on behavior modification but sometimes fall short in treating any underlying conditions that contribute to the disorder. A holistic approach straddling co-occurring disorders can have a lasting impact on recovery.

Once you are clean and sober following detox and are no longer stricken with withdrawal symptoms, you can begin to parse out which states of emotional distress emanated from excessive use of drugs and alcohol, and which might be attributed to an underlying psychiatric condition.

It's also worth highlighting the importance of aftercare planning in dual diagnosis treatment. We support you for the entirety of the detox process until you are medically approved to advance to a more appropriate level of treatment addressing your dual diagnosis recovery.

Our team works closely with individuals to develop comprehensive aftercare plans tailored to their unique needs and circumstances. Whether it's outpatient therapy, support groups, or residential treatment, we ensure that everyone has access to the resources and support systems pivotal to sustained recovery. During your stay here and after, we are committed to providing compassionate, evidence-based care that addresses the complex needs of individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Contact Us Now To Take Your First Step To Recovery

Our integrated approach focuses not only on detoxification but also on long-term recovery, empowering clients to achieve lasting sobriety and mental wellness. If you or someone you know is grappling with dual diagnosis and seeking help, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 866-989-4006. Our team is available 24/7 to provide support and guidance on the path to recovery. Together, we can navigate the complexities of addiction and mental health and help you reclaim your life and thrive.

Brenda Flores Counselor Sunrise Detox Lake Worth
BA, CAP, ICADC, Counselor, Sunrise Detox Lake Worth
Brenda Flores is a 20+ year veteran working in substance use treatment. Since 2005, she has been one of our most beloved Counselors with Sunrise Detox Palm Beach. She is most known for her light-hearted spirit and commitment to each patient's best interest and success in recovery. Her over 30 years years of personal sobriety give her incredible insight into the minds of those taking the first step in their recovery. Having been there herself, she knows the steps to continue down a path to success.

Dr. Christopher Rienas brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role as a Medical Director at Praesum Healthcare. Double board-certified in both Addiction Psychiatry and General Psychiatry, Dr. Rienas continues to elevate our programs treating substance use and mental health disorders with his deep understanding of addiction and psychiatry.