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Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual-diagnosis refers to a situation where an individual is dealing with an addiction and a mental health or behavioural condition at the same time. Sometimes they’re related, wherein a mental health condition contributes to the development of an addiction, or vice versa. Other times, they exist separately or develop for different reasons.

Either way, dealing with multiple things at once is a massive struggle. Addiction is a tough disease already, as are mental health conditions.

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To have them both occur at once can be discouraging and make you feel entirely helpless. Recognizing the problem and admitting you need help is often the hardest part, however. Once you take this important first step, our dual diagnosis rehab is well-equipped and ready to help you every step of the way.

Common Co-occurring Disorders

Addiction and mental health are both complex issues, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s going on. More common conditions like anxiety and depression may come to mind, but many things can occur, especially during an addiction.

These are some of the most common mental health disorders associated with substance abuse:

  • ADHD. Those with ADHD may be more likely to use substances as a way to deal with the symptoms. Additionally, stimulants are often prescribed to help, but these can be habit-forming.
  • Bipolar Disorder. Many people with bipolar disorder also struggle with addiction. Drugs and alcohol are common here because they offer temporary relief from stressful emotional struggles and unwanted manic episodes.
  • Depression. Many people struggling with depression self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. This offers temporary relief but puts you at great risk of developing an addiction.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder. Historically, there has been a significant link between BPD and substance abuse by those looking for escape or relief.
  • Eating Disorders. Eating disorders often come from a place of feeling inferior or not good enough. Drugs and alcohol are often used to suppress appetite but also to escape these negative feelings.
  • OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be very frustrating as the compulsions can make you feel helpless. It often brings on additional struggles with anxiety and depression, quickly leading to substance abuse to cope with all these things at once.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is a common mental health condition and its severity varies widely. Those with severe or unmanageable symptoms may turn to substance abuse for relief. Alternatively, medication like benzodiazepines may be used to help alleviate symptoms, but these are highly addictive.
  • Schizophrenia is a condition that causes delusional thinking and hallucinations. This one can be tough to diagnose as many substances cause similar effects. However, it does sometimes go hand-in-hand with addiction.
  • When your brain develops PTSD, it stops producing as many endorphins as it should. This naturally makes you feel down and depressed, with many turning to drugs and alcohol to facilitate a lighter, happier feeling.

While this list is not exhaustive, this covers the most common mental health issues you may experience along with a substance abuse disorder. It’s often very overwhelming when these things are occurring at the same time. This is why we offer high-quality and comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment.

While everyone and their circumstances are different, there are a few factors that can contribute to an individual suffering from a mental health disorder and addiction concurrently:

  • Genetics. Some are simply predisposed to these issues because of how they were born. Some personalities are more vulnerable to forming habits and addictions, and much of that has to do with your genes.
  • Circumstantial triggers. Things like a traumatic event, chronic stress, or consistent anxiety can kickstart either an addiction, a mental health disorder, or both. Once one appears, the other may be more likely to follow.
  • Brain function. Using and abusing drugs causes a different reaction in everyone. Some may have a minor reaction in the brain, while others are more severe. For example, excessive use of some drugs can trigger psychosis in some people – a severe condition where one loses touch with reality.
  • Early exposure. Lastly, overuse and abuse of substances can have a significant and sometimes permanent effect on your brain – even more so when you’re young. Those who try drugs at a very early age may be more likely to develop an addiction and/or mental health condition later in life.

Whatever the reason may be for multiple conditions to be occurring at once, we recognize that these situations must be treated with care. Our staff is well-trained in many different styles and methods of therapy, and dual-diagnosis treatment is one of them.

When you arrive at our dual diagnosis treatment center, our staff will work closely with you to develop a tailored treatment plan. The average stay is 30-45 days, during which time you’ll have a variety of sessions each week, based on what our therapists think is best for you.

Some of the most common methods of co-occurring disorders treatment include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT is a common method of therapy because it’s powerful and effective. It’s common for treating mental health and addiction, so it’s no surprise it works well for those struggling with both. This form of therapy helps you identify negative behaviours and thinking patterns, and how these may have contributed to your addiction and other disorders. You’ll learn how to reframe your thinking and develop healthier habits and behaviours.
  • Motivational therapy. This is another common one for dual diagnosis. It’s easy to feel down and discouraged no matter what you’re going through – but perhaps more so when you’re struggling with so many things. Motivational therapy uses special tools and questions to help you stay motivated. It fosters and maintains a genuine desire within you to heal and recover, which helps you stay the course of therapy and treatment.
  • Holistic therapy. Dealing with addiction and mental health is exhausting, stressful, and hard. To help you even more, we offer a variety of holistic activities and therapies to complement your other sessions and enrich your time with us. This includes things like yoga, meditation, art therapy, journaling, and more. You’ll also have access to plenty of nature and even some workout equipment to help keep your mind calm and centered.

Throughout all your sessions, your therapists and counselors will remain aware of your dual diagnosis and will treat you accordingly. They’ll be careful not to cause any inadvertent triggers, relapses, or setbacks. They’ll approach each session with the knowledge and sensitivity needed to help you work through your unique situation.

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Women Seeking Help

Our dual diagnosis rehab center is open to all women in need of healing. We have ongoing intakes, with a maximum occupancy of 10 women. We want you to feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

Substance abuse and mental health treatment is a complex and sometimes daunting process, but we want you to thrive. We’ve created a quiet, private environment for this reason. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any given time. Our female-only staff is friendly and will get back to you quickly, offering as much help and guidance as they can.

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