Many people with substance use disorders also struggle with mental health disorders. Treating both during addiction treatment is critical to ensuring long-term addiction recovery. This is done through dual diagnosis treatment, a specialized program that addresses both substance use disorders and mental health conditions. It works to meet the needs of both aspects of a person’s health, ensuring the best chance at gaining physical, mental, and emotional stability.
When searching for a mental health treatment center near me, look for a program that offers targeted treatment for dual diagnosis. With the right support, people with co-occurring disorders can make the changes necessary for a successful recovery.
How Does Mental Health Play a Role in Addiction Recovery?
During initial assessments for addiction treatment, therapists and doctors look for evidence of underlying mental health conditions. Sometimes, the addiction occurs first, leading to the onset of complex mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. Many other times, the mental health problem was there first, and often it fuels the addiction. A person may use drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy for the symptoms they have.
Some of the mental health conditions that can co-occur with addiction include:
- Anxiety disorders – Characterized by excessive worry and fear
- Depression – Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and a loss of interest in activities
- Trauma and PTSD – Post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by traumatic events
- Bipolar disorder – Alternating episodes of manic and depressive states
- Schizophrenia – Disorganized thinking, hallucinations, false beliefs
These conditions can create even more obstacles for someone in recovery. If a person’s mental health isn’t addressed during substance abuse treatment, the risk of relapse is much higher. Treating both
In either case, if there are mental health conditions present, treatment of them is critical. For example, if a person suffers from depression, treating addiction without also helping the individual develop healthy coping skills for depression might not promote long-term recovery. The individual is likely to continue to seek out drugs and alcohol to manage his or her depression symptoms. A person who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder cannot overcome their addiction until they work through the previous trauma.
What Happens in Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
To treat both mental health and addiction recovery, professionals use a treatment called dual diagnosis. This may include several strategies:
- Use medications to alleviate any mental health imbalances that could cause symptoms.
- Work through trauma or stressors that lead to emotional turmoil.
- Utilize medications to manage withdrawal from drugs or alcohol as needed.
- Working through talk therapy to develop strategies for managing addiction.
- Overcoming challenges in dealing with mental health, such as developing strategies for managing anxiety.
The goal is to treat both at the same time to ensure a person gains a strong, solid foundation from which to live and work.
How to Know if Mental Health Treatment Is Necessary in Addiction Recovery
It is not uncommon for trained professionals to miss the signs of a mental health disorder and blame those feelings, thoughts, and experiences on addiction. Yet, with well-trained therapists and doctors, it is possible to determine what the underlying cause of addiction is. When co-occurring mental health issues are present, the diagnosis of a dual diagnosis is made. In this case, focus and treatment should be targeted to both the addiction and mental health condition to ensure long-term recovery.
A person may be able to recognize some of these risks themselves. For example, many people use alcohol to minimize their stress or to cope with anxiety. Some use stimulants to get through the challenges of depression. Other times, they feel intense emotions and stress when they stop using drugs and alcohol. Some people also have a predisposed risk of developing mental health conditions if they have a family history of it.
Reach Out for Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Today
A full, comprehensive assessment is the first step for those who seek out care from Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery. It outlines exactly what is happening and then creates a treatment plan. That plan may include dual diagnosis for those who have mental health disorders. Our team works closely with each person to ensure they receive the best combination of therapy possible to achieve sobriety.
Mental health is critical to long-term addiction recovery. Through dual diagnosis treatment, like that offered at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery, it is possible to embrace real benefits and a healthier life. Ready to get started? Call our compassionate therapists and experienced counselors at 833.448.0127 or connect with us online today.