Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in 2014, 7.9 million people in the United States had a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is a condition where an individual has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder occurring at the same time. To date, men experience dual diagnosis more than women do.
Someone with a dual diagnosis might have one condition develop before the other. For example, someone who has experienced a traumatic event might develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and begin drinking alcohol in an effort to self-medicate the symptoms of their PTSD. Or, someone who becomes addicted to meth might develop depression, as the continued use of this drug can make it difficult (if not impossible) for the brain to experience a sense of pleasure and/or reward without the presence of meth, leading to the onset of depression.
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Regardless of which came first, the mental illness or the substance use disorder, dual diagnoses need to be treated simultaneously in order to produce positive results. Treatment for dual diagnosis in Los Angeles can ensure that both conditions are being treated in this manner and that those who require specific services receive them.
Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis
There are several different kinds of combinations of mental illnesses and substance use disorders when it comes to a dual diagnosis. Bipolar disorder and alcoholism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cocaine addiction, and ecstasy and depression make up some of the most common dual diagnosis combinations, however, they are not the sole dual diagnoses. Instead, people can experience any combination of addiction and mental illness, causing symptoms of this type of condition to vary significantly. However, there are some symptoms of dual diagnosis that are typically carried throughout all types of this condition, including the following:
- Isolation from friends and family
- Drastic, sudden changes in behaviors
- Abusing addictive substances under dangerous conditions
- Participating in risky behaviors
- Unable to control substance use
- Becoming highly tolerant to substances
- Feeling like one or more substances in needed in order to function
While these are some of the most common symptoms of dual diagnosis, there can also be more severe symptoms, such as experiencing suicidal thoughts or extremely outrageous changes in mood. When these symptoms occur, it is imperative to reach out for immediate help.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles: What to Expect
Thankfully, dual diagnosis is a condition that can be treated with the appropriate care. Treating dual diagnosis in Los Angeles is done through a number of different therapeutic and pharmacologic approaches.
Since someone with a dual diagnosis is grappling with a substance use disorder, it is imperative for him or her to go through the process of detox if he or she is dependent on his or her substance or substances of choice. Detox occurs when an individual stops using drugs and/or alcohol and clears his or her body of addictive substances. Doing this will cause withdrawal symptoms to occur, however, when done in the care of a dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles, these symptoms can be better controlled, making this process much more comfortable.
There are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can treat a substance use disorder. But, there are medications approved to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings, including buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. When one of these medications is incorporated into an individual’s dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles, he or she can place a stronger focus on his or her recovery without being distracted by the temptation to use again or how upsetting his or her withdrawal symptoms are.
The medication that an individual will receive for his or her mental illness will depend on what kind of illness he or she is diagnosed with. Those who are diagnosed with depression might be prescribed an SSRI, while someone diagnosed with anxiety might be prescribed a benzodiazepine like Xanax. All medications are administered by a professional and individuals can receive medication management education so that they can continue to utilize these medications after they leave dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles. When combined with other services like therapy, medications can make a huge difference in the symptoms that one experiences because of his or her mental illness.
Both substance use disorders and mental illnesses require a complete curriculum of therapy in order to be properly treated. Our dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles offers a number of different therapeutic approaches designed to help address both of these issues, including individual, group, and family therapy, as well as other more specific therapies like behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, and trauma therapy. Depending on the severity of one’s dual diagnosis, therapy can be obtained anywhere from numerous times a week to one or two times per month. When involved in inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, therapy occurs on a regular basis, however, after completing a program, the frequency of therapy will likely change.
Support groups are a huge part of recovery from addiction, as millions of people have credited groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to keeping them sober and connected to their recoveries. Support groups are also available for people with certain mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. Similar to support groups for addiction, support groups for mental illnesses allow individuals to connect to a community of people who are experiencing similar things that they are. Within these groups, individuals can share their experiences and insights while listening to those of others in an effort to grow and heal.
Get Help Today Through Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in Los Angeles
If you are struggling with a dual diagnosis, do not waste any more time avoiding treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles might seem overwhelming at first, however, once the process begins, a huge amount of relief can be experienced and recovery can begin.
Do not allow anything to stand in the way of reaching out for help. You deserve the very best care possible so that you can be the best person you can be. Ask for help right now. We are here to support you.