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What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a specific clinical approach that treats both mental health disorders and substance use disorders simultaneously. This form of treatment is relatively new, as it became common practice in the 1990’s. Prior to then, people who presented with symptoms of a substance use disorder and a mental health condition were only treated for their substance use disorder. Treatment professionals would not address a mental health disorder until the patient got sober. Of course, it is imperative that an individual be sober in order for their treatment to be effective, however studies now show that ignoring a co-occurring mental health disorder is ineffective for those who also have a substance use disorder. Thankfully, dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles is now the go-to for people experiencing a co-occurring disorder. We treat the following:
- Family Conflict
- Domestic Violence
- Anger Management
- Dissociative Disorders
- Behavioral Issues
- Life Transitions
- Bipolar Disorder
- Impulse Control Disorders
- Low Self-Esteem
- Personality Disorders
- Emotional Disturbance
- Thinking Distortion
- Sleep Disturbance and Insomnia
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports the following statistics regarding co-occurring disorders:
- 17.5 million American adults had a severe mental health disorder within the last year. Of that 17.5 million people, 4 million also had a substance use disorder
- Men are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders more frequently than women
- 34% of those with a co-occurring disorder obtain professional help for their mental health disorder. Approximately 2% seek treatment for a substance use disorder and only about 12% get treatment for both conditions
- Of the 3 million individuals who are employed and who have a co-occurring disorder, roughly 40% obtained treatment for either condition, while only 5% sought care for both conditions
- More than 50% of individuals living with a co-occurring disorder do not receive treatment
Benefits of Dual Diagnosis
Co-occurring disorders are notoriously more complicated to treat than a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder individually. That is because there are several layers of complexities that come with this type of condition. But even though co-occurring disorders can be challenging to treat, the good news is that they can be treated. When dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles is obtained, patients can benefit in a number of ways, such as:
Receiving an appropriate diagnosis
It is extremely common for people with a co-occurring disorder to be misdiagnosed, sometimes even more than once. When seeking dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles, though, individuals can be expertly diagnosed by therapists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals who are well-versed in co-occurring disorders. Patients will be diagnosed based on the criteria provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and includes diagnostic criteria for all mental health disorders and diseases (such as substance use disorder).
Parallel treatment of both disorders
As mentioned before, attempting to treat a mental illness and a substance use disorder separately has proven ineffective. Dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles focuses on putting mental health first and addressing both conditions simultaneously. Providers work cohesively to develop a plan for each patient that allows for the continual treatment of the mental health disorder and the substance use disorder. This is the greatest benefit of dual diagnosis treatment, as neither condition is being ignored.
Healthy use of prescription medications
Providers of dual diagnosis treatment know that their patients have struggled with substance use disorders. They know that the use of prescription medications can be a slippery slope if they have any potential for being habit-forming. But providers also recognize the importance of prescription medication in the treatment of mental health disorders, as they can help balance brain chemistry so that troublesome symptoms can be managed. Considering the nature of the patient’s history, providers can utilize medications that are not addictive or carefully prescribe those that may be.
Development of coping skills
Living with a co-occurring disorder can be extremely challenging, especially on a day-to-day basis. The symptoms associated with the mental health disorder plus the impacts of substance use disorder can make it nearly impossible for a person for function. When there is a combined approach to care, dual diagnosis patients can start to develop coping skills that help them manage both their substance use disorder and their mental health disorder through participation in therapy and the use of medications.
The more focused and involved the patient is in their treatment, the more they can benefit from their care.
Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Co-occurring disorders are treated best when a team of professionals works cohesively to develop an individualized plan of care. This means that mental health professionals, addiction specialists, doctors, etc. come together to not only establish a plan, but also to regularly compare notes and make adjustments as the patient continues on with their treatment. With the support of a multi-dimensional team such as this, patients can begin healing and start benefiting from dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles.
Dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles is offered in different levels of care, including both residential treatment and outpatient treatment. Residential treatment is recommended for those who have a severe co-occurring disorder, have a need for detox, require 24-hour supervision, or who have been unable to maintain sobriety despite several attempts at recovery. Outpatient treatment is an ideal option for patients with less severe co-occurring disorders, who are able to maintain their everyday lives, who do not need professional supervision, and who are physically healthy enough to remain at home.
Both residential and outpatient dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles includes the combined approach to care that makes this particular form of treatment highly revered and respected.
Common Dual Diagnosis Symptoms
People who are struggling with a co-occurring disorder often display a number of various symptoms, ranging from behavioral, mental, emotional, physical, and social symptoms. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Trouble maintaining employment
- Problems upholding meaningful relationships
- Legal issues
- Financial troubles
- Extreme and/or sudden mood swings
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Changes in behavior
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol regardless of the consequences
- Withdrawing from people, places, and activities
- Participation in risky behaviors
- Suicidal thoughts/behaviors
- Using drugs and/or alcohol to manage symptoms of a mental illness
- Changes in weight
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems sleeping (either too much or not enough)
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles/San Bernadino
Dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles offers people struggling with co-occurring disorders the opportunity to regain control in their lives. Certified, experienced, and skilled professionals implement evidence-based approaches to treatment in order to get to the root of the co-occurring disorder and help patients make a full recovery. At our dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles, we ensure that each and every patient receives the utmost quality of care that is tailored to meet their unique, individual needs.