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Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Mental Health & Substance Addiction

Freedom From Addiction believes in the importance of implementing holistic approaches for effective concurrent disorders. More often than not, people struggling with addiction are also having difficulty dealing with mental health issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder. It’s vital that both co-occurring disorders are treated at the same time in order to ensure our patients are treated effectively and future issues do not arise.

Keep reading to learn more about the customizable dual diagnosis treatment programs available at Freedom From Addiction.

What Are Concurrent Disorders?

Concurrent disorders, otherwise called comorbidity, dual disorders, or co-occurring disorders, are evident when mental health illnesses overlap with substance use disorders. It’s a term that is commonly used to refer to different types of co-occurring mental illnesses and addictions.

Concurrent disorders can be classified into five main groups:

  1. Substance use disorder + mood and anxiety disorders (depression, panic, anxiety, or bipolar disorder)
  2. Substance use disorder + personality disorder (schizoid, histrionic, paranoid, obsessive-compulsive, and borderline personality disorder)
  3. substance use + severe and persistent mental health disorders (schizophrenia or bipolar disorder)
  4. Substance use disorder + eating disorders (anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa)
  5. Behavioural addiction (compulsive gambling or compulsive sexual behaviours) + mental health problems

A patient may be given a dual diagnosis if they experience any of these co-occurring disorders at the same time, at different times, or in the past. Research suggests that concurrent disorders happen due to overlapping genetic vulnerabilities and environmental triggers that both addiction and mental health problems share.

Having a mental illness can make you more susceptible to addiction. At least 20% of Canadians diagnosed with mental illness have a concurrent substance use disorder. When this occurs, it’s vital for individual’s to be treated for both their addiction and mental illness. Without dual diagnosis treatment in place, there is the possibility of one or both disorders to become prevalent once again.

How Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Work?

Dual diagnosis treatment is a general term for a collection of integrative therapies used to address or manage co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illnesses.

Treating concurrent disorders is still a relatively new concept in the world of addiction recovery. In the past, addiction and mental health issues were treated separately. If a patient is battling with drug addiction and has been found to have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, they would have to finish drug addiction treatment before seeking a different therapy to address their depression.

As a result, people suffering from depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and other related psychiatric conditions continue to suffer, receiving inadequate care and treatment for failing to address a potential root cause of their addiction.

Fortunately, experts now recognize the significance of having integrative dual diagnosis treatments to address concurrent disorders successfully. A holistic approach, combining psychiatric and addiction treatment strategies can effectively:

  • Reduce relapse rates in individuals in recovery
  • Lower suicide rates 
  • Promote abstinence long-term

At Freedom From Addiction, our dual diagnosis treatment includes:

Medical Detox

Drug detoxification is the first step to addiction recovery. We have medically guided drug detox programs that help the body flush out alcohol or drugs effectively while providing necessary support for the patient to manage the withdrawal symptoms safely.

Drug Addiction Treatment 

We offer different types of drug addiction treatment programs customized depending on the patient’s personal needs and the severity of the condition. We have residential treatment, in-house or hospitalization, outpatient programs, and behavioural counselling.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment 

Freedom From Addiction also provides addiction treatment and interventions specifically focused on people struggling with alcohol dependence and alcoholism. We implement a comprehensive and personalized strategy for our clients with targeted therapies like alcohol detoxification, psychosocial support for abstinence, and family support therapy.

Mental Health Treatment

As part of our dual diagnosis treatment, we also have mental health treatments expertly designed to delve deeper into the person’s mental health issues and teach them how to rationally deal with negative thinking and emotions without resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drugs and alcohol.

How We Treat Concurrent Disorders Long-Term 

To successfully prevent relapse, Freedom From Addiction believes in the importance of providing continuous support for our clients even as they graduate from our dual diagnosis treatment programs. We offer:

Continuing Care

It aims to help clients who have completed our addiction treatments to gradually transition back into their everyday lives while maintaining sobriety using positive coping mechanisms that they have learned through ongoing emotional and social support.

Emotional Recovery

Emotions are powerful triggers that have led many people to addiction. Whether it’s getting to the root of their unresolved emotional trauma from a history of abuse or surfacing anxieties about transitioning back into society, our team is ready to support you with individual or group counselling therapies to heal and strengthen your emotional health.

Relapse Prevention

Our relapse prevention treatment is a proactive step against the pitfalls of drug or alcohol temptation. It aims to help addiction treatment graduates to steer clear from old behavioural patterns that could trigger a relapse. It’s inspired by Terry Gorski’s Relapse Prevention Plans, which involves stabilization, assessment, relapse education, warning sign identification, warning sign management, recovery planning, inventory training, family involvement and the follow-up.

Who Can Benefit from Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders? 

Our dual diagnosis treatment can be helpful for anyone who has been formally diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. Some population groups are more vulnerable than others, such as:

  • People with an existing mental illness, who are twice more likely to develop an addiction. 
  • Young people who have the highest risk of suffering from mental illness and/or substance use disorders than the rest of other age groups.
  • LGBTQ+ individuals who are prone to substance use and severe mental health disorders due to the prejudice and discrimination they face on a daily basis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Freedom From Addiction 

At Freedom From Addiction, we acknowledge that dual diagnosis treatments play a crucial role in our patients’ personal journeys towards lifelong recovery. We have an extensive range of treatment programs aimed at identifying the root causes of addiction and delve deep into underlying mental health issues.

For more information on how we can make a difference in the life of a loved one who has been diagnosed with concurrent disorders, contact Freedom From Addiction today!

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