Dual Diagnosis Treatment Los Angeles

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Los Angeles

Only a proportionate few people with co-occurring disorders COD get the appropriate dual diagnosis treatment that they need to address multiple disorders. It has been estimated that under 15% of American adults are actually diagnosed correctly and receiving the attention for both their mental health and drug or alcohol addiction. Through dual diagnosis treatment recovery is a tangible goal however expectation must be set to achieve success. This is not an overnight solution, it can take months and sometimes years but commitment and courage are essential components to an ongoing solution. Medication might be a part of the solution, other components might include self-help and group support.

Individuals with co-occurring disorders (COD) in general do not receive the adequate care and dual diagnosis treatment they need in order to address their condition of multiple disorders. In recent reports, only an estimated 15% of American adults are diagnosed correctly with the right attention being provided for both the drug and alcohol addiction as well as the mental health disorder. At Dual Diagnosis Help, we are committed to providing the effective dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles patients need to thrive.

It can take months and even years to achieve recovery after dual diagnosis treatment, however courage and commitment are important facets of achieving the right results. Medication is one component that is effective as well as self help and group support.

Variations in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

With ‘partial treatment’, the disorder that is thought of as presenting most strongly in the patient is the one that is focused on. ‘Sequential treatment’ is used to address the primary disorder so that it can be stabilized to allow for the second disorder to be addressed. With ‘parallel treatment’, one provider focuses on the mental disorder while a second provider focuses on the drug or alcohol recovery process. ‘Integrated treatment’ considers both conditions as primary and offers one single, comprehensive treatment protocol.

Deciding on the best treatment

At Dual Diagnosis Help, we work with each patient to determine which is the right dual diagnosis treatment Los Angeles service. Tangible and achievable processes should be outlined at the get go with the expectation set for long term recovery. We offer a judgement free environment where the patient can receive education about their disorders with the support of their friends and family.

The dual diagnosis treatment approach varies

“Partial Treatment” focuses on the disorder that is considered the primary condition of the patient. “Sequential Treatment” will address the primary disorder first, once stabilized the secondary condition can be addressed. “Parallel Treatment” employs two different providers of service, one focusing on the mental illness while a second provider simultaneously would manage the drug or alcohol recovery process. “Integrated Treatment” considers both conditions to be primary therefore a single comprehensive treatment regime is administered. Integrated treatment can improve accessibility, treatment compliance, engagement in treatment, service individualization, mental health symptoms, and overall outcomes.

Finding the right dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles

Whatever Los Angeles dual diagnosis treatment is used it must be stressed that tangible achievable goals and processes should be established up front with an expectation for a long-term strategy. Dual diagnosis treatment should involve the Los Angeles patient in the strategy building process. A judgment free environment in which a patient can be educated as to their disorders and paths to solutions either individually or with the support of family and friends is a priority.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What It Is and How to Seek Treatment

Dual diagnosis is recognized as a combination of mental illness and substance addiction. This can stem from the misuse of medications prescribed to treat the mental illness, or as a completely secondary dependency to alcohol and illicit narcotics. DualDiagnosis.org explains, “Until the 1990s, people who were experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder — anxiety attacks, depressive episodes, delusional behavior or mood swings — were treated separately from those who sought help for drug or alcohol abuse. When these conditions overlapped, clients were often denied treatment for a mental illness until they got clean and sober.

While dual diagnosis treatment is available, it is more complex than the standard treatment given to either one of the disorders. There are complications which can arise in the form of relapse, infections, diseases caused by the transmission of bodily fluids, and even homelessness. Fortunately, with many treatment centers now specializing in this field, there is more help for dual diagnosis patients than ever before.

Understanding Dual Diagnosis 

It can be difficult to pinpoint the issue of a dual diagnosis early on because one or more symptoms may seem like an effect of the opposing condition. For example, alcohol and misuse of medications can lead to anxiety and depression, which could cause an initial doctor consultation to misdiagnose the multiple disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health explains, “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. For some people, however, anxiety can become excessive, and while the person suffering may realize it is excessive they may also have difficulty controlling it and it may negatively affect their day-to-day living. There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias to name a few.”

There are specific signs to watch for, which characterize this disorder more regularly than others. The feeling of guilt following a compulsive action and an inability to finish assignments at school or tasks at work are both common. You should also be aware of reverse cycling sleep patterns to be awake at night, reducing social interactions with family and friends, repeated addiction relapses, and adverse behavior such as stealing to obtain alcohol or drugs to feed an addiction.

 Those who suffer from a dual diagnosis will often create intricate rituals to alleviate the tension and anxieties in their lives. These rituals can seem obsessive and compulsive to those around, and are often difficult to break. This alarming behavior is linked with the mental illness side of the disorder, but could have troublesome effects on the addictive side as well.

Seeking Treatment

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms forming or worsening. Speaking to a physician is the first step. Your doctor can then refer you to a therapy based clinic to receive dual diagnosis treatment. The treatment will vary based on the type of mental illness you are recovering from. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, personality disorders such as antisocial disorder, mood disorders such as bipolar-ism, and anxiety disorders such as PTSD are all treated differently, and may require a specific clinic referral. The American Addiction Centers write, “For the purposes of treatment, it is recommended that clients receive intensive medical and therapeutic intervention and care for both disorders at the same time. This allows them to manage the symptoms caused by the mental health disorder without abusing drugs and alcohol and worsening those symptoms — or allowing an untreated mental health disorder to increase the urge to drink or get high.”

Treatment methods include an initial evaluation, couple counselling, family therapy, group therapy sessions, detoxification programs, dialectical behavioral therapy, and continued after care programs, which follow the patient throughout the return home. Some patients may also require medication to alleviate symptoms of mental illness, which can be tricky when trying to remove temptation for addictive behaviors. Doctors may prescribe stimulants such as Adderall, or antidepressants such as Zoloft. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotics may also be necessary depending on the needs of the individual.

The first step in any dual diagnosis treatment is detoxification, and treatment of the addiction at hand. Stabilizing the addiction makes it easier for medical professionals to pinpoint and treat the mental illness which is affecting the patient. This normally means using an inpatient therapy method, through which the patient stays in a medical facility where he or she is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the withdrawal period has passed, and the addiction seems stabilized. Following this period, the medical team will approach treatment on the secondary disorder, which will become easier to treat without symptoms of drug addiction or alcoholism to cloud the mind and create physical reactions.

Dual Diagnosis Statistics

While anybody can develop the dual disorders, which lead to this type of diagnosis, studies show that it is far more prevalent in men than women. Research also suggests that a lower income or previous physical ailment or disease could also lead to a higher rate of dual diagnosis than those without. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports“About a third of all people experiencing mental illnesses and about half of people living with severe mental illnesses also experience substance abuse. These statistics are mirrored in the substance abuse community, where about a third of all alcohol abusers and more than half of all drug abusers report experiencing a mental illness.”

 War veterans, survivors of natural disasters, homeless me and women, or victims of sexual abuse are also reported to be more susceptible to this type of diagnosis.

 If you or someone you love is suffering from signs and symptoms of a possible dual diagnosis, seek medical help as soon as possible. The earlier that a diagnosis is reached, and treatment begins, the sooner you can find normalcy in life again. While there is not a cure for alcoholism, drug addiction, or many mental illnesses, there are a myriad of solutions which can alleviate symptoms and make living a happy and healthy life possible.

5 Things to Understand When It Comes to Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In the past men and women who suffered from mental health disorders, as well as an addiction, would be forced to get clean before they would even be considered for admittance to a mental health program. With new research and modern methods, dual diagnosis patients can receive care despite a secondary disorder.

The newly evolved treatments tackle one issue at a time, but never ignore additional disorders which could cause the patient harm. In this way, patients are able to receive the best possible care, and have a greater chance at successful recovery following treatment.

If you are considering treatment for a dual diagnosis, or you know somebody who is currently undergoing treatment, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Individuals With Mental Health Disorders are More Susceptible to Alcohol Abuse

Research shows that men and women who suffer from anxiety, bipolarism, and various other mental disorders are commonly linked to addictive behaviors. In some cases, the addiction forms due to a reliance on a medication for the disorder. Other times, addictions begin as a coping method to deal with effects of a mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Health writes, “Dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously. Dual diagnosis is a very broad category. It can range from someone developing mild depression because of binge drinking, to someone’s symptoms of bipolar disorder becoming more severe when that person abuses heroin during periods of mania.”

There is no exact science as to which side of the disorder will develop first, in some patients the anxiety disorder follows an addiction, while other patients turn to alcohol and narcotics to cope with a mental illness.

2. Treatment Varies Depending on the Need of the Individual

 Dual diagnosis treatments are usually catered to the needs of the individual. Each case and each patient is different. One thing that does tend to happen first and foremost is the detoxification process. This helps doctors to better understand the underlying reasons for mental disorders, and determine the best possible way to help. For some this could be therapies, while others may depend on medication. Rehabs.com explains, “Dual diagnosis treatment programs sometimes utilize behavioral therapies in combination with medication. Medicines will vary according to the individual and the diagnosis. Some of the more commonly used medications include lithium and anticonvulsants, which are often prescribed as mood stabilizers, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs such as buspirone (BuSpar).”

Inpatient treatment is often used for those who require medication, as it must be delivered by a doctor, and monitored due to the addiction. Inpatient care is a form of treatment in itself, which allows patients to reside in a treatment facility until medical staff believes that the individual can enter the outside world in a safe and healthy way.

3. Dual Diagnosis Treatment Takes Longer Than Treatment for a Singular Condition

Dual diagnosis treatments tend to take longer than treatment for a mental illness or addiction alone. Men and women who suffer from two or more disorders have a higher chance of relapsing, due to the secondary illness. If one isn’t treated properly, the other doesn’t have a positive chance of recovery. DualDiagnosis.org explains, “One of the things that make dual diagnoses so difficult to treat is that it is hard to know where certain symptoms are coming from. For example, if a dual diagnosis patient is suffering from depression, there’s no way to initially know whether the drug addiction or the individual’s mental illness is causing the problem. Depression is a symptom of many things, so the challenge is on the medical professional to find the root cause and treat it.”

It’s important that patients divulge all that they know about their diagnosis, past behaviors, addictive behaviors, and even past attempts at sobering and relapses that have occurred. The more information the medical team has starting out, and the more honest each patient is, the better chance there is for a full recovery.

4. Dual Diagnosis Puts Patients at Risk for Additional Problems

 As mentioned above, a dual diagnosis can lead to additional problems, such as a greater chance of relapse. It can also lead to homelessness, loss of friends and family, blood transmitted illnesses, and other negative issues, if treatment isn’t followed properly, and continued after leaving a facility. It isn’t enough to do what the doctors and nurses say while confined to inpatient care. Friends and family will need to be supportive and helpful in keeping patients away from past triggers, and being a positive influence.

5. There’s a Process to Follow When Beginning Dual Diagnosis Treatment

It begins with the diagnosis itself, which means that patients must speak to a doctor or psychiatrist about feelings of addiction, anxiety, or other mental issues which may be hindering a positive daily life. Once diagnosed, a doctor can begin to formulate a plan for treatment, this usually includes some form of inpatient care, at least for the detoxification process. Mental Health America writes, “People who get treatment for co-occurring depression often experience an improvement in their overall medical condition, better compliance with general medical care and a better quality of life. More than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.” 

After being treated for alcoholism, and then for the mental component of the dual diagnosis, there must be after-care, which follows patients into the real world. This could be a nurse who visits at home, or a regular weekly therapy session with a doctor. There are also group therapy sessions which can be arranged, and family counselling to gain access to the most possible support for each patient.

If you or somebody you know about is showing signs of a dual diagnosis disorder, speak to a doctor as soon as possible. The quicker that treatment begins, the higher the chances are for success. Those who wait to receive help run the risk of worsening existing conditions or developing new ones. Our doctor can help you to determine the best course of action based on your individual needs and disorder.