Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is when a person is diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.

Because one disorder can mask or elevate the symptoms of the other, it’s often difficult to determine what came first. It’s estimated that roughly half of people diagnosed with a mental health disorder are also dependent on drugs or alcohol.

Since there is such a strong relationship between mental health and substance use, and because it can be difficult to diagnose which one came first, the best approach is to treat both conditions at the same time. This is called ‘dual diagnosis treatment’ and it is something that we offer here at Shadow Hills Recovery.

The Complicated Relationship Between Mental Health and Substance Use

Mental health problems and substance use disorders sometimes occur together because of the following reasons:

  • Some people with mental health issues will misuse drugs and alcohol to escape reality and numb their feelings. This is referred to as self-medication.
  • People who abuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to suffer the symptoms of a mental health problem.
  • Mental and substance use disorders share some of the same underlying causes such as changes in the brain, genetic vulnerabilities and exposure to trauma.

As you can see, the relationship between mental health and substance abuse is complex, but they do go hand in hand. Also, some mental health disorders are more likely to be diagnosed with substance abuse, including mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis vary greatly depending on the mental health condition you are suffering from and the drugs or alcohol you are abusing. When going through the intake process at Shadow Hills Recovery, we will use screening tools to help us understand the severity of your issues and the best treatment options.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms that you may have dual diagnosis:

  • Risky behavior
  • Abrupt personality changes
  • Social isolation
  • Substance cravings
  • Financial or legal problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms
  • Inability to control substance use

What are the Treatment Options for Dual Diagnosis?

While dual diagnosis is more complex, a full recovery is possible with the right treatment program. Shadow Hills Recovery is a residential treatment center located in the scenic hillsides of the Los Angeles area. As a residential facility, we provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals with dual diagnosis.

Clients reside at our facility, ensuring they receive around-the-clock attention, with little to no distraction. Dual diagnosis clients often need this structure as they are recovering from two conditions and not just one. However, research shows that treating both disorders simultaneously leads to improved outcomes.

Some of the best evidence-based treatments for dual diagnosis are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Multidimensional family therapy
  • Person-centered therapy
  • Medication assisted treatment
  • Trauma therapy

To help clients regulate their emotions and better cope with challenging situations, we also offer a wide range of alternative therapies such as:

  • Art therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Breathwork therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Outdoor therapy
  • Gardening therapy
  • Exercise
Shadow Hills Recovery is equipped to treat the most severe dual diagnoses. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about our residential treatment facility and how we can help you or a loved one heal from dual diagnosis.

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