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Dual Diagnosis

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Introduction to Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Addiction and mental health disorders aren’t mutually exclusive and when one is disregarded in favor of treating just the other, it puts recovery on shaky footing. Not only that, but it also significantly increases the likelihood and risk of relapse.

That’s what defines a dual diagnosis, or comorbidity as it’s sometimes referred to; it’s the co-occurrence of a mental health condition and a substance use disorder.

Dual diagnosis is by no means a rare happening either, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes:

  • 7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders
  • Of the 20.3 million adults with substance use disorders, 37.9% also had mental illnesses
  • Among the 42.1 million adults with mental illness, 18.2% also had substance use disorders

They add that “multiple national population surveys have found that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa”.

This correlation isn’t necessarily causation but it very could be the case for some.

People with mental illness may turn to drugs as a coping mechanism to alleviate their burden and suffering or, vice versa, prolonged drug use or alcoholism can lead to a person developing a mental illness or issues like paranoia, anxiety, depression and more as NIDA points out.

Moreover, there are common and overlapping risk factors – such as genetics, traumatic experiences or stress – that contribute to the development of both addiction and mental disorders.

The “dual” in dual diagnosis is also descriptive of how treatment happens, in that they’re treated together, combining rehab for substance abuse with robust mental health care to tackle these issues simultaneously.

Whether it’s depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, personality disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or any other type of mental health condition that might befall you, leaving the mental illness untouched so to speak, is equivalent in some ways to leaving the substance use disorder untouched too.

The same goes for the opposite scenario, trying to treat mental illness without discontinuing your drug or alcohol use is ultimately a losing battle. 

Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Needed?

To understand why dual diagnosis treatment is necessary for those with co-occurring disorders, it’s instructive to look at NIDA’s description of comorbidity, one which goes a bit deeper; it’s “when a person has two or more disorders at the same time or one after the other. This occurs frequently with substance use and mental disorders. Comorbidity also means that interactions between these two disorders can worsen the course of both”.

The latter part, the potential worsening of both conditions, is a core reason why dual diagnosis treatment is imperative.

Mental illness and addiction aren’t static. They just don’t stop at a certain point of severity, acknowledge that they’ve done enough damage and stop wreaking havoc on your life or the life of a loved one.

Substance abuse can, of course, be fatal in its own right. Look no further than the opioid epidemic and the tens of thousands of lives lost each year to it. Likewise, mental illness can lead to suicide which is already a leading cause of death in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Taking just one example, depression, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that “about 60 percent of people who commit suicide have had a mood disorder (e.g., major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia)”, additionally, “younger persons who kill themselves often have a substance abuse disorder, in addition to being depressed”.

The interconnection between the two, no matter how they came to be intertwined in the first place, is why specific and expert care is crucial to getting the best results.

Dual diagnosis treatment in NJ is what ticks that box. 

It’s a specialized type of rehab that’s designed to address both of these challenging disorders at the same time, giving equal attention to the substance use disorder and the mental disorder. Taking this sort of integrated approach means working to understand how and why they’re connected, how they compound and amplify the effects of each other and, from there, beginning to treat both.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in NJ

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What to Expect From a Luxury
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in NJ

Dual diagnosis rehab in NJ at our luxurious Freehold rehab facility starts with an evaluation.

Knowing and being able to identify the nature of the particular mental disorder you’re suffering with, and the severity of it is vital in developing an individualized treatment plan for you. One that truly hones in on your unique circumstances.

Before getting started with our team of master’s level clinicians, you’ll go through the process of detoxification. It may be stating the obvious but regardless of whether you’re getting treated solely for substance abuse or a dual diagnosis, detox is a strict requirement. Breaking your body’s physical addiction to drugs or alcohol precedes any treatment for your mental state.

When it comes to the specifics of the rehab program, each facility has its own approach and philosophy but many dual diagnosis treatment centers in NJ and elsewhere rely on some version of talk therapy as their base. At Relevance Recovery, that’s exactly what you’ll find.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an incredibly highly regarded, evidence-based approach that works wonders for a dual diagnosis. The idea is to modify and change the harmful feelings, beliefs, thoughts and patterns of behavior by talking through them. Learning to acknowledge the distortions in your thinking that might’ve created problems. Understanding the motivation of your behavior. Facing fears and developing confidence.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is similarly aimed at creating change but that shift is related more to the emotional side of addiction and mental illness. DBT is meant to help you live in the moment.

These types of talk therapy will happen in one-on-one sessions with our trained and compassionate addiction specialists so you can feel comfortable, safe and at ease to share and talk through these difficult topics and issues.

There will also be group sessions to show that you’re not alone in this and that there are people going through the same thing who genuinely do understand and commiserate with you. It’s a powerful thing to be able to make connections with those who’ve had similar life experiences and be able to support one another on the way to both sobriety and mental clarity as well as stability.

We also utilize Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) to help you challenge self-defeating thinking, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) to teach self-acceptance, Motivational Interview (MI) and more.

On top of those more traditional methods of therapy, we incorporate holistic and complementary treatment that goes beyond talk and taps into soothing the human spirit. Things like:

  • Equine therapy
  • Yoga
  • Music therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Meditation

We Work with Most Major Insurance Carriers

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in NJ

Completely Heal with Dual Diagnosis Treatment in NJ

The ability to completely heal is based on the idea of healing all of you, the whole person.

To that end, dual diagnosis treatment at Relevance Recovery does more than just help you overcome mental illness and addiction; our integrated approach incorporating holistic methods really serves to see and address you in totality.

If you’d like to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment, reach out to us today.