Addictions don’t develop in a vacuum. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of an addiction. Sometimes, those factors include a mental health concern. For many individuals, dual diagnosis treatment is the best way to overcome an addiction for life.

The Goals of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

woman with headache needs Dual diagnosisThere are three distinct goals for this treatment method. The first is to identify both the mental health issue and the behavioral issue. Second, the goal is to treat both simultaneously. The third goal is to enjoy better health and a life free from addiction.

Receiving dual diagnoses means that patients don’t just have one obstacle to overcome. Instead, it means that they have a mental health issue and a behavioral issue. Typically, the behavioral issue is addiction or substance abuse. The mental health issue could be depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

It’s important that both diagnoses get attention at the same time. If individuals are able to resolve the addiction issue, but still suffer with underlying depression, then relapse is much more likely. If a relapse happens, depression will likely get worse. This creates a dangerous and frustrating cycle.

The only solution is dual treatment. This helps to accomplish that third goal — lifelong sobriety for the individual.

Candidates for Treatment

Not everyone who struggles with addiction needs psychological treatment. Addiction can develop for a number of reasons, and not all of them have to do with mental health. Candidates for this form of treatment include people with both mental health and behavioral issues.

To start, candidates should be struggling with substance abuse. This could be a prescription drug addiction, an illegal drug addiction or alcohol addiction.

Beyond that, candidates should also require treatment for a mental health concern. This could include bipolar disorder, anorexia, PTSD or dissociative identity disorder, just to name a few examples.

Addressing the Root Cause of Addiction

A major benefit of addiction treatment is that it addresses the underlying issues of addiction. If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, it isn’t because you’re flawed or deficient in any way. It’s not a moral issue, and it certainly isn’t a choice.

Addiction can develop because of deep-rooted insecurity, or even as a result of PTSD. In fact, many individuals with addiction have a history of trauma. Addiction can be genetic, or it could be in part because of the social and cultural climate that a person lives in.

In psychotherapy, patients get to unravel their own health and history. Individuals can explore the factors that caused their own addiction, and begin to resolve them. Knowing why an addiction developed can make all the difference when it comes to recovery.

Confronting Mental Health to Prevent Relapse

All too often, facilities overlook mental health problems in addiction treatment. However, they are one of the biggest causes of relapse. More than half of all patients who receive addiction treatment will eventually relapse. Dual diagnosis treatment helps reduce that number.

If patients leave rehab and continue to deal with bipolar disorder or anxiety, they’re more likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Often, that means substance abuse. Treating mental health issues means removing a big obstacle on the way to sobriety.

How Dual Diagnosis Works at Soledad House

At Soledad House, women have access to comprehensive womens addiction treatment programs. If necessary, this includes dual diagnosis treatment. In addition, treatment methods include all the following:

To effectively treat an addiction, a comprehensive approach is often best. At Soledad House in San Diego, California, you can get help for addiction and mental health disorders at the same time. Call 866-314-3222 to take the next step on your path to recovery.