Dual Diagnosis: How Treatment Can Help

by baladmin | January 19, 2015

What is a dual diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder, exists when a person has mental illness issues along with substance abuse problems. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), around 8.9 million adults have co-occurring disorders

How is it treated?

While medication support can be a useful tool in treating both addiction and mental illness, there are newer, holistic therapeutic modalities that have proven very successful. Some of these include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Psycho-education
  • Fitness and Nutrition
  • Life-skill building
  • Yoga and Meditation

Treating both simultaneously results in better outcomes

For years, treatment professionals debated whether they should treat the addiction or the mental illness first. Studies, experiences, and clinical experience have shown that treating both of them simultaneously determines more positive outcomes.

Mental illness issues and addiction problems intersect so completely that to not treat them at the same time puts the client and their family in an endless cycle of pain, grief, and frustration. This can be due to the issues within their family and their experience with the treatment industry.

Balboa Horizons can help

At Balboa Horizons, we have a team of state-licensed therapists that are highly trained and experienced in treating dual-diagnosis patients, which is imperative for long-term success. Our Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth J. Roberts, is a board-certified psychiatrist and has authored numerous books on the subject of co-occurring disorders and psychiatric medication.

We believe in treating the whole person – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually – and addressing dual diagnoses at the same time. The holistic-based therapies that we use have proven to empower patients and give them a lasting foundation for continued growth in recovery.