Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts help people struggling with both addiction and mental health disorders. Experts agree that mental health disorders need simultaneous addressing when treating substance use disorder.
At Chapters Recovery Center, we provide our clients with co-occurring disorders a safe environment to overcome any mental health issues feeding their addiction. But, what are co-occurring disorders?
Jump to Section
What are Co-occurring Disorders?
Co-occurring disorders refer to having at least two mental health disorders. These disorders often overlap with symptoms beginning at the same time. However, one disorder may appear before the other.
Substance use disorders and mental health disorders have strong links. Many people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol begin using to cope with mental health issues. Co-occurring disorders typically feed off each other resulting in more severe disorders.
Why are Co-occurring Disorders Common?
When it comes to co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders.
Overlapping Risk Factors – Both addiction and mental health disorders have common risk factors such as exposure to trauma and home environment.
Self-medicating – Substance abuse often occurs because a person is trying to cope with a mental illness. However, self-medicating only masks the symptoms. At the same time, it can exacerbate short and long-term symptoms.
Brain changes – Substance use can change areas of the brain. These changes can increase the risk of developing mental illnesses. The areas most affected control a person’s mood, anxiety, impulse-control, and schizophrenia.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 9 million adults over age 18 need dual diagnosis treatment. Because the symptoms often overlap, it is best to diagnose mental health disorders when a person is free of drugs or alcohol.
Although each mental health disorder has distinct signs and symptoms, there are general signs pointing to mental health struggles.
The signs of drug and alcohol addiction vary depending on the drug. However, there are general signs to be aware of when suspecting drug addiction. These warning signs include:
Inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite trying
Withdrawal symptoms without the drug or alcohol
Difficulties at home, work, or school because of drug or alcohol use
Isolating from friends or family
Participating in risky behaviors
Not appearing intoxicated after consuming large amounts of a substance
Struggling with co-occurring disorders can compound the problems of each disorder. People in need of dual diagnosis treatment may have trouble keeping a job or housing, in relationships, and have an increased risk of suicide.
What Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders are Common with Addiction?
For decades, researchers have been studying co-occurring disorders. They found some disorders are more common in dual diagnosis treatment and alongside substance use disorders than others. The most common mental health disorders co-occurring with substance use disorder include:
Anxiety disorders – Almost 18 percent of the general population have co-occurring anxiety. For example, social anxiety has a solid link to marijuana use issues. Furthermore, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety increase the risk of co-occurring mental health disorders. For this reason, seeking help from dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts is recommended.
Mood Disorders – Nearly 20 percent of people with an addiction have a co-occurring mood disorder such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts give clients the tools to find joy in daily life.
Personality Disorders – In dual diagnosis treatment, over 35 percent of clients are treated for co-occurring personality disorders. Types of personality disorders commonly co-occurring with addiction include antisocial, borderline, and paranoid personality disorders.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – According to the National Center for PTSD, 8 out of 100 Americans struggle with PTSD. Unfortunately, people with PTSD are 14 times more likely to need dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring substance use disorder.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD is linked to earlier substance use and addiction. For example, 25 percent of adults in dual diagnosis treatment struggle with ADHD.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – OCD is one of the most common mental health disorders. It causes depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts without treatment. Coping with the symptoms of OCD is exhausting, causing many to turn to drugs or alcohol.
Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Crucial for Co-Occurring Disorders?
It’s not easy to determine whether a person’s drug or alcohol use has led them to develop a mental health condition or vice versa. In some cases, people use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or relieve the symptoms of their mental health issues.
For instance, many people find themselves turning to alcohol to find relief from anxiety or depression. Conversely, sometimes people abuse substances and develop a mental illness as a result. Meth use and cocaine use, for instance, can quickly lead to anxiety.
It’s often best to attend a dual diagnosis treatment program if you struggle with both an addiction and mental illness. If you only seek substance abuse treatment for your addiction, it is easy to relapse as you begin to face the symptoms of your mental health concern unabated by the substance. However, if you only get treatment for your mental health condition, continuing to use substances may quickly result in another or worsening mental health issues.
Levels of Care in Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in Massachusetts
According to a 2019 survey of almost 16,000 addiction treatment centers, 53 percent of them offered dual diagnosis treatment. Most dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts provide multiple levels of care, including:
Medical Detox– Medical detox typically involves around-the-clock medical supervision. Clients stay in a detox center and receive medications as needed. Medical detox provides the safest and most comfortable way to detox off drugs and alcohol.
Inpatient or residential treatment – Inpatient treatment allows clients to step away from the pressures of daily life and focus on themselves. Clients liv-in the facility for 28 days or longer and receive therapies, support, and medications to promote recovery.
Outpatient Treatment – Outpatient treatment comes in various levels. Typically clients step down into outpatient treatment after successful completion of inpatient treatment. However, inpatient treatment isn’t always an option, and treatment such as intensive outpatient therapy can benefit those in dual diagnosis treatment.
What Happens at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in Massachusetts?
Dual diagnosis treatment aims to give people the tools to maintain sobriety and manage mental health disorder symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts use treatments such as psychotherapy (individual therapy), behavioral therapies, and medications when needed.
An individualized treatment plan is developed for each client, which may include multiple therapeutic techniques such as:
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – DBT is helpful with a co-occurring borderline personality disorder. It can reduce negative behaviors such as self-harm, suicidal behaviors, and substance misuse.
Contingency Management – CM provides incentives for positive behaviors such as staying sober or avoiding self-harm.
Motivational Enhancement – This therapy helps increase the motivation to keep making positive changes.
How Do We Determine Whether You Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
When someone comes to Chapters Recovery Center, we begin by performing an intake assessment. One of our expert admissions team members will talk with you and discuss your history of addiction and mental health conditions. During this process, we gather the information necessary to inform our clinicians about your situation. We then tailor the treatments we offer to the best possible treatment for your individual needs.
Once you enroll in our treatment program, we utilize a range of evidence-based treatment options centered around The Big Book of AA. How much time you spend in therapy is largely dependent on the level of treatment you require. Our treatment options include:
Partial Hospitalization Program
Intensive Outpatient Program
It may be necessary to attend a detox program before you come to our treatment center in some circumstances. We can recommend a dual diagnosis detox program, which can ease the symptoms of your mental health condition as you go through the detox process. No matter what type of treatment you require, please contact Chapters Recovery Center for assistance.
Contact Chapters Recovery Center
At Chapters Recovery Center, we’re happy to provide the best possible treatment for each of our clients. To that end, we offer both drug and alcohol detox treatment. We tailor our services to address the unique needs of each individual who comes through our doors.
Please don’t let your addiction rule your life. With the help of Chapters Recovery Center, you can start a new chapter in your story. To learn more about dual diagnosis treatment in Massachusetts, please contact Chapters Recovery Center today or by using our online form.