Often, individuals who suffer from addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. When this happens, dual diagnosis treatment is essential for a full and healthy recovery. At Denver Recovery, we offer this type of treatment as part of our inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs.
What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
In the case of addiction, dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the substance use disorder as well as an underlying mental illness. Some of the most common mental illnesses that accompany addiction are depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Therapists and other medical professionals use dual diagnosis to better understand why a person developed an addiction in the first place and how their mental illness relates to it. In fact, many times one leads to the other.
How Addiction and Mental Illness Relate
Mental illness breeds addiction for many people. Individuals, especially teenagers and those without a solid education about mental illness, may try to self-medicate if they don’t understand their symptoms. This tendency to self-medicate leads to excessive drug or alcohol use. Through a continuous cycle of substance abuse, these individuals eventually develop an addiction to the substances that make them feel better.
On the other side of that coin, an addiction can lead to a mental illness. People who consistently use drugs and alcohol tend to isolate themselves, which is a common cause of depression. Additionally, these substances change people’s brain chemistry and knock hormones out of balance. When there’s too much or not enough dopamine in the brain, mental illness can quickly become a problem.
Treatments That Improve Co-Occurring Disorders
When therapists treat co-occurring disorders, they use a wealth of tools and strategies. One popular type of therapy for co-occurring disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps people restructure their behaviors. Often, this means being kinder to themselves and changing unhealthy thought patterns so they can see more clearly and begin making better decisions.
On-staff physicians may also prescribe certain non-addictive drugs. These drugs help balance chemicals in the brain. While these medications don’t cure mental illness, they give people a firm foundation to begin the hard work in therapy.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Denver Recovery Center
Living with co-occurring disorders including addiction can make your life feel unmanageable. At Denver Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado, we offer a variety of treatments that can help you get your feet back on the ground. You can heal mind, body, and spirit through our evidence-based treatment methods and holistic recovery.
Some of the treatments that we offer include: