Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Why It’s Necessary

Drug abuse is not a simple issue. For most of those suffering from an addiction, simply going through detox and deciding not to use again is not enough to actually curb the problem. Instead, increasing research shows that the key to long-term recovery from addiction is a combination of behavioral and mental health approaches. 

If you or a loved one are currently suffering from addiction and a mental health disorder(s), here’s what you need to know. 

What Is a Dual Diagnosis Program? 

Drug addiction and mental health issues are often referred to as Co-occurring Disorders, the two have a direct effect on each other. If the mental health aspect is left untreated, for example, affected individuals may turn back to drug abuse (either the same substance or a different one from before) in order to ease their symptoms.

Modern dual-diagnosis treatment works to prevent this by treating addiction and mental health disorders at the same time. While working on curbing addictive behavior, individuals are able to confront the mental aspect that causes the behavior in the first place.

Now, every case is different and the details of each person’s addiction treatment program will vary as a result. This is why at Grace Recovery, we take the time to diagnose patients upfront and lay out a detailed plan for recovery. Many patients will need to go through detox before intensive treatment can begin, but this stage will only be the beginning. The goal is to achieve long-term addiction recovery by getting to the root of the problem and treating it accordingly. What follows is often a combination of group and individual therapy, mental health counseling (and as needed, medical care), and behavioral therapy.

What Are the Benefits?

The primary benefit of dual-diagnosis treatment is the increased likelihood of long-term addiction recovery. That said, there are other benefits to consider as well:

  • Individualized care – A dual-diagnosis program acknowledges that there are many different root causes of addiction and works to treat them on a more personal level than other kinds of addiction treatment programs. 
  • Better understanding of your condition – Many people abuse substances without fully being able to explain why. A dual-diagnosis program can bring peace of mind by helping you better understand your behavior and how you can regain control.
  • Steady progress – Because the treatment goes beyond just detox, patients are able to take the time to really change. Each day is a new opportunity to learn new skills and make progress. 
  • Improve health – Health is both in the body and the mind. A dual-diagnosis program covers both and helps patients become healthier in every aspect. 

Why Is It Necessary?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 10 million American adults suffer from both a mental illness and drug abuse problem every year. And that’s just including those who were officially diagnosed with both kinds of disorders. Many of those suffering from addiction do not even have the opportunity for their mental health to be examined, allowing the lead cause to go ignored. And because dual-diagnosis programs are still relatively new, many other people still do not have the opportunity to treat both areas, thus letting the vicious cycle of addiction continue.

But while many of today’s addiction treatment programs are based on older research and focus on addiction’s physical aspects, the dual-diagnosis programs that are rising up provide a source of hope. As mentioned earlier, it is imperative to treat the root cause of drug abuse in order to successfully end it. Research also shows that individuals who focus on changing their behavior while identifying their mental urge to abuse drugs and alcohol at the same time have higher long-term success rates. This focused treatment then flows into aftercare, which often include mental health counseling for months or even years following the initial treatment program. Dual-diagnosis treatment is therefore necessary, and without it, relapse rates remain all too high. 

Let Us Help

We pride ourselves on going far beyond basic addiction treatment at Grace Recovery. Our approach diagnoses both addiction and the mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) that go in conjunction. Patients are then able to undergo intensive treatment in both areas at our state-of-the-art facility in Hollywood, CA. We believe that dual-diagnosis treatment is not just beneficial — it is necessary for long-term recovery. We invite you to get in touch to learn more about how we can help you. 


Talking About Anxiety

Anxiety: it’s real and it can make you feel absolutely terrible. Constant worrying, feeling like something is always wrong, and obsessive thoughts are all feelings caused by being anxious. It can be difficult to articulate how you’re actually feeling when you’re anxious. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about their anxiety because they’re scared of sounding ridiculous. At Grace Recovery, we want to end the stigma of anxiety being made up or ridiculous. We know the cure to anxiety isn’t being told “you worry too much” or “stop worrying, it doesn’t matter”. Your feelings do matter. 

If you’re currency struggling with anxiety, it’s important to talk about it. There are also certain coping techniques that can help minimize your anxiety. 

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that you can develop. About 19% of adults in the past year had anxiety disorder and 31% of adults have experienced some form of an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. So, the next time you’re worried that no one will understand what you’re going through, try to remember that you’re definitely not alone in this. 

Anxiety is feelings of worry and fear. Since anxiety can be a reaction to a stressful situation, everyone will experience anxiety from time to time. If you have a big presentation coming up at work or if you have a child who is often sick, you’ll probably feel anxious and that’s ok. Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety, go beyond feelings of being worried and nervous. 

Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, is exaggerated worry and tension for months on end. GAD can be diagnosed when a person spends six months or more worrying about something without a specific focus or fear. 

In addition, people who suffer from anxiety may also suffer from panic attacks from time to time. These are intense moments of anxiety that lead to sweating, fear, a rising heart rate, and shortness of breath. These are often broken by benzodiazepines such as Xanax; however, these medications are addictive and should not be used as a long-term solution.

Effects of Anxiety

While anxiety affects your mental health, it can also affect your physical health. The constant worrying and stress can cause muscle aches, headaches, hot flashes, and even high blood pressure. 

Anxiety can affect your personal and professional relationships as well. If you’re experiencing tremendous anxiety and are unable to go to social events or be with friends, they may feel like you’re being distant. If you’re anxious and unable to focus at work, your job performance may start to decline. Because of this, it’s important to let those around you know how you’re feeling. 

Reach Out and Get Help

Don’t be afraid to talk about anxiety, you have nothing to be ashamed of. The more you keep it inside and bottled up, the worse it can get. You’ll be surprised at how reliving it can be to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m anxious. I am experiencing anxiety”. It will probably provide immediate, temporary, relief. 

Confiding in friends or family and seeking professional help is also extremely helpful when dealing with anxiety. Your friends and family will be happy to support you and provide a shoulder to lean on. A therapist or counselor will be able to help you dig a little deeper and try to figure out why you’re experiencing anxiety in the first place. You can then work together to figure out the coping skills you need to feel better.

Exercise, meditation, and yoga are all also great activities to do when you’re feeling anxious. Exercising will help release the happy chemicals in your brain. Meditation and yoga are amazing tools to clear your head and lessen your worries. 

Let Us Help

At Grace Recovery, we are an addiction treatment program based out of the heart of Hollywood, CA. We know that addiction has the potential to impact anyone in the Los Angeles, CA area which is why we are here to help. We provide luxurious amenities along with the latest in substance abuse programming at our detoxification and residential inpatient addiction treatment programs. If you are looking for help with mental health issues, substance abuse, or addiction recovery, please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!