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mental health and addiction

Dual Diagnosis: Why It’s Important to Pay Attention to Mental Health and Addiction

The Importance of a Dual Diagnosis in Addiction Treatment

Drug and alcohol addiction has become a problem for people across the nation, and taking every possible step to contain the threat is vital. Addicts often seek treatment but keep falling into the same trap once they complete the program and don’t know why. Rather than being simple or straightforward, addiction is a complex issue that requires a closer look when you want to give yourself or a loved one the best odds of escaping from the issue.

Mental health and addiction are very closely linked. For many people, learning about their mental health disorders is one of the most critical factors in their path to recovery. If you have depression, anxiety or other mental health diagnoses, our experts will get to the bottom of it and treat both conditions simultaneously. Doing so will give you the skills necessary to break free from your addiction and begin your recovery. 

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Why Diagnosing Other Mental Health Issues is Important

People who have mental health conditions and don’t know about them will sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication, but they won’t always understand why they keep using harmful substances. If a rehabilitation center only treats the addiction but fails to notice the contributing factors, the patient is more likely relapse within a few days or weeks after treatment.

When you go to a treatment center that understands the connection between mental health and addiction, you will make progress faster than you once thought possible. Treating the issue that caused or contributed to your addiction will make it much easier for you to stay on the path of sobriety.

Spotting the Red Flags of Mood Disorders

Learning about mental health and addiction so that you can discuss the red flags of a mood disorder will take you far when you want to defeat your addiction. If you felt sad a lot before you became addicted to drugs or alcohol, you might be suffering from depression. Suicidal thoughts are another indication that you should look deeper than the surface of your substance issue. Those who feel nervous and uneasy without reason likely have anxiety and will need to speak with a mental health professional. Extreme mood swings and feelings of heightened confidence could point to other problems that an expert will address.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction

When people opt for our treatment programs at Desert Cove Recovery, our experts will assess the needs of each person so that they can decide the best treatment plan.  If we uncover other issues during the evaluation stage, we will treat the patient for addiction and the other mental health issue.

By customizing a program for each person, we can prepare our patients for life after the program in a way that will reduce their odds of repeating old habits. Handling other mental health problems has already improved the quality of life for many of our past patients, and we are confident that you will enjoy a similar outcome.

Our mission is to arm you with the tools that will allow you to reclaim your life and to break free from addiction and the other things that could hold you back from reaching your full potential. We care about our patients and will strive to help them achieve their short- and long-term goals. Even though recovery might seem far away, it’s closer than you think.

You Have Hope

Whether or not your addiction has another cause that you need to solve, our treatment centers are here to give you hope. Our team will work together to find an option that fits your lifestyle and needs, and you will know that you are in the right place. Likewise, if a person is not appropriate for our program or the therapies we offer, we will be up front on about this and discuss an alternate plan.

If you are like other addicts, you may be feeling lost and hopeless, but we promise that you can make it past your addiction if you allow us to guide you. Contact an admissions counselor today for help.

dual diagnosis treatment centers

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions also suffer from some sort of mental illness. The two aren’t necessarily related, but one can often worsen the other. For example, a person may start drinking to deal with the symptoms of a particular mental issue. This drinking causes the symptoms of the mental condition to become even worse, which leads to more drinking. It’s a very destructive cycle and many people don’t even know that it’s happening.

Is There A Solution?

It might seem like going to rehab for a couple of months would solve the problem, but rehab alone often isn’t enough. This is especially true when the person drinks excessively or abuses drugs because of something related specifically to their mental issue. The only reliable solution is to treat the substance abuse and the mental illness at the same time. That is where dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona come into play.

What Is Dual Diagnosis In Arizona?

A dual diagnosis center is a facility that treats mental health and alcohol addictions (or drug addictions) at the same time. These two services have traditionally been split between different facilities. The problem with that approach is that the person might leave rehab and then begin abusing drugs again before their mental condition can be treated. Prior to the rise of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona, it was nearly impossible for a patient to have their mental health and drugs addiction treated at the same time.

The Benefits Are Obvious.

A dual diagnosis center is an ideal solution if a patient suffers from a mental condition and a substance abuse problem. As a matter of fact, it may be the only way that the person can ever achieve a full and lasting recovery. The approach to recovery in these treatment centers is somewhat different than what you would expect from a traditional rehab center. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than just the basic twelve steps. The patient’s mental and emotional needs are very carefully considered, addressed, and treated.

A Step Above The 12 Steps.

There’s no denying that the 12 steps have helped millions of people deal with their addictions. However, the steps were created in the 1930’s and there was very little understanding of complex psychological problems at the time. The underlying science behind addiction and how it related to mental conditions were not fully understood. Therefore, the 12 steps do little, if anything, to address the psychological issues that can result in a drug dependency. A dual diagnosis center can still implement the 12 steps or a variation of them, but it does so with the aid of psychological and pharmaceutical tools as well.

Custom Recovery Programs Benefit Patients.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona work with patients in all states of mental health and alcohol addiction. They must create extremely personalized recovery programs for each and every patient. In a way, this makes a dual diagnosis program more ideal than a traditional rehab even for a patient without a mental condition. Because every patient who stays at a dual diagnosis center is receiving a treatment plan that was designed specifically for them.

The Follow Through Makes A Differences

It’s not uncommon for a rehab center to check a patient in and then have very little to do with them as they recover. Dual diagnosis in Arizona works very differently. Not only is the recovery program designed specifically for each individual patient, but the professionals who work at the recovery center spend a lot of time tracking the recovery and adjusting the program as needed. If something isn’t working, then they take notice and they make the necessary changes. 

Recovery Programs Built Around Proven Treatments.

The 12 steps aren’t the only way to treat the problems of an alcohol addict. There are multiple forms of therapy that have been tailored to address the underlying issues with addiction. One such line of therapy is known as cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT). This focuses on finding the habits that the addict associated with drinking and then rewiring how the brain thinks of those habits. It’s said that every addict has certain triggers that can lead to cravings. CBT can help identify these triggers and then return them to normal actions that are not associated with drugs or alcohol at all.

Helping Patients Understand Themselves.

Many patients who received a dual diagnosis had no idea they were suffering from a mental illness. That means that they likely have very little information regarding their specific condition, its symptoms, or how it can be influenced by drinking. Spending time at dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona serves as a learning experience for the patient. They learn about their specific condition and the various symptoms it has. For example, they may have suffered from anxiety or have serious panic attacks without actually knowing what was happening. After experiencing dual diagnosis in Arizona they have a full understanding of these symptoms and know how to react the next time they occur.

Getting The Right Medications.

Mental health and drugs do not work well together. When a patient who deals with both of these problems visits a traditional rehab they may be prescribed more medications to help overcome the addiction. Unfortunately, those medications may not work well with their mental condition. By visiting a dual diagnosis center they have the opportunity to receive the right medications. The doctors and therapists know more about the patient and can choose prescription drugs that are designed specifically for their conditions. That means the medications and the treatment are far more likely to succeed.

It’s The Ideal Solution.

If someone suffers from a mental condition and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then dual diagnosis in Arizona is the ideal solution. It’s the only way they can receive the absolute best care possible. Dual diagnosis centers will implement a combination of recovery programs, therapy sessions, and medications that are all designed specifically for each individual patient.

If you, or someone you love has received addiction treatment that didn’t properly equip them in recovery, it’s possible that they need dual diagnosis treatment. For information or to speak with a counselor, please give us a call at Desert Cove Recovery today.

Female College Students Targeted Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs

journalcdrugA recent study proclaimed that about 15% of female college freshmen have been sexually assaulted while they were incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. This shocking statistic displays the recklessness and disregard displayed on many college campuses today, and the problem appears to be getting worse.

The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Led by researcher Kate Carey, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, in Providence, R.I., the sample included nearly 500 female students.

They also found that about 18% had been the victims of incapacitated rape before college, of which a higher percentage were found to be the victims again in their freshmen year (41%). The biggest risk factor is heavy drinking, which is an unfortunate behavioral trait for students across the country. The authors of the study made sure to emphasize that the alcohol intake of the young women in no way excuses the crimes committed against them. Instead, the they hope that the information is used as a warning sign for young women everywhere as part of a nationwide prevention program.

Although the statistics were sampled from one particular college in New York State, the behavior is echoed nationally among students, and it is estimated that the results would be similar elsewhere as well. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) claims that there are nearly 100,000 sexual assaults and date rapes each year among college students under the influence of heavy drinking.

In many cases, the drinking habits then escalate after the victimization, often putting these young women at risk of developing a more chronic alcohol use disorder. If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol or any other drug, contact us today for more information on getting help.

DEA Reminds Us Not to Forget About Meth

methamphetamineHeroin and prescription drugs are certainly the hot topics when it comes to drug abuse in recent years, but recent comments from representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) carry a warning that methamphetamine use is on the rise again in many areas. In fact, not only is it coming over the Southwest border still, but it is reaching the outer limits of the country in rapid fashion.

Methamphetamine is a man-made drug that gives the user an intense high and feeling of euphoria. The drug is comprised of chemicals that can be found in various household items like lye, battery acid, fertilizer, rubbing alcohol, brake cleaner and other hazardous chemicals. When ingested, users initially feel a rush of euphoria, followed by an intense burst of energy that usually ends in hallucinations and paranoia. The drug is so addictive that users will go to great lengths to obtain the drug and remain high.

Methamphetamine is not new to the country of course, but the production process has changed throughout the years. In the past, it was most common for small groups to manufacture the drug and distribute it throughout their area. Sometimes addicts would make their own supply, using easy to find ingredients. In more recent years, however, the production has shifted to superlabs south of the border. Drug cartels in Mexico are now supplying methamphetamine in huge quantities right along with the heroin that has become so pervasive.

In fact, many heroin users report that meth is their next drug of choice. “Methamphetamine is a dark horse riding side by side with heroin,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug James.

So, while drug prevention efforts need to remain on heroin and prescription drugs, it is important that methamphetamine stay on the forefront as well. The insidious way that methamphetamine has of consuming a person is amplified if prevention efforts don’t remain focused there as well.

Federal Government Pushing for More Inmates to Complete Rehabilitation Programs

inmateAlthough the penal system in the United States is far from perfect, there are signs that reform may be possible. For example, recent report indicated that the Department of Justice is proposing rule changes that will enable more inmates to attend residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs while incarcerated.

The change in the regulations will take a more clinical perspective on whether or not inmates are ready to complete their treatment, as well as offer an incentive of possibly getting paroled up to a year earlier. They assert that studies show inmates who complete drug treatment are roughly 15 percent less likely to get arrested again.

One of the most criticized elements of the American criminal justice system is that it is primarily set up for punishment and failure rather than rehabilitation. Not only are recidivism rates very high, but inmate populations are mistreated and billions of dollars are paid to private corrections companies in lucrative contracts to build and house offenders.

In other words, the more people get arrested and become repeat offenders, the more money they make. People who do become rehabilitated are few compared to those who become lifetime criminals as a result.

At least this latest move by the Department of Justice shows that there is some acknowledgement of the fact that real rehabilitation, for substance abuse as well as criminal behavior, is much more beneficial for the inmates and society as a whole.

Relapse a Reoccurring Problem with Many Addicts

For those that are not addicted to drugs and/or alcohol it can be a wonder that some addicts continuously go back and forth between being sober and abusing drugs. Sometimes this rollercoaster can go on for years,. While this may seem strange to some people, it is quite a normal phenomenon to others.

Experts agree that oftentimes the addict needs to be ready and willing to handle his or her addiction before any real progress can be made, but that doesn‘t rule out an intervention. In fact, it is quite the opposite. A successful intervention results in a better family dynamic as well as the individual willing to get better. This milestone can prove to be quite challenging to arrive at without the right help, especially because addicts spend most of their life shutting everyone and everything out with the help of their drug of choice.

Avoidance of people and problems allows addicts to continue on their path to destruction. The drugs help them to not care what loved ones and family members think and feel. “When you’re addicted, you’re in love with drugs, alcohol or both and the rest of the world be damned. So it’s very self-centered,” explained Candace Hodgkins, CEO of a treatment center.

Drugs are often used as a blocker – the addict may initially seek out prescription painkillers to block pain, but eventually the pills become useful to the addict because they also block guilt, mental anguish, fears and stress. This mechanism is the same for all drugs and alcohol, yet the very substances that they feel are helping them are continuing to make everything worse.

Relapse occurs when the addict has been clean for a certain amount of time and then goes back to the same drug pattern that was present prior to treatment. The good news is that there are warning signs that relapse is on the horizon, and most successful treatment centers offer relapse prevention tools to both patients and family members.

Generally, when someone comes out of a treatment center they are given a strict calendar of continuing therapy of some type. This may include outpatient treatment, regularly attending AA or NA meetings, individual counseling or even getting and maintaining a job. If the addict stops doing these things then that is typically a sign that they are flirting with a relapse. Responsibility has a lot to do with maintaining sobriety. Additionally, the cessation of communication, angry outbursts and unexplained disappearances are signs that a relapse may have already occurred.

If you would like more information about successful rehabilitation options and tips on preventing relapse after treatment, contact us any time.

Some Diet Supplements Found to Contain Habit-Forming Pharmaceuticals

jamasupplementsDespite the FDA ruling that many diet supplements had to be recalled due to the fact that they contained pharmaceutical drugs, some of these supplements are still available to customers and oftentimes with the same or similar drugs still in them.

The rule is this; diet supplements are legal for consumption as long as they are made up of vitamins, herbs and other natural ingredients. Diet supplements go against FDA regulations if they contain any sort of pharmaceutical chemical. For instance, Mince Belle was a dietary supplement aimed at helping with weight loss. It was banned when the FDA found that one if it’s ingredients (not listed on the bottle) was sibutramine, which was a habit-forming drug that was pulled from the market.

People in our society have proven that addiction can come in many forms. Some people are heroin addicts, some are gambling addicts, some are sex addicts and some get addicted to diet pills. Diet pills can be especially addictive because they oftentimes mimic the effects of stronger stimulants. They give a person an artificial boost of energy and the person does not feel compelled to eat. Their day is spent working off the “high” the diet pills provided. Sometimes in order to get some sleep at the end of the day, the person will have to consume sleeping pills. This yo-yo way of living is not only unhealthy, but it is identical to that of a drug addict. While the FDA has worked to eliminate these types of supplements from the market it is clear that some manufacturers are still able to sell them to consumers.

A recent study conducted looked into 27 dietary supplements that had been recalled by the FDA. The reason for the recall was because all of these drugs had pharmaceutical ingredients within the supplement that was not listed on the ingredient list. Researchers wanted to see if manufacturers were still selling the supplements with pharmaceutical drugs as part of the recipe, either the same drugs that got them banned in the first place, or new pharmaceutical drugs. Of the 27 drugs tested 66.7 percent still contained pharmaceutical drugs.

It is clear that some supplement manufacturers are creating drugs being masked as supplements. These drugs can be dangerous, especially if not taken without the supervision of a physician. Taking drugs without a prescription enhances a person’s chances of becoming an addict and seeking out other street drugs to illicit the same high. It is always a good idea to become an educated consumer and research any supplement or drug you ingest, including any known side effects or potential for abuse.

Alcohol Shown to be the Most Dangerous Drug

drugharmIf asked, most Americans would state that heroin and cocaine are probably the most dangerous drugs. Surprisingly, they would be wrong. Alcohol is proving to be more dangerous than heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine or prescription drugs. A study was conducted that factored in 16 different ways in which a drug can be harmful. Based on these criteria, alcohol was demonstrably the most dangerous substance of them all.

Some examples of the criteria that were used to calculate the dangers of alcohol compared to other drugs included crime, dependence, the death rate of those that consumed the drug, injury, drug-related impairment of mental functioning and economic cost. Based on these elements and more, alcohol continues to be the most harmful drug for people overall.

Researchers in the study came up with a point system to determine how different drugs relate on the danger-scale. The study included a variety of drugs in addition to alcohol, such as heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, powder cocaine, tobacco, amphetamine, marijuana, ketamine and ecstasy. It was important for researchers to find out what drugs were most dangerous not only to the individual, but to society as well.

Addiction can be selfish disease. When a person becomes addicted to drugs and/or alcohol they tend to live life thinking about only what they want. Addicts become obsessed with obtaining their next fix. They will often stop at nothing to get the money they need in order to get the high they are seeking. This creates a very self-serving and dangerous environment for the addict’s family, friends, neighbors and the rest of society.

Interestingly, because alcohol had such a great potential to be harmful to society, when that was not taken into account, crack cocaine became the most harmful to the addict. This difference highlights that drug addiction does not just affect the user; it affects the economy, families, other drivers, healthcare costs and crime rates.