Tag Archives: dual diagnosis

Gaming Addiction to be Classified as a Mental Health Condition

Spending time with our screens has become a regular part of our lives. Some of us even joke that we spend so much time with them, we are addicted to our devices. However, gaming addiction is a very real issue for some people, and experts have determined that it is rooted in a mental health condition.

Therapists and other health professionals have become aware that overuse of electronic devices poses health risks. In 2013, Internet Addiction Disorder was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

Gaming Disorder will be classified as a mental health condition in the 2018 edition of the International Classification of Diseases. The list, which is published by the WHO (World Health Organization), will include several additions.

Definition of Gaming Disorder

The draft form of the entry states that if someone has a gaming disorder, they make gaming a priority “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests.” This is similar to other addictions, whether they include substances or processes.

Lure of Gaming Appealing for All Ages

Most people are able to enjoy video games as a source of entertainment and then return to their everyday activities. Over time, the experience of playing the games provides an escape from everyday stresses and strong emotions. Children, teens and adults can end up turning to gaming as a coping strategy to escape other problems or unwanted situations.

When someone becomes addicted to online gaming, they become disconnected from the real world. Over time, someone in this situation develops a warped perception of real-world interactions; much of their time and attention focuses on characters and story lines in their online game environments.

With the new classification from the WHO and gaming addiction being recognized as a mental health condition, more people will be able to get help. With treatment, someone with a gaming addiction can re-engage with loved ones.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

We often see people who have process addictions such as this also have substance use disorders of varying levels. This common occurrence is why we have a dual diagnosis program.

12 step program

Why the 12-Step Program Works

The 12-Step Program Works for Many. Find Out Why…

If you are battling a drug or substance addiction and want to make positive changes so that you can put your problem in the past, you are likely curious about the benefits of the 12-step program. When you realize you need help and decide to seek treatment, the program will help you make it past the most difficult parts of recovery to give you the best odds of reaching your goal.

A trained and caring expert will learn about you and your addiction to put together a treatment plan that’s right for you. Not only will you learn to accept the problem you are facing, but you will also realize how turning your life to God will give you the power to break free. 

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You Will Learn Acceptance

Denial is the worst enemy of addicts because it prevents them from taking the right steps to cure their problem. In simple terms, you need to know that an issue exists before you can have any hope of solving it. Addicts often read self-help books or watch videos online so that they can get rid of their addiction, but those methods rarely work.

The help of a professional, caring support staff and faith in God are the elements that lead to recovery from addiction, but you must accept that you are in trouble before you can find an answer. When you come to our addiction treatment program, we will utilize the 12-steps as a way to help you celebrate the fact that you are powerless to overcome your addiction alone.

You Will Take a Realistic Look at Your Choices

Many people stay trapped in addiction because they refuse to take a realistic look at their choices and how they have impacted others. Looking at the truth can be a painful experience at first but will get easier with time. Taking inventory of the decisions you have made as a result of your addiction can motivate you to make better choices in the future. Desert Cove Recovery’s addiction treatment program will inspire you to forgive yourself for everything that you have done, but we will also encourage you to make things right.

You Will Repair the Damage

When addicts try to fix their lives and repair their relationships, the guilt of their past often haunts them, which can cause further stress and depression. Some people will then return to drug use to combat the negative feelings, allowing the cycle to repeat. We believe that an effective addiction treatment must address all of the problems and emotions caused by the addiction.

Our team will invite you to make a list of each person you harmed because of your addiction and encourage you to reverse the damage. For some people, this means apologizing for past mistakes and promising not to repeat them. For others, making things right can involve repaying money they might have borrowed. Only you can decide what path is right, and you will know in your heart what you must do.

You will Learn That You Are Not Alone

Guilt, shame and feelings of worthlessness are common among addicts who feel as though their addiction is a sign of failure. One of the best ways to overcome negative emotions is to realize that you are not alone in your problem. Knowing that others have faced your battle and made it to the other side will give you the inspiration you need to keep pushing yourself forward.

You will get the chance to speak with people who are going through addiction and to understand that you are not the only person with these thoughts and feelings. The sense of unity that you will get from our program will give you the strength and courage to turn your life around.

You Will Monitor Your Progress

In addition to looking at your past choices and how they have affected others, you will also learn to monitor your progress. Each decision you make will either move you toward your goal or away from it, and keeping that fact at the front of your mind will enhance your odds of success. You will take inventory of your life every day and correct your path when needed, and you will know that you are doing the right thing.

Being Proactive

Each minute that an addiction remains untreated makes it a little harder for the addict to reverse the damage, so you won’t want to waste time. You can reach out to us right away to learn more about our program and what we can do to help. Addiction is a disease that impacts the mind and clouds judgment, but working with caring professionals and putting your life in God’s hands will enable you to escape from the struggle of addiction.

No matter your situation or the length of time for which you have been addicted, our proven system can give you the answer for which you have been searching. Your addiction does not need to define or control you anymore. We are excited to work with you and invite you to pick up the phone and give us a call, as soon as possible.

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.

Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use Linked to Schizophrenia Risk: Study

substance abuse and shizophreniaThe results of new research released at the annual International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy in October. They indicate that illicit drug and alcohol use can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. The study was conducted by Dr Stine Mai Nielsen and Professor Merete Nordentoft of the Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Center Copenhagen in Gentofte, Denmark, and their colleagues.

In the past, research has focused on potential links between addiction and this major mental illness. Due to limitations in study methods used in previous research, it had remained uncertain whether a link existed.

In the Copenhagen University study, researchers were able to establish a group of more than three million people to study. Of these, 204,505 had substance abuse issues and 21,305 had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Study Results Found Increased Risk of Dual Diagnosis Developing Later

The study authors found that when someone is diagnosed with a substance abuse issue, their risk of developing schizophrenia also increases. The risk factors break down as follows:

  • Any substance – 6 times
  • Cannabis – 5.2 times
  • Alcohol – 3.4 times
  • Hallucinogens – 1.9 times
  • Sedatives – 1.7 times
  • Amphetamines – 1.24 times
  • Other substances – 2.8 times

The authors stated, “The increased risk was found to be significant even 10 to 15 years after a diagnosis of substance abuse. Our results illustrate robust associations between almost any type of substance abuse and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.”

They went to say that it was impossible to state with certainty whether alcohol or substance abuse causes the schizophrenia. People who are at higher risk of developing this type of mental health concern may be more likely to turn to substances to self-medicate. It’s also possible that the same person could be at higher risk for both substance abuse and schizophrenia and develop both conditions. Each of these explanations could be correct, and the relationship between substance abuse and schizophrenia is a complicated one.

If you or a loved one are living with a substance abuse issue and a mental health concern, help is available. Contact us today for more information about our dual diagnosis treatment options.

Young People With Mental Disorders More Likely to Abuse Drugs

Co-Occurring DisordersChildren and teenagers who have been treated for a mental disorder are more likely to abuse drugs, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They discovered that mental illness among young people can cause them to seek out the medicinal effects of narcotics at a higher rate than those that have not had a mental illness. This information is intended to be a warning to parents. Knowing that your child is suffering, or has suffered, from a mental illness means parents should be especially watchful of potential substance abuse issues.

Researchers of the study gathered information from more than 10,000 teens. They found that there was a significant relationship between mental illness and drug and alcohol dependence and noted that prior to first alcohol or drug use, mental illness was already present and documented. According to the study that appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, two thirds of teenagers with substance abuse problems also had some form of mental disorder.

“Recognizing anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders – and even the symptoms of these conditions – in youth and helping children to cope, treating them when necessary, is the best approach because then they will be less likely to seek drugs and alcohol to treat the symptoms of these conditions,” explained study author Kathleen R. Merikangas, PhD.

This is further evidence to support the need for treating co-occurring disorders as well as incorporating more drug abuse prevention measures for young people dealing with other issues.

Treating Alcoholism and PTSD

Those who struggle with an alcohol addiction and also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have often struggled to tackle either of their issues, let alone both of them at the same time. The duality of these two problems can make treating them very challenging. Researches have been looking into possible solutions to these problems and the growing population of people who are addicted to alcohol and have PTSD.

Research like the kind that is being conducted at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina is vital for the long term physical and mental health of those that struggle with an alcohol use disorder and post-traumatic stress.

A combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aimed at treating substance abuse and exposure therapy aimed at treating PTSD seems to be the most effective approach. Attacking the problems individually allows for each issue to receive adequate treatment. Concurrent Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE) is the name researchers have given this two-pronged attack to the problems. The research shows that after several months of administering this type of therapy to individuals, many experienced significant gains in mental health.

There are other types of treatment that have shown positive results as well. Some researchers have made headway when administering certain kinds of blood pressure medication in conjunction with therapy. A specific study showed that those that received clonidine had longer time between relapses and stayed sober for longer and reported less stress. While these studies are still in the early stages, it does appear that treating both problems at once is possible.

In the past, many people were concerned about those who suffered from co-occurring disorders. Figuring out which problem to treat first proved to be difficult. Treating the addiction first oftentimes got the person out of immediate danger and allowed them to better focus on their therapy. However, some people argued that treating the mental disorder first allows for better and longer lasting treatment of the addiction. More information seems to indicate that both issues should be addressed concurrently for the best results, though the types of therapies used can vary widely.

Income Bracket Can be Affected by Substance Abuse and Depression

Many people set the course of their lives when they are in their early twenties. That is the time when they decide to complete college, gain valuable knowledge in internships and first real-world jobs, start learning the importance of networking and making good connections. Hopefully somewhere in there they start earning a decent living and begin saving money as well. However, a new study shows that those who suffer from an addiction and mental health issues during their early twenties have a much more difficult time securing their future and are more likely to end up in lower income brackets by the time they are middle-aged.

“In the United States, co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders impact around nine million people each year, yet these disorders are still generally treated separately. How we treat these dual disorders can have a significant impact on people’s ability to earn a livelihood,” explained Dr. Dagher, the author on the study that was conducted at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

This information is important because many people who are suffering from an addiction to drugs also display symptoms of depression and other behavioral disorders. In a society where the economy is constantly in question, and in an age where employers are having a harder time finding qualified employees, it is necessary to isolate any potential problems in the future workforce. Additionally, for those who are struggling with substance abuse it is important to be aware of yet another reason to handle their addiction.

The authors of the study, which appeared in the journal Psychiatry Research, state that those who address their co-occurring issues of addiction and depression generally do not experience the same difficulty regarding income bracket as those who never seek help for their problems. The researchers found that there were more periods of unemployment as well as a greater likelihood of lower income jobs.

The authors of the study hope that this information will push policymakers to allot more funds for treatment so as to stop potential socioeconomic problems in the future.

Percentage of Treatment Facilities Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders Increasing

typeofserviceschartAccording to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the percentage of drug and alcohol rehab centers that also treatment mental health issues increased from 29 percent to 32 percent during the last four years. The trend appears to continue the growth in that direction.

Critics say that people are being over-diagnosed with mental disorders and then overly medicated. Whether or not there is any truth to that, the usefulness of identifying symptoms and finding effective treatments for them still remains. In the case of co-occurring substance abuse and other mental health issues, there are many different ways to address these and can usually be developed on an individual basis.

The tools available for treating behavioral health conditions are vast, and finding the right recovery center with experienced professionals can be essential. Desert Cove Recovery has a clinical team that will customize a dual-diagnosis treatment program for each individual.

These individualized treatment plans may include any combination of a number of approaches such as group counseling, private therapy sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy, appropriate medications, social skills training, relapse prevention and more.

Contact us today for more information about how we successfully treat co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.