Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Uncovering co-occurring disorders with the use of dual diagnosis treatment is a staple of our offerings at Ripple Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Ripple Ranch

Dual diagnosis is a method of treatment in which a person is diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder (e.g., alcohol use disorder and generalized anxiety disorder). Dual diagnosis treatment can be tricky, but with the right team around you, a better life can be achieved.

While facing both disorders, treatment becomes a little more complex as both must be treated at the same time. Unfortunately, until the past 25-30 years, centers were not built to treat both disorders simultaneously. Finding and treating both conditions is actually a relatively new idea in the grand scheme of recovery.

In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths were reported in the United States. In Texas, more than 1,400 lives were lost to opioid use alone with many more lives lost to alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and more.

Of those 1,400-plus people, many were faced with a dual diagnosis, whether they knew it or not

Ripple Ranch Recovery is proud to offer our patients the chance to not only reach recovery from their addiction but also uncover or treat co-existing mental health disorders. 

Are Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders the Same Thing?

The term dual diagnosis was first coined in the 1980s. Since then, there has been confusion about the mixing of the terms “dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorders.” Co-occurring disorders is now used more commonly, though it’s the same thing as dual diagnosis.

Why Do Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders Happen Together?

This is hard to determine. We can assume that a person may turn to substance use in order to inappropriately cope with their underlying mental health disorder, but this is not the case in all instances.

In fact, while the two occur together, a person may face two disorders that are not caused by one another at all. Sometimes it can even be hard to determine which came first.

Highly skilled and trained medical professionals and researchers often conclude in agreement that the following are true when discussing dual diagnosis treatment:

     1.) There are common risk factors that may contribute to either or both mental health disorders and substance use disorders
               a.) Factors include trauma, stress, and genetics (inborn traits passed down from generation to generation)
     2.) Mental health can contribute to substance use and misuse
     3.) Substance use can contribute to the development of mental health disorders

How Is a Dual Diagnosis Made?

A qualified psychiatrist, physician, psychologist, counselor, or therapist can assess you for a dual diagnosis. Having a dual diagnosis can be incredibly helpful in overcoming a substance use disorder and will help in the long run of facing a mental health disorder.

Facing depression will get better with the help of medication and therapy, as will the substance use disorder you face.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

The most important task in treating a dual diagnosis is that you treat both conditions simultaneously. Only in recent times have treatment centers become capable of providing such treatment, yet still many do not.

At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we are happy to offer dual diagnosis treatment so you or your loved one can be assured of being given the best chance at long-term recovery.

Without treating one or the other in a dual diagnosis, there is an increased risk of worsened or returning symptoms.

As mentioned earlier, while not a constant, there are times when an addiction is rooted in coping with an underlying, or co-occurring, disorder. Without treating the underlying condition, it may leave the person in treatment without an option but to return to drug use. This begins a vicious and potentially fatal cycle.

Treatment for a patient with a dual diagnosis at Ripple Ranch Recovery is completely personalized for each individual. Treatment will include a mix of the following evidence-based therapies.

  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Life-skills training

Along with these evidence-based treatments, we offer alternative methods of treatment that we at Ripple Ranch believe provide patients with a more holistic form of treatment. These include:

  • Holistic therapies that address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs
  • Yoga, tai chi, exercise, and more
  • 12-step programs
  • Alternative 12-step programs

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Our team is standing by to teach you more about what we offer and help you figure out a care plan that will be most effective for you and your unique situation.

The Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders

The most common combinations of co-occurring disorders that are uncovered with dual diagnosis treatment are a mix of substance use disorder with any of the following:

  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders and mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

While any mix of these can happen, a common link has been found in studies between children with ADHD and eventual substance use.

Many studies, including this one by the American Academy of Pediatrics, explain the increased risk for developing substance use disorders is there for people dealing with neurobehavioral disorders such as ADHD. This is most notable in children. 

The study also finds that if a child is given treatment for ADHD, whether it be medication or therapy, their risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life is decreased.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports from studies that placing a child on medication for ADHD, such as an amphetamine, while addictive in nature itself, does not increase the risk of substance use disorders.

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How Common Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Depending on where you look, you may find different answers to “How common are co-occurring disorders?”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that according to their 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 9.2 million American adults have a co-occurring disorder.

SAMHSA adds, “People with substance use disorders are at particular risk for developing one or more primary conditions or chronic diseases. People with mental illness are more likely to experience a substance use disorder than those not affected by a mental illness.”

NIDA also shows the prevalence of co-occurring disorders with astounding numbers – just reported slightly differently from the way SAMHSA reports them.

According to NIDA, of the 20.3 million adults with substance use disorders, 37.9% also had mental illnesses, and among the 42.1 million adults with mental illness, 18.2% also had substance use disorders.

Both mental health disorders and substance use disorders are on the rise in the United States. While facing either comes with the need to seek treatment, the need for treatment when facing co-occurring disorders is dire. Unfortunately, in a lot of instances, people with a substance use disorder do not realize there is an underlying mental health disorder.

NIDA also provides the following information:

  • 52.5% of those with co-occurring conditions received no treatment
  • 34.5% of those with co-occurring conditions received mental health care only
  • 9.1% of those with co-occurring conditions received both mental health care and substance use treatment
  • 3.9% of those with co-occurring conditions received substance use treatment only

Call Ripple Ranch Recovery Today

Ripple Ranch Recovery Center, located in Comal County, Texas, a short distance from Austin and San Antonio, offers personalized, effective, and innovative solutions for anyone that may be facing co-occurring disorders. We have inpatient and outpatient offerings that include evidence-based treatments to set you on the path to lifelong recovery. 

Call us today at 830-302-3591 if you or a loved one is ready to reclaim control of their life.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Our team is standing by to teach you more about what we offer and help you figure out a care plan that will be most effective for you and your unique situation.

FAQ

How do you treat a dual diagnosis?

The most important task in treating a dual diagnosis is that you treat both conditions simultaneously. Treating only one can cause an increased chance of worsened or returning symptoms of the other.

Many times, addiction is rooted in coping with an underlying, or co-occurring, mental health disorder. Without treating the underlying condition, it may leave the person in treatment without an option but to return to drug use. This begins a vicious and potentially fatal cycle.

What is the best treatment for co-occurring disorders?

Treating co-occurring disorders is best done with evidence-based treatments like one-on-one therapy, group therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and life-skills training. Alternative treatments may also help. These include trauma-informed yoga, tai chi, and exercise.

What are the most common conditions with a dual diagnosis?

The most common combinations of co-occurring disorders that are uncovered with dual diagnosis treatment are a mix of substance use disorder with any of the following:

  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Anorexia, bulimia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders and mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

What is the new term for dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis was first coined in the 1980s. Since then, there has been confusion about the mixing of the terms “dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorders.” Co-occurring disorders is now used more commonly, though it is the same thing as dual diagnosis. 

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