Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Centers
Co-Occurring Disorders & Drug Abuse Treatment
Addiction Rehab, Comorbidity & Mental Health
Many recovery centers say they have dual-diagnosis treatment centers, but too often these otherwise comorbid disorders facilities only treat chemical dependency -- i.e., substance use, drug abuse and drug dependence, and therefore only secondarily assess and treat mental health issues, such as psychiatric and organic disorders. One client shared: “I was going to meetings and I got a sponsor. I told him that I’d been diagnosed as bipolar and he was like, ‘Really. I don’t believe in that. There’s only one disease and it’s called Alcoholism.’ Looking back, I’m not mad at him. He’s still my sponsor and I still go to meetings, but I need extra help.” Morningside specializes in offering this extra help by offering dual-diagnosis treatment centers. We know the "labels" co-occurring disorder, concurrent disorder, co-morbid disorder, dually diagnosed – these diagnoses are not as critical as the research that demonstrates that more than half of all individuals who enter evidence-based addiction treatment have at least one mental disorder in conjunction (i.e., concurrent) with their addiction illness (disease of addiction). For clients suffering from a mood, thought or anxiety disorder in conjunction with an alcohol or drug problems, we embrace a total recovery model. Our dual-diagnosis treatment centers address substance abuse and mental health issues on an equal basis. We don’t view comorbid mental health issues as merely a symptom of drug and alcohol dependency, nor vice versa. We treat people as they are, for each and all of their respectively unique issues, obstacles and health concerns.
Dual Diagnosis: Customized & Evidence-Based
Morningside Recovery offers a fully-customized dual-diagnosis treatment center facility program that delivers an individual, personal approach to the treatment of clients with a dual diagnosis disorder. Clients who arrive without a diagnosis receive comprehensive psychological and psychiatric assessments that include an in-depth health review and personal history assessment. Clients with an existing diagnosis still receive assessment, and the results of all testing guide an interdisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and chemical dependency counselors in the creation of an individualized plan of treatment, our evidence-based approach to therapy planning. For both new and existing diagnoses, these diagnostic assessments help determine which of our dual-diagnosis treatment plans will work best for our clients, in all phases of their personal recovery, whether their respective drug dependencies stem from depressants (e.g., opiates, alcohol, or benzodiazepines), stimulants (e.g. cocaine, amphetamines), hallucinogens (mescaline, LSD, ecstasy) and other substances (such as marijuana).
Morningside Recovery's dual-diagnosis center treatment plans are tailored to each client’s specific requirements, based on the type of substance abuse and regardless of the severity of the co-occurring disorder. For example, a client suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder will receive care for both his mood disorder and addiction. In some treatment centers, only one of the two problems is identified and treated. With Morningside’s evidence-based, combined approach, both issues are addressed simultaneously.
Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health Treatment
This practice avoids a common problem in treating a dual diagnosis: Clients frequently admit to addiction issues in order to avoid mental health issues, and after putting together 30, 60 or 90 days they drop out of treatment without ever receiving, nor requesting, the help they need. Similarly, a client just may reject his or her diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or depression because it is more "ego acceptable" to be a labeled as an alcoholic/individual with alcoholism. The importance of treating both issues at once (i.e., a "dual-diagnosis") is also obvious when considering that psychosis or depression interferes with the client’s ability to fully participate in their very own recovery. Thus, in Morningside’s dual-diagnosis treatment center's system-of-care, each Phase includes elements that address each illness, and deal with the shifts in symptoms' severity that arise during recovery.
At Morningside, clients receive regular and ongoing intensive psychotherapy to develop skills they can use to manage symptoms associated with their dual disorder. All therapy and curriculum is research-based. One modality Morningside therapists use is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which research has demonstrated is effective at treating a variety of co-occurring disorders. In particular, clients with a mental illness find that CBT provides the skills to get the relief they were perhaps seeking through drugs or alcohol. These skills help them meet the world in realistic terms, instead of seeking the temporary relief of substance abuse. CBT is flexible yet specific, which is necessary for the many possible combinations of co-occurring disorders.
Clients learn how to handle real-life situations by taking charge of their disease and recognizing symptoms. CBT is also compatible with any necessary medications, so that while learning skills for non-pharmacological symptom management clients can also receive a progressive medication approach. For example, drugs don’t cure schizophrenia, but an imbalance of brain chemicals can benefit from medication. With this in mind, the clinical team assesses the comprehensive profile of each client. Considerations include a client’s age, gender, body chemistry, diet, and addiction history. The clinical team formulates a therapy plan that takes into account the effect of medication(s).
Phase I for clients in our dual-diagnosis treatment centers is designed to incorporate healthy activities into each day. Clients can participate in a sunrise meditation overlooking the beach, attend an AA/NA 12-Step meeting, hit the gym, or just relax along the Pacific Ocean's coastline. Every week, the staff leads groups on a variety of experiential activities, such as hiking, bowling, swimming, biking, rock-wall climbing or surfing. These activities are more than mere diversions. The activities serve experiential therapeutic ends as well. Some client clients even cut loose with whale watching or trips to Six Flags, Magic Mountain, or over at Disneyland, both very close by, in Southern California. Clients also receive instruction and support on nutrition, in recognition that eating well is an essential part of mental health. Clients learn to shop for fresh foods and how to plan meals to include the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Learning how to shop for groceries -- with nutrition in mind -- and basic food preparation skills are invaluable steps towards sober independence for many clients.
Dual Diagnosis: Treatment & the Family
The family is a big part of the approach offered at Morningside's dual-diagnosis treatment centers, with client and family input becoming an integral part of the planning process. During the Morningside Family Program the client and their loved ones have an opportunity to participate in family education as well as individualized family therapy with the client's primary therapist and Morningside's Family Relationship Specialists. Family involvement helps define, process and repair much of the dysfunction that occurs within families as a result of untreated mental illness and addiction. Our dual-diagnosis treatment centers also assist the family anticipate the new life skills their loved one will bring home as a productive member of their community.