• Dual Diagnosis Treatment
    Recovery for mental health and addiction

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction is only a part of the problem for people with a dual diagnosis. Their mental health issues can interfere with recovery if they do not receive help for the underlying causes of their addiction. Our treatment program offers therapists who specialize in treating specific mental illnesses and their co-existing substance abuse problem. A mental health issue can make people more vulnerable to addiction and also put them at a higher risk for relapse. Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary to treat both the symptoms of their disorder and their reliance on drugs to cope with it.

Mental Health Issues and Addiction

Physical dependence on drugs is often the result of self-medicating to escape from emotional distress. Those with mental health issues use drugs as a way to ease their symptoms but end up only complicating their situation. It is common for people to experience addiction in connection with their mental illness.

Alcoholism and Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder often seek alcohol to self-medicate their extreme mood swings. Heavy drinking is closely linked to the disorder with nearly 50 percent of bipolar patients struggling with alcoholism. Drinking can complicate this mental illness and make symptoms grow more severe over time.

Depression and Alcohol

Symptoms of depression can cause people to drink as a method of temporarily improving their mood. Alcoholism and depression have a way of reinforcing one another and creating a cycle that becomes difficult to escape.

Anti-Anxiety Drug Addiction

Doctors may prescribe benzodiazepines to patients with anxiety without considering the addictive potential of these medications. Anti-anxiety drugs can lead to dependency for many people and over time frequent use can actually worsen their symptoms.

Substance Abuse and Problems with Stress

People fight stress in different ways and substance abuse can be one of the most destructive responses to stress. Drugs or alcohol can numb a person’s stress and emotions for a period of time but dependency will lead to many negative consequences. Learning healthy ways to manage stress can improve mental health and prevent relapse for people who have developed an addiction.
The recovery community at Dr. Paul's is very supportive and the staff is wonderful. I was free to be myself!
- Dr. Paul's By The Sea Alumni, 2014

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