Dual Diagnosis Treatment in San Diego

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A man rests his arms on an outdoor porch as he contemplates dual diagnosis treatment in San Diego.

Mental illness often goes hand in hand with addiction. Individuals with depression may come to rely on legal or illicit stimulant drugs to get through the day. Those with anxiety may struggle with insomnia or have difficulty relaxing, so they might rely on heavy drinking to help them unwind or numb their emotions. For those who have experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse or childhood trauma, using drugs and alcohol might feel like an easy and reliable strategy for coping with triggers.

While we may not know which condition presented itself first, if left untreated, both issues can easily spiral out of control. For someone with mental health issues and a substance use disorder, recovery can seem like a daunting prospect, but a two-pronged approach that addresses both issues is key to breaking free from addiction and living a sober and fulfilling life.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

In dual diagnosis treatment programs, mental illness and substance abuse are treated simultaneously. By treating both mental health conditions and substance abuse issues, dual diagnosis treatment centers can design individualized programs that make addiction treatment more effective and give patients a better shot at long term sobriety.

Mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others, can significantly impact an individual’s ability to live a normal life. If someone with a mental health disorder is not receiving appropriate care, they might resort to substance abuse in order to self medicate, especially in response to difficult or stressful events.

Substance abuse may in turn exacerbate an individual’s underlying mental illness. If someone is addicted to drugs and alcohol and is also showing signs of a mental health disorder, then their treatment plan should include strategies and coping skills that address the addiction, as well as underlying mental illness.

Who Can Benefit from Dual Diagnosis Treatment near San Diego?

Dual diagnosis treatment is essential for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol but also have a history of mental health disorders or are exhibiting signs of co-occurring disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Because substance abuse can significantly impact one’s mental and physical health, it’s important to get to the root causes of addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both issues in tandem to ensure that the individual has the best chance of success when it comes to healing and long term sobriety.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers can be integral to long term recovery for those struggling with both substance use disorder and mental health issues. Northbound Treatment Center offers a range of services to help patients address their mental health issues. In particular, there are several different types of therapy that can help patients with specific mental health disorders.

Treatment Options for Those with a Dual Diagnosis

For individuals with post traumatic stress disorder, trauma therapy with compassionate and understanding staff can be essential for developing healthy coping mechanisms in response to flashbacks or other stressful situations. Additionally, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can help patients decouple traumatic memories from distressing physical and emotional sensations.

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, also known as DBT, can help individuals with mental disorders recognize negative thought patterns and understand how their thought process shapes their outlook on life. By recognizing cognitive distortions, someone with a mental health issue is better equipped to take control of their emotions, communicate their needs, and develop healthy coping skills. In turn, these strategies can help patients break free of addiction by learning better responses to everyday stresses.

Learn More about Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near San Diego

Mental health issues can be extremely difficult to deal with on their own, but even more so when an individual is also struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. If you or your loved one is ready to pursue treatment, reach out to Northbound Treatment Center in San Diego today for more information. 

We can answer any questions you might have or provide you with additional resources on the value of starting the recovery process at a dual diagnosis treatment center. Once you start the journey toward recovery, a brighter and healthier future is within reach.



Paul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

Paul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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