Does a Substance Abuse Program Address Mood Disorders?

A big part of the addiction treatment process involves the client working with counselors to identify the driving force behind the client’s need to take drugs or alcohol. This information is important because it provides the basis for developing solutions (coping and life skills) that can help stem the tide of relapses in the future.

No one should be surprised to discover that many times, there’s a psychological or mental health component to the client’s addiction. In reality, there are two ways a mental health problem aligns with an addiction. In a first way, the psychological disorder is at least in part a driving force behind the addiction. Example: an individual has a significant problem with anxiety, resulting in a psychiatrist prescribing an anxiety medication like Xanax. While taking said drug, the individual begins abusing their prescription medication. As the anxiety worsens, the individual ramps up their efforts to mask the anxiety with more drugs until addiction develops.

The other way a mental health issue becomes integrated with addiction is when the addiction begins creating the mental health issue. Example: depression is a side effect of opioids. When an individual starts abusing an opioid substance, there is a possibility a depressive illness will develop. As the depression worsens, there’s a distinct possibility the addiction will worsen as well when the individual starts ramping up the drug abuse.

If you are dealing with both a mood disorder (depression and anxiety) and a substance abuse problem, there will likely come a time when you need to deal with your issues. When that time comes, it’s imperative you deal with your “co-existing” conditions simultaneously. The question you may have is, “Does a Substance Abuse Program Address Mood Disorders?”

“How Addiction Treatment Centers Deal with Co-existing Condition”

During the intake process, an addiction treatment facility’s clinicians will develop an addiction profile for each incoming client. The purpose of the profile is to become the basis for prescribing a specific treatment program.

During that intake process, there is a chance the mood disorder will become apparent, immediately alerting the processing clinician that a “dual diagnosis” treatment approach would be needed. If the conflict is not apparent during intake, it will likely be exposed during therapy. Either way, both conditions need to be treated at the same time.

To address the title question, yes, many addiction treatment centers offer dual diagnosis treatment. That includes our facility. Let’s look at the two ways a rehab can approach dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment with a Focus on the Addiction

The primary goal of an addiction treatment center is to help people recover from their addictions. When a client comes in with a co-existing mood disorder, it changes the scope of treatment. Why? The addiction treatment community is well aware they have to treat both conditions at the same time. Otherwise, the untreated condition will interfere with the entire addiction treatment process, interfering with recovery.

Keeping in mind this is an addiction treatment facility, the facility’s therapists will want to stay focused on the addiction while offering counseling and therapy on the mood disorder. Remember, many states require special licensing to deal with psychological issues. If an addiction treatment facility wants to avoid hiring a psychologist, they will offer baseline therapy for the mood disorder but not get involved with the diagnosis or medication aspects of treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment with Equal Focus

Should the addiction treatment center want to address both conditions equally, they will offer extensive therapy for both conditions throughout the treatment process. This approach is especially important if the client’s mood disorder has not been previously diagnosed. At this point, the addiction treatment therapist has to consider bringing in a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist to treat the mood disorder. In some cases, the facility will already have such a professional on staff.

Making a serious attempt to address the mood disorder brings medications into the picture. If the client had an existing mood disorder prior to substance abuse, they might well need medication to help deal with the mood disorder on an ongoing basis. At that point, it becomes a balancing act. The addiction needs to be arrested, and a medication program that won’t interfere with recovery needs to be put in place.

If you feel you are suffering from co-existing conditions, we hope you will allow us to diagnose the problem and offer you treatment solutions. You can start a dual diagnosis treatment program by contacting one of our representatives at 844-639-8371.

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