Posts Tagged ‘dual diagnosis’

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a dual diagnosis treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in individualized treatment and offer multiple levels of care. If you would like to speak with us about our rehabilitation options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website will provide an overview of Traumatic Stress-Related Disorders. Since disorders of this nature are diagnostically broken down into several categories, the following will focus on a single sub-category, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), outlining the basic information that is pertinent to this specific classification. Discussion will include a general summary of trauma or stress-related conditions, followed by a brief overview of the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, its symptoms, and finally treatment methods.

Trauma and Stress Disorders

Psychological, stress-related traumas cause a variety of conditions that result from experiencing an event that is disturbing, terrifying, or perceived as life-threatening. The stressor might be a single moment, such as a rape, or one in a series of repeated events, such as cycles of abuse or repeated molestations. In the aftermath of the occurrence, the victim is left overwhelmed and without the means of integrating the event(s) into their life. The sense of being out of control or overwhelmed can be delayed, the onset not occurring for weeks, days, or, in some cases, years. This is especially true where the event in question has lain buried, such as when an adult recalls being molested as a child.

It should be noted that in general, stress is a normal response to certain stressors and is not itself destructive. The process of trying to normalize stressful events is basic to our make-ups; and is not only natural but necessary to our survival. The fight-or-flight response developed as a survival instinct to situations in which the life of the individual was put in jeopardy. Typically, the causes of this form of psychological trauma are reserved for specific varieties of violence: sexual abuse, physical abuse, or severe and prolonged emotional abuse (additionally, exposure to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or fires, or surviving catastrophic events such as genocide, will also play a part in generating stress-related disorders). However, exposure to certain stressors, whether prolonged or for a short duration, have the potential to develop into debilitating conditions that in time can adversely affect virtually all aspects of an individual’s life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a variety of Anxiety Disorder that occurs after a person has experienced a particularly disturbing event or events. The events in question are referred to as triggering events, and can be either one specific incident – e.g., witnessing a violent crime or surviving a car accident – or a series of incidents – e.g., enduring repeated sexual or physical abuse. What follows the triggering event is a type of psychological trauma, which can manifest as both emotional and somatic disturbances. Triggering events cover a fairly broad spectrum of occurrences, and are defined more by the havoc they reap than the nature of events itself. Events can include exposure to life and death situations, the death of a friend or loved-one; witnessing the death of a stranger , experiencing physical harm or surviving some form of abuse such as incest. Diagnostically, symptoms must meet very specific criteria to be considered PTSD. These criteria include symptomology that lasts more than a month and that causes demonstrable and significant social impairment, occupational impairment, or impairment in other areas of one’s life, such as with family or associates.

As stated previously, fear responses are not necessarily negative; they are an instinctual reflex that cuts across cultural and linguistic differences, and evolved to ensure our survival. However, when this reflex goes unchecked and has taken hold to the extent it has in PTSD sufferers, debilitation occurs that effect every aspect of normal functioning. For example, one of the distinctive features of PTSD is a trait called Avoidance, which causes the sufferer to become preoccupied with avoiding any stimuli they fear might trigger a stress-response. Although relatively well-adjusted individuals will also strive to avoid situations they fear might engender negative or unpleasant feelings, they do not do so to the point where their emotional, psychological, or physical well-being is compromised.

Symptoms of PTSD

Generally, symptoms of PTSD fall into one of three categories. These categories include reliving the event, performing avoidance behaviors, and experiencing arousal. To meet a diagnosis of PTSD these symptoms will invariably effect or impact all aspects of daily functioning. Symptoms include:

  • Pronounced and reactions to scenarios that bring to mind the triggering event, and that deeply disturb the individual, often causing physiological reactions such as palpitations, racing heart, sweating or shaking.
  • Recurring nightmares of the event.
  • What are referred to as flashback-episodes, during which the event seems to be happening over and over.
  • Repeated and intrusive memories of the event that cause physiological duress.
  • Feeling detached or removed from reality.
  • Emotional numbing or feeling disconnected from things one would be expected to care for.
  • Depressed moods or retarded affect.
  • The conviction that one has no future.
  • Experiencing blackout periods, during which one is unable to remember certain features of the trauma.
  • Experiencing anhedonia and a lack of interest in daily activities.
  • Avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event.

Arousal symptoms include:

  • Experiencing difficulty concentrating or thinking in a linear fashion.
  • Experiencing sleep disturbances, e.g., having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Having a sense of hyper-awareness of situations; what is referred to as hyper-vigilance.
  • Being on edge and startling easily.
  • Having difficulty relaxing.
  • Demonstrating an exaggerated response startling events.
  • Suffering continual bouts of irritability or having outbursts of anger.

In addition to these symptoms it is common for people to experience feelings of guilt in the aftermath of the triggering event; what is referred to as survivor’s guilt, especially with regards to situations where a person has survived some sort of natural or man-made disaster. The incidence of co-occurring disorders such as Anxiety Disorders or Depression is extremely high in this population.

Treatment for PTSD

Treatment of PTSD requires the use of several therapeutic modalities, in addition to employing certain medications designed to alleviate physiological symptoms. The therapeutic styles utilized to treat PTSD differ from one another with regards to style and the fundamental assumptions they make about the individual and their condition. Psychotherapy might take the form of Psycho-Education, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Group Therapy, or Supportive Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – this modality is currently one of the most widely used therapeutic styles. In addition to helping people manage Stress-Related Disorders it has also proved beneficial to individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions, including Anxiety Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders. With regards to Trauma-Related conditions, the focus is on altering the dysfunctional thinking that has developed as a response to the trauma, and requires the client to adopt modified behaviors in situations where exposure to a stressor is present.  One of the primary advantages of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is its tendency to alleviate stress-symptoms while simultaneously curtailing the condition itself. The central premise is to help the client develop new coping strategies in the face of impending or inevitable arousal.

Different modes of CBT include:

  • Exposure Therapy – by exposing individuals to the trauma they experienced, this therapy seeks to diminish stress responses by providing a safe, clinical environment in which they can process their feelings. Often therapists using this style will employ mental imagery, writing, or even supervised visits to the place where the event occurred.
  • Cognitive Restructuring – helps people make sense of the negative memories that are generated by the triggering event, in addition to identifying points where their emotional reactions take precedence over their intellectual capabilities. Frequently people remember events in a way that reinforces the stress-response, which keeps them locked in a deleterious cycle, and which does not correspond to the actual event(s) in question.
  • Stress Inoculation Training – tries to reduce stressful symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like Cognitive Restructuring, this mode of CBT strives to assist people to orient themselves to painful memories in a healthier manner.

Other modalities used to treat Stress-Related Disorder include:

Psycho-Educational Therapy (PET) – this is an off-shoot of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and its guiding features rest on the idea that over time the person is capable of recreating themselves (their self-image) with regards to their condition. PET employs a combination of strategies, including what is known as cognitive restructuring and the development of management skills to help navigate symptoms as they occur. The management skills are cultivated in conjunction with controlled exposure to specific stressors.

Psychological Debriefing – Psychological Debriefing uses an informational format to achieve results. By using the clinical dynamic as a means to convey information, the client will acquire a deeper understanding of their condition and its hidden springs, and thus be better able to manage their symptoms. This takes the form of the therapist providing information about the nature of symptoms and the condition, while also providing a forum in which the client can express their feelings with regards to episodes and symptoms. To date there is very little supportive data showing its efficacy.

Supportive Therapies – Supportive Therapies include group and family counseling. One of the distinctive features of both group therapy and family therapy is its ability to utilize a communal experience to achieve therapeutic growth. Because of its intangible nature, these aspects of therapy are sometimes overlooked or underplayed. However, the positive therapeutic nature of healthy group experiences has been shown to consistently assist individuals manage both their condition and their symptoms, in addition to providing invaluable support for family members, friends, and significant others who have also been impacted by the disorder.

Medications for PTSD

Data suggests that medications can be used to assist treating symptoms of Stress-Related Disorder. What is known as serotonergic dysregulation can be addressed with the use of a class of medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Although these medications are designed to treat the symptoms of depression, they have also proved beneficial treating stress-related disorders. The SSRIs most commonly prescribed include:

  • Prozac
  • Paxil
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft

In addition to the SSRIs a class of medications known as Benzodiazepines, or minor tranquilizers, might also be employed to off-set anxiety-symptoms.

A Special Note Regarding Benzodiazepines, PTSD, and Dual Diagnosis:

Dual Diagnosis refers to a condition in which an individual’s addiction occurs simultaneously with another mental health problem, each aggravating the other and both contributing to the problems of the individual.  In situations where a dual diagnosis has been made – especially where some form of Stress-Related trauma has been diagnosed in tandem with an addiction – the use of benzodiazepines is usually discouraged. Unlike the anti-depressants that are prescribed for stress-related disorders, benzodiazepines have a euphoric component and abuse potential that generally makes them inappropriate for treating a population with histories of addiction.

Because of these complications, most physicians specializing in treating dual diagnosed clients will only prescribe benzodiazepines in a very restrictive way, for the shortest duration possible. Given these considerations, dual diagnosed individuals have a better chance of receiving comprehensive care from treatment teams that are specifically trained to deal with individuals who suffer from co-occurring disorders.

The benzodiazepines most commonly prescribed for short-term treatment are:

Treatment Goals

Ultimately the prime objective of Stress-related Disorder treatment is to help the client return to the levels of functioning they enjoyed prior to the triggering event. This means simultaneously decreasing the severity of symptoms while improving management of symptoms. This might include successfully utilizing family and friends as support networks, and slowly re-immersing one’s self back into work, school, or social activities.

Generally speaking, treatment of Stress-Related conditions attempts to achieve the following:

  1. Provide education about trauma and its symptoms.
  2. Teach sufferers relaxation and anger control skills.
  3. Help sufferers identify and deal with various emotional reactions to the presence of symptoms, which include guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy pertaining to the event.
  4. Helping identify strategies and skills to help change how people react to their condition and its symptoms.

Like other mental health disorders, no known cure exists for any of these conditions. However, with vigilance and maintenance it is possible to manage the conditions and allow for considerably better quality of life.

The topic of Stress-Related Disorders is large and not easily summed up in one article. Education and awareness are the first steps to acquiring help. Please visit the various sections of ARC’s website to acquire detailed information regarding each specific Stress-Related diagnosis. Take the time necessary to keep yourself informed about latest practices and current treatment options. Hopefully this article will assist giving you a foundation of knowledge that will make selecting the correct course of treatment easier to determine.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center Today

Many people who abuse drugs and alcohol have PTSD. Unfortunately, most treatment centers do not truly offer dual diagnosis services to attend to this type of issue. The Authentic Recovery Center offers one of the most sought after post-traumatic stress disorder treatment programs in the United States. If you would like to learn more about our services call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Bipolar Disorder I – Information You Should Know

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a drug treatment center located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and offer multiple levels of care. If you would like to speak with us about our rehabilitation options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website will provide a broad overview of Bipolar disorder. Since Bipolar disorder is diagnostically broken down into four discrete categories, the following will focus on a single sub-category, Bipolar I, outlining the basic information that is pertinent to this specific classification. Of necessity discussion will include a general summary of Bipolar disorder, followed by a brief overview of the diagnostic criteria for Bipolar type I, its symptoms, and finally treatment methods.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formally referred to as manic–depressive disorder, is a clinical diagnosis that describes a class of mood disorders distinguished by the presence of recurring episodes of atypically heightened energy levels. In addition to heightened energy levels, individuals also experience elevated levels of thinking and mood, frequently accompanied by episodes of intense depression. The condition affects both men and women and usually manifests between the ages of 14 and 22.

The periods in which one experiences heightened moods are referred to as bouts of mania, also known as hypomania. It is not uncommon between phases of depression and mania for individuals to experience relatively stable periods, during which their moods occur on a more normal spectrum. However, it is also common for individuals to experience rapid changes in their moods without stability, an occurrence that is referred to as cycling. Frequently, during extreme manic phases, individuals also experience some form of psychosis, which manifests as delusions or hallucinations. This range of experiences is referred to as the manic spectrum.

What is Bipolar Disorder I?

Bipolar disorder type I is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) by the presence of one or more bouts of mania, followed by periods of depression. Bipolar disorder type I is indicated by markers that demonstrate interludes of stability, generally distinguished by an apparent remission of symptoms. During these remissions stability returns and the individual is usually able to resume normal functioning.

Symptoms of Bipolar I

Symptoms of Bipolar I vary, and no two people experience the same symptoms in the same way. Differences in brain chemistry, family history, and medical history are all contributing factors. Symptoms also differ depending on what part of the Bipolar spectrum a person finds themselves. Clearly symptoms of mania are very different from symptoms of depression, and their expression will vary from person to person. However, some features of Bipolar disorder occur universally.

Symptoms of Bipolar I Mania Includes:

  • Inability to regulate temper.
  • Insomnia.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • High risk sexual behavior, including promiscuity and courting many partners.
  • Inability to remain focused.
  • An abnormal increase in energy, distinguished by heightened activity.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Difficulty reasoning in a linear fashion.
  • Inflated sense of importance or wellbeing.
  • Abnormally high self-esteem, accompanied by a sense of euphoria.
  • Extreme agitation.

Symptoms of Bipolar I Depression Includes:

  • Feelings of despair or hopelessness.
  • Inability to recall or focus.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Feelings of anhedonia or an inability to experience pleasure.
  • Suicidal ideation.
  • Abnormal decrease in apatite accompanied by weight loss.
  • Significant weight gain or inability to burb appetite.
  • A marked loss of esteem.
  • A developing pattern of isolation.

Treatment for Bipolar I

Support and treatment for Bipolar I include a variety of interventions that include education and individual therapy, as well as family therapy, which is designed to help loved ones or significant others to better cope with the condition and also support the individual who is suffering. Typically, therapeutic techniques focus on building life skills that include:

  • Educating clients to recognize signs they are relapsing into a manic episode.
  • Coping with side-effects of certain medications.
  • Adopting healthy lifestyles that focus on establishing normal eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Helping individuals to stay clean and maintain sobriety.
  • Dealing constructively with symptoms that occur while taking medications
  • Managing medication regiments, which include taking meds consistently.
  • Educating people to be mindful of returning symptoms.
  • Educating family and loved ones about where to receive support for themselves.

Prescription Drug Treatment for Bipolar I

There are also a number of drugs that are employed to help control the cycling of moods. This class of medications is referred to as mood stabilizers and is one of the first lines of defense in the treatment of Bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers typically used include:

  • Valproate
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lithium
  • Lamotrigine

Other drugs used to treat Bipolar disorder include:

  • Antipsychotic drugs and anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) for mood problems.
  • Antidepressant medications.

Invasive Treatments for Bipolar Disorder I

In addition to medications, scenarios can arise during which more invasive therapies are required. These might include:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy, also known as ECT, may be employed in the event a person does not respond to medications during a depressive episode.
  • Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, otherwise known as TMS, which uses high-frequency magnetic pulses to target affected areas of the brain and helps to alleviate depression.

In addition to the following therapies, individuals in the midst of either a severe manic phase or a deep depression might require hospitalization until their mood is normalized. As suicidal ideation frequently follows bouts of mania, this confinement is may be necessary to ensure that an individual does not harm themselves before they are stabilized.

Treatment Goals

Although treatment goals will vary according to both the client’s needs and also the therapeutic style of the attending therapist, there exist certain treatment features that are consistent. These take the shape of treatment goals and typically include:

  • Making the episodes less frequent and severe.
  • Helping an individual to avoid slipping from one phase to another.
  • Preventing self-harm and suicide.
  • Avoiding the need for a hospital stay.
  • Helping the patient function as well as possible between episodes.

During the phase of therapy in which treatment goals are being set, the therapist works with the client to first establish what, if any, events occurred that might have had a hand in triggering the episode. Both client and therapist will also attempt to discern if there was a medical or an emotional problem at play that eluded discovery and thus compromised treatment. Unfortunately this is not always possible because not all people respond favorably to medications; and cases exist where individuals simply do not seem to benefit from the various therapies that are available. Cases such as this are rare, but they do exist. In such a case a person’s ability to function may be so impaired they require constant supervision and cannot live outside of a residential setting or therapeutic community.

The topic of Bipolar disorder is large, and not easily summed up in one article. Education and awareness are the first steps to acquiring help. Take the time necessary to keep yourself informed about latest practices and current treatment options. Hopefully this article will assist giving you a foundation of knowledge that will make selecting the correct course of treatment easier to determine.

Call the Authentic Recovery Center to Learn More About Our Treatment Options for Bipolar I Disorder

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one overcome Bipolar I disorder call 1 877 415 4673 now. We are well versed in dealing with dual diagnosis issues and offer multiple levels of care designed to help people with a variety of issues begin the journey towards recovery. Remember, “The only failure in life is the failure to act”.

Schizophrenia and Addiction

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a drug treatment center located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and offer multiple levels of care. If you would like to speak with us about our rehabilitation options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website provides an overview of Schizophrenia and addiction info. Discussion includes a brief overview of schizophrenia, current data pertaining to what researchers now believe causes schizophrenia, followed by a checklist of warning signs and symptoms, and finally a discussion about schizophrenia and addiction and the treatment options that are available.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is of a class of disturbances that is referred to as organic mental disorders, or OMDs.  Unlike disorders such as Bulimia or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), organic mental disorders are distinguished by abnormalities of normal brain activities. The hallmark of these abnormalities is the presence of specific organic disturbances – actual physical impairment of certain brain functions – that in turn cause abnormal mental states and abnormal brain functioning. In situations such as this there is typically a loss of cognitive abilities that in time lead to perceptual dysfunction, often including delusions or hallucinations.

Without treatment, schizophrenia causes degeneration of a number of cognitive processes, including emotional instability, disturbances in linear thinking, delusions, auditory hallucinations, and paranoid ideation. These traits are frequently accompanied by marked social disintegration and occupational dysfunction.

Although most researchers believe that the condition usually targets cognition and patterns of thinking and reasoning, it is also well established that schizophrenia affects behavior and emotion, often times causing severe alienation from resources that might otherwise prove useful in acquiring help. Additionally, individuals suffering from schizophrenia are considerably more vulnerable to suffering from co-occurring disorders, each of which, in their own way, is equally destructive.

For example, people with schizophrenia are more likely to have major depression or various anxiety disorders, as well as suffering from substance abuse issues and various addictions. The term for a person simultaneously suffering from schizophrenia and another disorder is called dual diagnosis. Schizophrenia and addiction info is absolutely necessary to understanding what a dual diagnosis means to you and how an understanding will assist you to acquire the most effective treatment.

Sign and Symptoms

Schizophrenia typically manifests during late adolescence or early adulthood.  Although symptoms are always shaped by the specifics of each individual’s make-up, personality, and circumstances, there are predicable markers that signify the disorder’s presence.

Some of these markers include:

  1. Emotional lability (e.g., extreme emotional volatility, for example outbreaks of sudden rage or fits of uncontrollable crying).
  2. A deficit of certain cognitive abilities (for example an inability to think coherently or reason in a linear fashion).
  3. Marked disorientation to time or place, or people and subjects.
  4. Memory impairment.
  5. Changes in perceptual aptitudes or thinking disturbances (e.g., hallucinations, delusions).
  6. Upheaval in one’s personality; for example aggression where before one was shy; which might include wildly conflicting mood disturbances.
  7. Impairment of impulse control; for example engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors.
  8. A curtailment of intellectual aptitude, signified by an I.Q. drop of 15 points or more.

Causes

Any discussion of schizophrenia and addiction info needs to include a focus on current research pertaining to the disorder’s causes. Today, researchers focus on a combination of causal factors to explain the presence of the condition. These causal factors include the role of genetics, inherited traits, neurobiology, and various psychological factors. Sixty years ago, researchers and psychiatrist believed that Schizophrenia was caused by severe deficits in the relationship between the mother and the patient. In other words, the condition was thought to be largely caused by environmental factors. Today neurobiology is seen as the most likely suspect, although to date no one factor fully explains the disorder.

Dual Diagnosis – Schizophrenia and Addiction

One of the most common explanations for the co-occurrence of addiction and schizophrenia is the idea that substance abuse is a form of self-medication. There is indeed certain plausibility to this notion, especially when taken into consideration with what individuals who suffer from both disorders frequently report themselves. This hypothesis basically assumes that abusing liquor, tranquilizers, stimulants or opiates, is in fact a bid to alleviate symptoms of cognitive dysfunction and ease the emotional turmoil that attends psychotic episodes.

There is, however, a growing body of evidence that suggests that the co-occurrence of these two conditions – schizophrenia and addiction – is at least partially happening at a pre-conscious level. Recent findings suggest that there is an overlap between the neuro-circuitry in the brain that governs drug rewards and reinforcement, with what researchers refer to as the neuropathology of schizophrenia. What does this mean in layman’s language? First: it means that schizophrenia is in part characterized by the brain’s inability to regulate dopamine and serotonin levels. Second: that addiction is characterized by an addict creating feelings of well-bring or euphoria by jump-starting their dopamine or serotonin production, each time they ingest their drug of choice. Third: that the pleasure created by the drug-reward path is naturally mimicked by the organic dysfunction already present in the brain of the schizophrenic, thereby rendering many schizophrenics pre-disposed to substance-abuse. Indeed, according to an article published by the National Institute for Drug Abuse, the rate of abuse of various substances (including liquor – over 50%) amongst schizophrenics is so high that a specific causal link is all but inevitable.

What does this mean to you? In almost all cases it means that where early identification is possible, so too does the opportunity to stifle one or the others development and therefore improve both the overall prognosis, and specifically an individual’s chances of recovery.

Treatment

The initial phase of schizophrenia treatment consists of either stabilizing an individual with medications who is actively psychotic, or maintaining and assisting to keep an individual stable who has come out of a psychotic episode. Stabilization is frequently achieved within an institutional setting through a variety of medications that seek to restrict dopamine and serotonin activity in the brain, and thus eliminate features of psychosis. This phase of treatment is critical and usually requires hospitalization due to the need for intensive structure and oversight. One of the most typical barriers to recovery is non-compliance with medication regimes.

Once stabilization has been attained, residential care is usually indicated. In the residential setting, further treatment is provided with individual and group counseling, in addition to psycho-therapy, often focusing on a continuum of issues including family issues, employment issues, issues of distorted self-image, and assisting an individual to both accept their condition and create a support network out in the community. Emphasis is also placed on addressing the substance abuse component, often through one on one counseling, in addition to more traditional 12 Step models. By far one of the most important aspects of treating schizophrenia within a residential setting, beyond physiological stabilization, is to create a stable and safe environment in which a person is able to reconstruct an image of themselves that is not stigmatized. Schizophrenia is wildly misunderstood,  and there is a great deal of misinformation out there that sufferers must contend with in addition to solving the challenges they create for themselves, not the least of which is shame and an entrenched resistance to accepting their condition. Special attention must be paid to helping an individual to reenter society and take up their place in their respective homes with both family and friends. It is important to realize that no one treatment plan fits every circumstance, and each person has individualized needs that must be addressed. Age, background, and medical history must be factored into the equation to ensure a person’s requirements have been met.

Schizophrenia and addiction info should seek to clarify some of these issues and help provide a means to overcome common hurdles confronting a person who is entering treatment. Clearly, schizophrenia and addiction info is a vast topic. It is a topic that deserves the full resources of the recovery community to assist figuring out best case treatment options. Hopefully this discussion has helped you to better understand both the condition and the treatment options available to you.

Call Today to Learn More About the Authentic Recovery Center

If you would like to speak with a dual diagnosis counselor call the Authentic Recovery Center today. We can be reached at 1 877 415 4673. Our credentialed staff will help you learn more about the different treatment methods we employ to successfully address dual diagnosis issues.

Dual Diagnosis Information

Getting Started

There are two important points to remember when reading this article. The first is that despite how complicated or hopeless it might seem, dual diagnosis issues are 100% treatable with the right resources. Secondly, if you would like to speak with a dual diagnosis counselor you can do so by calling 1 877 415 4673.

Learning More

This section of the website offers information about dual diagnosis. It also answers the question, “What is dual diagnosis?”

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Information

ARC is a residential drug and alcohol treatment center located in Los Angeles that specializes in the treatment of dual diagnosed individuals.  ARC’s approach to addiction treatment and dual diagnosed clients in particular is unique, and includes a mutli-step approach that is broken down into three phases: detoxification, primary treatment, and aftercare, with each phase of treatment carefully calibrated to address both the general and specific needs of each client.  Treatment plans are created according to an individual’s history and take into consideration the specific issues that define each individual’s medical history, family history, and history of abuse.  Attention is paid to family issues, psychological issues, and biological issues, to ensure that comprehensive treatment is provided, and the treatment team includes psycho therapists, drug and alcohol counselors, and medical doctors.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is defined by a person suffering from a problem with addiction and also a psychiatric disorder; it is essentially two disorders occurring at once, which is why it is often referred to as a co-occurring disorder.  It is also more common than once supposed.  In fact, according to an article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the rate of addicts suffering from co-occurring disorders is as high as 53%. The National Institute of Mental Health has concluded that the mental disorders that occur most commonly with addiction are:

For individuals suffering from psychiatric conditions the rate of addiction is significantly higher than in the general population.  For example, individuals suffering from schizophrenia are approximately 10% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol; while an individual suffering from active Bipolar disorder is 14% more likely to be addicted to some substance.  This is not unexpected.  If addiction is a flawed coping mechanism that helps a person to deal with emotional issues and alleviate suffering, individuals who suffer the added stress of another condition are that much more vulnerable to abusing substances.

Is Drug Addiction a Mental Disorder?

A fair question one might ask is whether addiction is also a mental disorder, to which the answer is yes.  Addiction is considered a mental disorder because of the way in which it sweeps away what are called the normal functioning “hierarchy of needs and desires” of the individual, and in their place erecting priorities that solely focus on acquiring more drugs, invariably at the expense of the physical and mental health of the individual.  In fact the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual), which is the final word on classifying mental health disorders, even goes so far as to make a distinction between drug abuse and drug dependence.

What Causes Dual Diagnosis?

There has been much research and discussion as to which condition occurs first: the addiction or the psychiatric disorder?  But since each case is individual, and because each psychiatric condition affects people so differently, no consensus has been reached.   In some cases mental illness creates addiction; in other cases addiction creates mental illness, although more often than not there is no real clear line of demarcation.  In some cases, however, the answer is perhaps more obvious than in others, but more often than not the nuances are so complex that it is impossible to determine an exact cause and effect.  Certainly at a certain point the question is moot, or academic, in that successful treatment will not depend on disentangling which condition came first, but instead will look forward and focus on addressing the needs of both conditions simultaneously.  By the time addiction treatment is necessary, the etiology of the condition – meaning determining the disorder’s cause – becomes speculative, with little bearing on how best to move forward treating the individual.

Treating Dual Diagnosis

Addiction treatment that successfully addresses the issues accompanying a dual diagnosis work as one intervention, with each condition being thought of as part of a whole.  The first phase of any treatment plan, however, is detoxification.  At ARC, a dual diagnosed client is carefully assessed by one of our doctors to determine the correct course of action to rid a person of their physical dependence.  During and after this phase a comprehensive treatment plan is developed, taking into consideration all of the factors that contribute to a client’s situation, including family history and medical history, in addition to all relevant psychological factors.

Addiction treatment following detoxification at ARC is multi-faceted.  As stated before, dual diagnosis is a complex set of issues that requires multiple tactics to successfully treat.  Treatment at ARC includes individual and group counseling, attending 12 Step meetings and working a 12 Step program, psychotherapy, as well as education and supplemental, alternative therapies such as nutrition and exercise.  Unique to ARC’s treatment strategies is utilizing the social aspects of the residential setting.  Addiction is in part a disease of isolation.  The addict isolates themselves, and also ends up isolating loved ones, friends, and family.  The social component of addiction treatment is vitally important, without which treatment cannot occur.  The group must be used to organically create an environment in which an addict learns to express feelings, process emotions, successfully resolve conflicts, and essentially learn to develop and maintain healthy relationships that will be crucial to long-term recovery.  If successful, the social element of ARC addiction treatment will act as a map of sorts that the addict will unconsciously carry over into other aspects of their life.

Addiction treatment also must take into consideration the family component.  At ARC, family support is provided with group therapy, couples counseling, and family therapy.  This network of support encourages and supports loved ones to become a part of the addict’s process of recovery, and in turn fosters their own growth.  As with all diseases that are chronic and debilitating, addiction takes a toll on families, and requires both treatment of its own kind, in addition to education, to be fully comprehensive.  Everyone has heard of the word ‘enabling’, and it is a word which is perhaps overused. However, with regards to long-term addiction, enabling takes on a very specific meaning. Typically it is used to describe how loved ones unwittingly assist an addict to continue using.  But the term actually means more; enabling it is not only the ways in which loved ones allow an addict to continue using, but more importantly refers to the unconscious ways in which loved one’s perpetuate addiction, usually without their knowledge.  This is more subtle and usually requires the assistance of a therapist to isolate when and how it occurs.  For example, styles of communication often make misunderstandings between, say, a husband and his wife inevitable, and a re-training period becomes necessary during which both individuals re-learn to express themselves in ways that do not make assumptions or further confusion.  Parents and children, and sibling alike, usually require some assistance before they are able to successfully express themselves and have their needs met.

Scientific Considerations for Dual Diagnosis

Current research suggests that in certain dual diagnosed cases there is a biological link between mental illness and addiction.  For example, data collected from the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) has linked schizophrenia to what researchers call the COMT gene, indicating the presence of a measurable genetic component where the two conditions co-occur.  There exists in cases such as this an intricate interaction between substance abuse and genetic factors, which may in fact make certain individuals pre-disposed to addiction. Further evidence indicates that where there is a presence of trauma or significant stress, or where there exists a history of physical or sexual abuse in conjunction with exposure to drugs at an early age, the likelihood of co-occurring disorders developing increases significantly.

Addiction treatment in cases where a genetic component is present requires a very carefully tailored treatment plan to address all of the issues necessary for recovery.  Unfortunately, traditional treatment often separates the two issues, making total care difficult to achieve.  It is not uncommon in traditional settings for the genetic or biological component, say, schizophrenia, to be treated by a physician, while the substance abuse component is treated by an addiction specialist.  Ideally, both conditions are taken as pieces of whole and therefore addressed as mutually inclusive factors.  At ARC an integrated program is implemented which allows for the client’s treatment team to comprehensively diagnose and treat both conditions simultaneously.

Therapeutic Tools to Treat Dual Diagnosis

Addiction treatment typically employs various behavioral therapies in conjunction with medications and cognitive behavioral therapies.  Promising therapies include:

  • BSFT, or Brief Strategic Family Therapy, has proved especially useful treating adolescents and teens.  BSFT focuses on the dynamics that perpetuate or worsen addiction in teens.  These might include issues in the home or school, defiance, aggression, violence, or high-risk sexual acting out.
  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, targets destructive thoughts and destructive behaviors and aims to have the client unlearn them.  In place of these destructive traits the client is instructed and encouraged to construct new belief systems that counter the destructive cycles that characterize addictive behaviors and thinking.
  • IGT, or Integrated Group Therapy, is a recent addition to the preexisting therapies designed to tackle dual diagnosed individuals.  Using the group setting, this style of therapy targets people suffering from bipolar disorder and drug addiction.
  • TCs, or Therapeutic Communities, use the social network of the treatment facility to help re-socialize individuals.  This style of therapy has proven useful helping individuals within the criminal justice system, as well as adolescents.
  • ACTs, or Assertive Community Treatment, essentially act a liaison between the addict and the various community resources available.  It is less a style of treatment than an orientation toward provision of services, and seeks to lessen caseloads for outreach workers, thus allowing the workers to establish more intimate relationships with the clients.
  • ET, or Exposure Therapy, is a behavioral model that had proven useful in assisting addicts also suffering from phobias or anxiety disorders.  Frequently with people suffering from anxiety disorders, they find themselves triggered by specific stimuli, which in turn triggers a craving for a drug.  Like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy seeks to unlearn these responses, and to establish in their place more rational, less destructive responses.  This style of treatment has promise assisting individuals who experience anxiety and are also addicted to cocaine.
  • DBT, or Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, specifically seeks to lessen behaviors that cause self-harm, such as cutting or mutilation.  It is also used to treat individuals with a history of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts, and has proven helpful treating individuals who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

It should be noted that no one single therapy provides a cure, and that the most successful interventions combine different therapeutic styles in conjunction with various medications.  This is where the need to utilize an integrated approach becomes necessary.  At ARC, addiction treatment is distinguished by the comprehensive programs created by our multi-dimensional staff, which includes aftercare programs specifically tailored to the needs of each individual.

Aftercare

Addiction treatment at ARC does not end with the conclusion of primary care.  It is, in fact, the beginning.  Completion of the residential program only signifies the start of yet another phase of the client’s growth.  Of course, completing residential treatment is an incredible accomplishment – an accomplishment that takes both willingness and fortitude, in addition to a commitment to challenge the very belief systems that brought the individual into treatment in the first place.  It is, quite literally, the commencement of a new life.

ARC’s aftercare program seeks to assist each individual to transition back out into their life; at home, with family and friends and co-workers; to become healthy participants in their lives as parents and children and siblings.  As such, aftercare programs, like their inpatient counterparts, are specially designed to take into consideration the needs of the individual.  This often includes continued family counseling or couples counseling, in addition to continued individual therapy with a psychotherapist.  It also includes continued participation in aspects of the treatment program that have come to serve them, but it is not full-time, and is usually modified to work around the client’s new life, which often means scheduling therapy sessions around work schedules or school schedules.  ARC’s aftercare program is flexible, which reflects the varying needs of the clients as they move forward in their lives both healthy and free.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center Today

The Authentic Recovery Center is widely sought after as one of the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in the United States. This section of the website provides a lot of details about the dual diagnosis services we provide. However, nothing quite takes the place of speaking with us directly. If you would like to learn more about our dual diagnosis rehab in Los Angeles, California, call 1 877 415 4673 now. Remember, “The only failure in life is the failure to act”.

Tips for Choosing the Best Drug Rehab

Getting Started

This section of the website offers information and tips about how to choose a drug rehab and alcohol treatment program. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a counselor call 1 877 415 4673 at anytime.

Learning More

Researching treatment centers is like picking a date to schedule a surgery. It feels good to do something that has to be done, but we’re not necessarily excited about it. It’s somewhat sad that a great many drug treatment centers and alcohol rehabilitation programs are also counting on this fact.

By reading this article you will be able to spot the “bad apple” programs that would hope to capitalize on your emotional crisis by attracting you to a financial mousetrap, where there is little or no ethical and clinical investment in you or a loved one actually getting well. You will also learn how to ask the right questions to eliminate the “free lunches” treatment centers, where everything is promised and nothing is delivered.

Instructions:

  1. Set aside 15 minutes.
  2. Read steps 1 – 4 below.
  3. Review the questions in steps 5 and 6 below.
  4. Decide on a few treatment centers to research.
  5. Take each program through the questions provided below, plus any others that you have.
  6. Choose a program based on your needs, comforts, and financial circumstances.
  7. Enroll in the treatment center or your choosing.

Introduction to How to Choose the Best Rehab Center

This section of the website is broken down into steps. Read steps 1 – 4 below to gain a better understanding of:

  • Types of Facilities
  • Levels of Care
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Program Costs

One you read steps 1 -4 you will be able to determine:

  • The type of facility you should attend.
  • The level of care you should enroll in.
  • The type of rehabilitation services you need.
  • How much you need to spend to receive your preferred treatment.

Who Should Read this Article?

This article is designed to help individuals who are seeking treatment information about:

People who are experiencing the following issues will benefit more from calling 1 877 415 4673 now. That is because these issues are oriented to the need for immediate action and dual diagnosis treatment.

Step One – How to Choose a Type of Facility

Residential drug treatment and alcohol rehab centers basically break down into three categories. These are:

  1. Adolescent Facilities
  2. Young Peoples Facilities
  3. Adult Facilities

Each of these categories treats a certain age group. These are:

  • Adolescent Rehabs- typically meet the needs of individuals ages 13-17.
  • Young Peoples Treatment Centers- typically meet the needs of individuals ages 17-25.
  • Adult Facilities- typically meet the needs of individuals ages 18+.

The first step in choosing the right drug rehab center is to determine which type of facility your situation is eligible for.

Step Two – How to Choose the Right Level of Care

The different levels of care offered within the three types of facilities basically break down into 5 categories. These are:

  1. Detoxification Services (Residential)
  2. Primary Care Services (Residential)
  3. Extended Care Services (Residential)
  4. Partial Care Services (Non-Residential)
  5. Outpatient Care Services (Non-Residential)

Each of these levels of care offer different types of support. Here is a basic description of each level of care:

Detoxification Services typically assist individuals in withdrawing from alcohol and/or drugs through the aid of medications prescribed by a physician. (NOTE: Detoxification Services are not usually considered a complete treatment for addiction. These services are specifically designed to help individuals establish a clean and sober baseline so that alcohol and/or addiction education and clinical treatment can be initiated; both which help to prevent the possibility of relapse in the future.)

Primary Care Services typically introduce educational concepts of alcohol and/or addiction recovery and provide different types of recovery-related activities including; individual counseling, individual therapy, group therapy and alumni support groups, all of which are designed to be supportive while creating awareness of the issues that have contributed to developing chemical dependency and/or substance abuse tendencies. (NOTE: Many centers offering primary care services also offer relationship counseling and/or a Family Program.)

Extended Care Services typically are residential but less structured than primary care services and usually serve individuals transitioning from Primary Care. These services represent a platform to further assist people who have limited life experiences or an extensive alcoholism and/or addiction history in living clean and sober while developing an independent daily routine. Extended Care Services include individual counseling, individual therapy, group therapy and alumni support groups. It’s often a place where individuals can learn basic life-skills while practicing recovery principles in a safe environment and still receive the clinical support needed to further a personal understanding of their own substance abuse and/or chemical dependency issues.

Partial Care Services typically are non-residential and usually represented by 2-5 hours of treatment related services per/day. Individuals in attendance have the opportunity to attend group therapy and receive limited individual counseling and/or individual therapy. Because this level of care is non-residential, people attending can embrace their free time by attending school or maintaining employment. This level of care represents a safe place for individuals to process some of the feelings and emotions that are coming up during day-to-day activities as they directly relate to their recovery process.

Outpatient Care Services are non-residential and allow individuals to shore-up an ample self-supporting daily routine (of school or work) with nightly groups and limited individual counseling and/or individual therapy. This level of care represents a safe place for people to process recovery-related feelings and emotions on an intimate group basis and typically serves to create a positive-peer group and sense of community away from the stressors of living clean and sober in early alcohol and/or addiction recovery.

The second step in choosing the right treatment center is determining which level of care is most appropriate for you.

Step Three – How to Choose the Type of Rehabilitation Services

Once you have determined the type of facility and have determined which level of care appears most appropriate, it is time to choose what types of rehabilitation services you want the treatment center to offer.

Rehabilitation services offered in drug rehab centers basically break down into three categories:

  1. Medical Services
  2. Clinical Services
  3. 12 Step Services

Medical Services typically encompass acute detoxification services, post-acute detoxification services and psychiatric services. (Not all rehabs or treatment programs offer medical services.)

Clinical Services typically encompass the types of clinical therapy offered during treatment. These include psychological evaluation, individual therapy, experiential therapy, group therapy, couples therapy and  family programs. (Not all drug and alcohol rehab centers offer a full array of clinical services.)

12 Step Services typically encompass recovery related individual counseling, recovery groups, trigger identification and relapse prevention, 12 Step meeting attendance and education/introduction to a 12 Step Program. (Most treatment centers offer 12 Step services.)

Please Note: Some rehab centers offer medical, clinical and 12 Step services while others may only offer limited clinical services and 12 Step services.

Step three is determining what sort of services you want the treatment center to offer.

Step Four – How to Decide on Cost

Now you should have a basic idea of the following:

  1. The type of facility you want to attend (based on age).
  2. The appropriate level of care (based on need).
  3. The types of treatment services you want your ideal facility to offer (based on need).

In the United States in 2004 the least expensive treatment center was $0 for an indefinite stay. That center primarily focused on 12 Step Services and vocational activities. (In other words, clients worked to pay for their stay while attending daily 12 Step meetings) The most expensive drug treatment center in 2004 was located in Southern California and was $120,000 for a 2-week stay. This center primarily focused on exclusive medical treatments, psychiatric evaluations and psychologically supportive therapeutic measures.

An Important Fact

  • A study conducted by the NIDA determined that 30 day treatment centers were approximately 22-25% successful in treating addictions. The same study found that if clients transitioned from primary care into some form of aftercare for 6 months or more that the success rates increased to 65-70%. (Success was defined by 5 years of continuous recovery) Aftercare for the purposes of this study was defined as: Extended care services, partial care services, outpatient care services or individual therapy.

So what does this mean?

It means that money won’t buy recovery. But the amount of money you spend may allow you or your loved one to receive treatment services that are more in line with their belief systems and historical experiences than perhaps say, a drug treatment center that only focuses on vocational activities. It also means that the longer you or your loved one can afford to stay in treatment, or if you can pay a certain amount for primary care services but still leave a reservoir of funds available for aftercare services the more likely it will be you or your loved one will achieve lasting recovery success.

Some Helpful Tips to Decide on Cost

Here are some helpful tips for deciding on the amount you want to spend for enrollment into a treatment center:

  • If you need detoxification services and primary care services then find a drug treatment center that offers detox as a component of primary care. This allows you to spend one amount and still cover both needs.
  • Leave yourself a reservoir of funds available for aftercare services once you conclude primary care. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If the NIDA has determined that 6 months of various aftercare services will increase the likelihood of success, then be sure you have funds available to secure these future services.
  • Strong clinical services usually increase the cost of treatment. For example; a program that only offers 12 Step services is usually cheaper than a program that offers both 12 Step services and clinical services.

When deciding on program cost, be realistic. The best approach is to find a program that offers a multitude of services under one roof.

This will allow you to cover all your bases with one expenditure and prevents costly enrollment fees if you were to say, enroll in four different facilities to receive four levels of care.

Step Five – Asking a Rehab the Right Questions

To protect yourself or your loved one take the time (probably not more than 10 minutes) to ask a few very pertinent questions of the drug and alcohol rehab center you’re thinking of enrolling in. Asking a few good questions may mean the difference between enrolling in an effective rehab or an ineffective treatment program.

When you call a drug rehab, first ask them if they meet the criteria you’ve already established in steps 1 – 4.

For example:

  1. Do you provide treatment for adults?
  2. Do you offer primary care?
  3. Do you provide medical, 12-step and clinical services?
  4. How much does your program cost?

If the representative answers these questions to your liking then here are some important additional questions to ask.

Next to each question is the preferred answer in italics.

  • May I have a copy of your daily schedule? Yes
  • Are you licensed by the State to provide drug and alcohol treatment? Yes
  • Do you offer between 3-5 individual sessions each week? Yes
  • Are these individual sessions conducted by a licensed therapist? Yes
  • Are there any hidden fees in the program cost? No
  • If a psychiatric evaluation is necessary, is that also included in the cost? Yes
  • Do you provide onsite medical detoxification services? Yes
  • Does a physician oversee the onsite detoxification services? Yes
  • Do nurses help with the hour-to-hour needs of each person needing onsite detoxification services? Yes
  • Do you provide 24 hour supervision of clients? Yes
  • Do you offer a Family Program for friends and/or loved ones? Yes

If the representative answers all the previous questions satisfactorily then here are some additional questions that will amplify your understanding of the facility. Once you ask these questions you will have a comprehensive picture of the complete scope of services offered by the facility.

The answers to the following questions will vary from facility to facility.

  • What sorts of individual clinical therapy do you offer?
  • What sorts of groups do you offer?
  • Do you offer daily or weekly outdoor activities?
  • Do you offer experiential therapy?
  • Do you offer spiritually based activities? Are they mandatory?
  • Do you offer yoga, meditation or any holistic treatment?
  • Do you offer individualized treatment?
  • How do you individualize a person’s care?
  • What if I or my loved one leaves treatment early?
  • Do you offer refunds?
  •  Have you had any complaints filed against you?
  • What was the basis for these complaints?
  • Are you a coed facility?
  • How many people do you treat at one time?
  • What is your staff to client ratio?
  • How many clients are assigned to each counselor/clinician?
  • What are the living arrangements like?
  • How many people are assigned to each room?
  • Do you offer private counseling offices?
  • Do you have space for people to have private time?
  • Do you allow visitation?
  • What makes your facility unique?
  • What is the general age group currently being treated at your facility?

These questions are not unrealistic to ask. Use your intuition wisely during this process. If you begin to feel the representative is telling you what you want to hear then ask to have statements put in writing. If the representative refuses, it is probably wise to continue your research and to find another facility.

Step Six – Asking a Rehab the “Red Flag” Questions

There are a few questions that you may ask that are considered “Red Flag” questions. If a facility representative answers “yes” to these questions you have great cause to be alarmed.

Next to each question is an explanation in italics of why a “yes” answer is alarming.

  • Red Flag Question 1 – Do you have the cure for addiction? Reason for alarm: There is no documented cure to addiction.
  • Red Flag Question 2 – Can you guarantee my success? Reason for alarm: Only your actions can guarantee your success. Once you leave the center the responsibility to make healthy choices lies with you.
  • Red Flag Question 3 – Are you the best rehab center? Reason for alarm: People get help everyday, in great facilities all around the United States. Ethical programs are cognizant of this fact and willing to be vocal about it.

Conclusion

This article is intended to serve as a helpful tool only. If you have additional questions or are in need of a free evaluation to assist you in determining what level of care is most appropriate to meet your needs then call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Remember that there are numerous resources available to help individuals struggling with substance abuse or addiction related issues. This article does not describe them all. If you have questions about how to find these resources, or you would like a comprehensive picture of all the differing types of drug and alcohol treatment related services available in your area then call us today.

What is Dual Diagnosis

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a dual diagnosis treatment center located in Los Angeles, California.

Learning More

This section of the website is dedicated to helping people understand more about what dual diagnosis treatment is. We will also answer the question, “What is dual diagnosis?”

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Very simply, dual diagnosis refers to having both an addictive disorder and a psychiatric or psychological disorder.

Examples:

  • Alcoholism + Depressive Disorder
  • Marijuana Abuse + Anxiety Disorder
  • Vicodin Addiction + Panic Disorder

Complex Definition of Dual Diagnosis

The term dual diagnosis is typically used to describe a co-morbid occurrence within an individual where they are suffering from a substance abuse problem and mental illness.

The concept of dual diagnosis may be used in the broad sense (e.g. alcoholism and depression) or it can be specific to restricted severe mental illness and substance misuse disorder (e.g. psychosis, schizophrenia and cannabis abuse).

The terminology associated with “dual diagnosis” can also be used to characterize a co-occurring condition where an individual is concurrently diagnosed with AXIS I and AXIS II psychiatric disorder(s).

This is relevant in that AXIS I conditions are considered more or less treatable with methodologies such as individual therapy and psychotropic drugs (e.g. antipsychotic, anxiolytic and antidepressant medications), while AXIS II conditions are considered more or less resistant and refractory to these aforementioned types of treatments.

The reason AXIS I conditions are considered treatable through drug therapy, individual therapy or individual counseling is because of the nature of the conditions that fall under AXIS I definition(s).

AXIS I conditions amenable to methodologies offered in the specialized dual diagnosis residential drug and alcohol treatment curriculums include, but are not limited to:

AXIS II conditions are often considered retractable to such treatments found in most traditional dual diagnosis residential drug and alcohol treatment curriculums because of the actual nature of the conditions themselves.

Examples of AXIS II conditions include, but are not limited to:

Note: These conditions were initially separated from AXIS I conditions to highlight the thought at the time that they were somewhat intractable to traditional AXIS I treatment methodologies. However, there is new evidence that shows personality disorders may be managed through long-term individual therapy.

What Does this Mean?

Essentially this means that there is a spectrum to the term dual diagnosis. This spectrum could be thought of like a measuring tool where on one side you have sub-severe dual diagnosis – on the other – severe dual diagnosis.

Is it Unusual to have a Dual-Diagnosis?

It is actually highly usual for individuals suffering from addiction to have co-occurring mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, panic or trauma disorders. These particular types of dual diagnosis are treatable in the right residential setting.

The conditions that are more complicated to treat are the conditions that arise out of substantiated diagnoses related to the AXIS II spectrum. These conditions often require specialized treatments that do not come standard in the average dual diagnosis residential drug and alcohol treatment setting.

Why don’t Traditional Drug Rehabs Treat Dual Diagnosis Effectively?

The problem in treating dual-diagnosis in traditional drug rehab centers is that these programs usually focus more on group-based, 12-step components.

This is problematic in the effective treatment of dual diagnosis because group-based, 12-step methodologies are traditionally effective in the specific treatment of alcoholism, addiction and substance abuse.

However, if the program participant is experiencing a dual diagnosis these modalities are not the most effective in treating these conditions. This is primarily because psychologically based conditions require individual therapy as a format for successful treatment.

The goal in individually treating dual diagnosis is to provide a forum for evaluation and assessment of what co-occurring issues are present. Once the nature of a dual-issue is specified, individual treatment usually focuses on the intricacies of that particular diagnosis. It is not expected that during this treatment that these issues will be completely eliminated or that the issues will disappear. The nature of the treatment is usually on creating a foundation for coping with the condition in a more productive, less self-destructive way.

This can really only be effectively accomplished with individualized treatment that includes individual therapy.

How Does the Authentic Recovery Center Effectively Treat Individuals with Dual Diagnosis?

The ability for a drug rehab or alcohol addiction treatment program to effectively treat dual diagnosis is derived from the programs focus on individual therapy.

With the Authentic Recovery Centers focus on individual therapy as a primary component of the ARC treatment philosophy – the program is well positioned to deliver dual diagnosis services in the most effective format possible.

The Authentic Recovery Center is a drug rehab program that focuses on offering treatment services that are more individualized than traditionally-based drug treatment centers. To see how ARC is different learn more about our treatment philosophy.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center Today

If you would like to speak with a counselor in further depth about dual diagnosis treatment, call 1 877 415 4673 now. ARC is widely sought after as one of the premier dual diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment centers in Los Angeles, California. Remember, “The only failure in life is the failure to act”.

Alcohol Rehab

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is an alcohol rehab located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and offer multiple alcohol rehabilitation options. Our program is widely considered to be one of the most individualized clinical settings for treatment of alcohol-related issues. If you would like to learn more about our facility call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website discusses private alcohol rehabilitation. We will describe the clinical services available at the Authentic Recovery Center and the importance of receiving dual diagnosis treatment services when seeking to effectively overcome problems with alcohol.

Alcohol Rehab: Why Private Rehabs Exist

In the United States, approximately 16% of the population will need treatment for alcohol-related problems at some point in their lifetime. However, there is still such a social stigma attached to the term “alcoholic” that of the roughly 57,360,000 people that need treatment only about 1,152,000 will receive some sort of help.

Of those that seek help an estimated 691,000 will voluntarily located a treatment resource such as individual therapy, outpatient treatment, or residential alcohol rehabilitation. The remaining 460,000 end up in some sort of involuntary treatment system like a hospital, psychiatric facility, or court-required rehab program.

The above facts showcase the reasons alcohol rehab programs exist. For the sake of simplicity, here are some bullet points that help drive home this point:

  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are completely treatable conditions.
  • A great many people will need alcohol rehabilitation at some point during their lives.
  • Not every person who needs rehab needs to be forced to get help.
  • People who want help should be able to participate in a program with other individuals who also want to change and were not forced into treatment.

If you are interested in voluntarily seeking treatment for an alcohol-related problem call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Alcohol Rehabilitation: The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When considering alcohol problems one has to examine both the underlying causes of the condition as well as the neurochemical ramifications of the condition. In other words, many people essentially drink to self-medicate a root issue and many people damage themselves neurochemically as a result of drinking. Therefore, addressing these issues is critical for successful rehabilitation. Programs that attend to both psychiatric and psychological issues and alcohol abuse issues are referred to as dual diagnosis programs.

For many people that exhibit signs of an alcohol problem their alcohol intake is a direct attempt to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, or some other type of underlying mood disorder or anxiety disorder.

For this segment of the population there have often been repeated attempts to get sober. These efforts might have taken the form of simply stopping or perhaps even attending a residential alcohol rehabilitation program. Usually, because simply stopping is nearly impossible and most traditional alcohol rehabs don’t truly deal with dual diagnosis, these attempts have failed. This does not mean that this person does not want to stop drinking – in fact just making the attempt infers the exact opposite – but it does point to the fact that drinking is probably not this person’s actual problem.

The key is to address the reasons why people drink in the first place. Once this issue gets sorted out through psychological assessment or psychiatric evaluation alcohol recovery becomes not only attainable, but sustainable.

If you would like to learn more about the dual diagnosis treatment approach applied during alcohol rehab at the Authentic Recovery Center call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center

If you would like to speak with us about our alcohol rehab options, call 1 877 415 4673 now. Our credentialed staff will help you understand what makes our program one of the most sought after alcohol treatment centers in the United States. Remember, “The only failure in life is the failure to act”.

Alcohol Abuse

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is an alcohol abuse rehab located in Los Angeles. California. We offer multiple levels of care, including residential and outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse problems. If you would like to learn more about our program call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

Many people think that alcohol abuse is easier to recover from than alcohol addiction. This is really not the case. This section of the website discusses the various difficulties people who exhibit signs of alcohol abuse often face during treatment for the condition. We will also outline some of the most important rehabilitation components that should be offered in order to effectively treat alcohol abuse related issues and answer the question, “What is alcohol abuse?”

What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is usually simply defined as the improper use of alcohol. In general, the usage of “improper” implies an excessive, irresponsible and self-destructive pattern of alcohol consumption. A major difference between alcohol addiction and abuse is that with the abuser physical dependence has not yet developed. This does not mean they do not use alcohol daily, nor does it mean they will never develop physical dependency upon it. Most people who misuse alcohol are in fact psychologically dependent on the drug and many more will eventually cross an invisible barrier after which they will become chemically dependent as well.

Common Questions About Alcohol Abuse

Does alcohol abuse always lead to alcohol addiction?

No. It is also highly likely that if a person who abuses alcohol does not seek treatment that their condition will progress and they will develop a physical addiction to the drug. Most people that abuse alcohol do exhibit signs of being psychologically dependent. Signs of psychological dependence may include:

  • Craving and obsession.
  • Inability to sleep without alcohol.
  • States of anxiety that are reduced by using alcohol.
  • Using alcohol in order to relax, wind down, or prevent stress.

In reality psychological dependence is in some ways as difficult to overcome as physical addiction. The main difference between the two is the severity of symptoms that are experienced when people who are abusing alcohol and people who are addicted to alcohol stop drinking. For people that are physically addicted to alcohol, stopping alcohol consumption can be life-threatening. For people who are psychologically dependent on alcohol, stopping drinking will often be difficult, but not life threatening.

Is alcohol abuse easier to treat then alcohol addiction?

No. Alcohol abuse can actually be more difficult to treat then alcohol addiction. This is because for people that abuse alcohol they often have a difficult time relating their adverse life experiences to their alcohol consumption. Most people that are addicted to alcohol suffer a host of negative social, medical and interpersonal problems because of their drinking patterns. For people who abuse alcohol, connecting the dots between these problems and alcohol consumption is not always easy. This lead to a scenario where during the rehabilitation process, clinical treatment has to be slightly more targeted than simply saying, “You’re going to die if you don’t stop drinking!” A real investigation often has to be conducted in order to understand the negative influence alcohol abuse is having on a problem drinkers life. Depending on the level of willingness of the person in treatment, this investigation can be easy or difficult. Treatment for people that are abusing alcohol often requires the participation of family members and friends in order to communicate to the participant the nature of the problems they see and the concerns they have.

I’m not sure if I have an alcohol abuse problem. What should I do?

Call 1 877 415 4673 now. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have a drinking problem call us to undergo a free alcohol abuse assessment today. Depending on the severity of the issues that are at hand, they are numerous treatment options available at the Authentic Recovery Center. We can also find you find local alcohol treatment programs in your area for support.

More Information About Alcohol Abuse and Treatment

Alcohol abuse is often associated with intermittent patterns of consumption. In certain situations people will use alcohol everyday and still exhibit a relatively high level of day-to-day functioning. Regardless of the way in which a person uses alcohol there are a few important factors that are required in order to provide treatment in the most effective way possible.

Effective Alcohol Abuse Treatment

The key to effective alcohol abuse treatment is directly related to the ability for a rehab program to personalize the treatment process. In other words, rehabilitation has to be targeted to address the specific circumstances surrounding a problem drinking pattern.

One of the ways the Authentic Recovery Center accomplishes this is by offering multiple levels of care. Experience Drug and Alcohol Treatment at ARC - Call 1 877 415 4673 Today!This means that we offer programs such as detoxification, residential, and outpatient alcohol rehab. Without providing access to numerous types of treatment the process becomes more of a “one size fits all” approach. This is especially contraindicated when attempting to successfully overcome alcohol problems. If you would like to learn more about our treatment options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The Authentic Recovery Center is an alcohol abuse treatment program that is based on the concept of dual diagnosis treatment. This is also referred to as co-occurring disorders treatment. The reason this is so important is because an estimated 75% of people showing signs of a drinking problem have some form of dual diagnosis.

In many situations these co-occurring conditions are actually the root reasons people drink in the first place. Drinking is a common way to self-medicate issues such as; depression, anxiety, stress, or certain types of mood disorders.

Our entire program is designed not just to treat alcohol abuse, but these underlying issues as well. If you would like to learn more about our dual diagnosis approach call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Call to Speak with an Alcohol Abuse Counselor Today

The reality is that alcohol abuse is a treatable condition. However, not everyone that has a drinking problem will need to enroll in a residential rehabilitation program. This is one of the unique aspects of the Authentic Recovery Center. We offer so many different levels of care that no matter what the issues are – we have programs that can help. If you would like to speak with a substance abuse counselor to determine which of our treatment options might be right for you call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Please Note: Our facility is located in Los Angeles, California. However, we also have a national referral network to help you find local treatment centers in your area. You do not have to attend our program to find help. Call us today.

Xanax Addiction

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center offers a Xanax addiction drug rehab and detoxification program located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and offer multiple levels of care. If you would like to speak with us about our rehabilitation options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website will provide information about Substance Abuse Disorders. Since disorders of this nature include a broad spectrum of diagnostically significant conditions, the following will focus on a single sub-category, Xanax Addiction, outlining the basic information that is pertinent to this specific diagnosis. Discussion will include a general summary of what constitutes Substance Abuse Disorder, a general discussion of Xanax and its clinical uses, followed by a brief overview of the diagnostic criteria for Xanax Addiction, its symptoms, and finally treatment methods.

Substance Abuse Disorders

Substance Abuse Disorders are characterized by patterns of pathological, habituated use of some drug or medication. The legal status of the drug is irrelevant; it can be either illegally purchased on the street, or prescribed by a doctor. Diagnostically, for the behaviors to meet the criteria of an Abuse Disorder there needs to be present certain features. These features include the presence of complications that are generated by using, in addition to repeated use in the face of increasingly adverse consequences in all major areas of one’s life. The damage can manifest in family life, social life, occupationally at work or academically at school; and invariably expresses itself in an inability to continue to honor one’s obligations while neglecting their responsibilities. Other signs of abuse include an increase in interpersonal conflicts, diminishing aptitude for resolving interpersonal conflicts, as well as legal issues and health problems. Although there are long-standing discussions as to what exactly the difference is between Abuse and Addiction, two givens exist:

  • Abuse refers to ingestion of a substance despite continued or worsening consequences across the full spectrum of functioning behaviors (more below).
  • Abuse has less to do with the nature of the substance ingested as it does the manner in which it is ingested and the ramifications it engenders.

Xanax

Xanax, also known as Lorazepam, is in a class of drugs known as hypnotic sedatives or minor tranquilizers. Like is its sister compound, Valium, Xanax works by depressing the Central Nervous System and slowing down bodily functions such as heart-rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Neurologically, Xanax acts on what are called GABA receptors in the brain (an area of neuro circuitry associated with the pleasure center), generating symptoms from minor sedation to complete anesthesia.

Because Xanax’s effects on the brain and the body are slightly different than the effects produced by Valium or other Benzodiazepines (it is considered to be a short-acting sedative), it is prescribed in specific ways to treat symptoms of specific conditions and disorders. One of the most pronounced differences between Xanax and long-acting Benzodiazepines such as Serax or Librium is the duration of its sedating features. The effects of Xanax wear off after a relatively short time, which precludes its use in a number of scenarios in which other Benzodiazepines would be appropriate. For example, Xanax is not typically indicated to treat the withdrawal symptoms that attend a liquor detox because the dosing schedule would be too high, whereas a long-acting Benzodiazepine such as Librium is often employed (Librium can be administered every 6 to 8 hours – Xanax every 3 to 4 hours).

However, because it shares so many properties in common with its sister-medications, there is overlap with regards to prescribing, which includes being used as a muscle relaxant, in addition to treating symptoms of Anxiety Disorders and Sleep Disorders. Typically, Xanax is not prescribed for prolonged periods of time because of the rate of addiction and its potential for abuse. Tolerance and dependence can be established in a relatively short period of time, which makes it dangerous as a long-term clinical tool. Instead, it is frequently employed as a stop-gap measure that is most effective in conjunction with other forms of therapy.

In addition to Xanax, other Benzodiazepines include:

  • Diazepam – Valium.
  • Chlordiazepoxide – Librium.
  • Clonazepam – Klonopin.
  • Lorazepam – Ativan.
  • Triazolam – Halcyon.

Xanax Addiction

Xanax produces effects similar to those of alcohol. There is euphoria and sedation, in addition to disorientation and lapses of short-term memory. Abusing Xanax (or any Benzodiazepines) with liquor poses serious health risks because the two substances amplify each other’s effects. The nature and severity of the effects depends upon the amount of the drug ingested. In smaller doses individuals tend to feel drowsy or uninhibited. In higher doses motor skills are affected and symptoms such as slurred speech and staggering are common.

Symptoms of acute Xanax intoxication include:

  • Difficulty expressing thoughts or thinking coherently.
  • Vertigo.
  • Tremors.
  • Repertory depression.
  • Compromised coordination.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Circulatory shut-down.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Like other sedatives or tranquilizers, Xanax is habit forming. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and in extreme cases result in grand mal seizures or death. Xanax also has what is referred to as a long half-life, which means that it metabolizes very slowly in the body. With regards to detox protocols and withdrawal symptoms this is significant because the half-life might result in withdrawal symptoms that linger for months at a time. Getting clean from Xanax addiction invariably requires a comprehensive treatment team that can safely monitor the addict’s progress and make adjustments as necessary; it also requires a deeply felt conviction on the part of the addict. When treating this particular variety of Substance Abuse Disorder, the quality and nature of the medical component is absolutely pivotal; like liquor, Xanax withdrawal can be lethal, and providing the correct support clinically, therapeutically, emotionally, and medically, is critical to long-term recovery.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Agitation.
  • Hyperthermia.
  • Nausea.
  • Restlessness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Dizziness.
  • Tremors.

Because of the drug’s effect on the nervous system, the line between a heavy dose and a lethal dose can be hard to determine. This is especially true in cases where addicts abuse Xanax with other sedatives or with painkillers. Unlike many other medications and drugs, Benzodiazepines do not have a built-in ceiling effect that acts as safety-net between the individual and the drug. In other words, although people sometimes overdose from smoking Heroin, it is unusual because the individual is likely to pass-out or lose consciousness before reaching the lethal threshold. The reason injecting drugs like Heroin is so dangerous is because the margin of error is practically non-existent. The same applies to Xanax, and because of the tendency to lose track of one’s short-term memory, the chances one might unwittingly double their dose is significant.

Xanax Addiction follows a predictable course and presents with symptoms that can be found along the entire spectrum of addictive pathology. As stated, the presence of addictive traits is invariably indicated by the emergence of tolerance and dependence, which generates dysfunction in virtually every area of the addict’s life.

Evidence of Xanax Addiction includes:

  • Acquiring mounting legal troubles, such as getting arrested for either possession or DUI.
  • Financial instability.
  • Shopping for doctors or lying to physicians or psychiatrists to maintain a steady supply.
  • Continued abuse in the face of deteriorating personal relations.
  • Deterioration of performance at work or school.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors with regards to sex or adrenaline stimulation. This might include promiscuity, e.g., enjoying multiple partners while intoxicated, or diving when intoxicated.
  • Enduring physical, mental, or emotional withdrawal symptoms if unable to acquire the substance.
  • The development of a tolerance to the drug(s) being abused.
  • Consuming quantities that are deleterious to one’s health.
  • An inability to regulate one’s usage or stop altogether.

Xanax Treatment and Dual Diagnosis

Where tolerance and dependence has occurred, treatment for Xanax Addiction usually requires gradually reducing a person’s dose over an extended period of time. Titration is necessary to ease the severity of the withdrawal symptoms as well as physiologically stabilizing the individual. In addition to the withdrawal symptoms previously mentioned, Xanax withdrawal symptoms might also include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Sweating.
  • Irritability.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Seizures.

In cases where an individual manifests two or more conditions simultaneously, they are said to be Dual Diagnosed. Another clinical term for this scenario is co-occurring disorders, where the secondary disorder complicates the primary disorder. Dual Diagnosis essentially means that an individual’s Xanax Addiction occurs simultaneously with another mental health problem, with each aggravating the other and both contributing to the problems of the individual. The lists of psychiatric disorders that frequently occur with Xanax Addiction include Depression and Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders and Compulsive Disorders, in addition to conditions such as Schizophrenia and Personality Disorders.

One of the challenges treating Xanax Addiction is the manner in which the individual became dependent. Like other prescription medications, people often develop dependence to prescription medications while treating legitimate disorders. Because Xanax is obtained through one’s doctor, and because the medication is legal, addicts of this sort often have to surmount the additional hurdle of stigmatization. As often as not people become addicted to Xanax, not because they are seeking relief from otherwise normal life-stressors, but because they suffer from a specific psychiatric or physical disorder.

Denial is a built-in mechanism that at some point in the treatment process accompanies and manifests in almost every instance of addiction. This trait can be more pronounced with individuals who abuse prescription medications than it is with people suffering from Heroin or Crack addiction. And because of the complexity of the issues Dual Diagnosed clients suffer from, treatment requires clinicians specifically trained to disentangle one disorder from another. With this population, relapse is common, as much because of the entrenched psychological issues as the prolonged nature of the physical withdrawal.

Invariably, addiction treatment that involves Dual Diagnosed clients presents hurdles to both the Treatment Team as well as the suffering Addict, which tends to be more challenging than the issues faced by people suffering from Addictions that are free-standing conditions.  Individuals who are Dual Diagnosed must be committed to overcome and manage not just their substance abuse issues, but also the accompanying mental illness and all of its attendant complications.  Figuring out where one condition starts and the other stops requires a treatment team properly trained to both assess and prescribe according to the needs of the client.

At ARC, our clinical program and our treatment team is specifically geared to address the many facets of this condition. ARC’s multidimensional approach includes medical interventions overseen by our MDs, who work in conjunction with our therapists and clinical staff to ensure that a treatment plan is created and adhered to that gives the client the best possible chances for recovery. ARC’s Treatment Services include:

  • The most advanced and effective Dual Diagnosis treatment available.
  • Comprehensive assessments that take into consideration both medical, psychological, and emotional factors.
  • Detoxification services that are closely monitored by our trained staff and overseen by our doctors.
  • A dignified approach that honors the total needs of the client.
  • Counseling that includes Family Counseling, Group counseling, as well as One-on-One Counseling.
  • Ongoing therapy with clinicians who specialize in Addiction pathology.
  • Long-term treatment planning that includes Aftercare, Extended Care, and Alumni services.
  • Integrated treatment, specially designed to treat Dual Diagnosed individuals. This includes psychiatric care, oversight of medications, and continued aftercare.

This is by no means a comprehensive picture of the services ARC provides. Please visit the other sections of our website to better understand the full spectrum of Addiction Treatment options available to you or your loved one. Education is the most important tool available to you, and keeping current on latest treatment practices is the best way to ensure you or someone you love receives the care they need. If you would like to learn more about our Dual Diagnosis treatment services please call 1 877 415 4673 to speak with a counselor today.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center Today

The first step towards recovery for most people suffering from Xanax addiction is medical detoxification treatment. However, many drug treatment centers in Los Angeles are ill-equipped to deal with the complicated features of Xanax withdrawal. If you would like to learn more about the safe and effective detoxification services offered through the Authentic Recovery Center call 1 877 415 4673 now. Our credentialed staff will support you in gaining a greater understanding of the multiple treatment options available with our facility. Remember, “The only failure in life is the failure to act.”

Suboxone Addiction

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a Suboxone addiction treatment and detoxification center located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and offer multiple levels of care. If you would like to speak with us about our rehabilitation options call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

This section of the website will provide information about Substance Abuse Disorders. Since disorders of this nature include a broad spectrum of diagnostically significant conditions, the following will focus on a single sub-category, Suboxone Addiction, outlining the basic information that is pertinent to this specific diagnosis. Discussion will include a general summary of what constitutes Substance Abuse Disorder, a general discussion of Suboxone and its clinical uses, followed by a brief overview of the diagnostic criteria for Suboxone Addiction, its symptoms, and finally treatment methods.

Substance Abuse Disorders

Substance Abuse Disorders are characterized by patterns of pathological, habituated use of some drug or medication. The legal status of the drug is irrelevant; it can be either illegally purchased on the street, or prescribed by a doctor. Diagnostically, for the behaviors to meet the criteria of an Abuse Disorder there needs to be present certain features. These features include the presence of complications that are generated by using, in addition to repeated use in the face of increasingly adverse consequences in all major areas of one’s life. The damage can manifest in family life, social life, occupationally at work or academically at school; and invariably expresses itself in an inability to continue to honor one’s obligations while neglecting their responsibilities. Other signs of abuse include an increase in interpersonal conflicts, diminishing aptitude for resolving interpersonal conflicts, as well as legal issues and health problems. Although there are long-standing discussions as to what exactly the difference is between Abuse and Addiction, two givens exist:

  • Abuse refers to ingestion of a substance despite continued or worsening consequences across the full spectrum of functioning behaviors (more below).
  • Abuse has less to do with the nature of the substance ingested as it does the manner in which it is ingested and the ramifications it engenders.

Suboxone

Suboxone is a medication used to treat Opiate addiction. It is taken orally and comes in both pill form and as a strip, both of which are ingested sublingually. Pharmacologically it is a compound whose active ingredients consist of two drugs, Buprenorphine (also known as Subutex) and Naloxone.  Buprenorphine is a long-acting Opiate that binds to the same receptors in the brain as Heroin or Morphine; and as such induces similar side-effects. Taken by itself, Buprenorphine has a high rate of addiction and generates the same sensations of euphoria as other Opiates. The other active ingredient, Naloxone, is an Opiate antagonist, which essentially means that it disrupts the channels by which Opiates bind to their receptors, thus precluding an addict from using or getting high.

If taken improperly, or if taken while dependant on another Opiate such as Heroin, Buprenorphine can also induce what is referred to as Precipitated Withdrawal Symptoms. This scenario occurs because Buprenorphine binds to it receptors more vigorously than other Opiates; thus if an individual with a Heroin habit ingests Buprenorphine too soon after their last dose, the Heroin is literally squeezed from the receptors, initiating horrific withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, for reasons of detox protocol, it is important that a person who is dependant on Buprenorphine be candid with their detox physician about how much they are taking and the frequency of their doses.

Suboxone Addiction

Suboxone is used in one of two ways. The first scenario is called Maintenance, what is clinically referred to as a Harm Reduction Model, in which a person is put on a therapeutic dose equal in size to their current habit. The idea is that the Suboxone will be taken in place of the addict’s drug of choice (Morphine, Heroin, Vicodin, etc.), and thus reduce cravings and act as prophylactic of sorts, insulating the addict from their addictive pathology and thereby allowing them to become more functional. The ramifications of Maintenance are significant and elaboration is necessary.

Suboxone maintenance causes dependence and tolerance, although inherent in Suboxone’s properties is a built-in ceiling mechanism whereby the drug’s affects plateau at around a 32mg dose. As stated before, tolerance and dependence are the explicit consequences of addiction, both of which Suboxone is responsible for generating. Cessation of taking Suboxone induces a unique set of withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks. This is pertinent to detox protocols because the individual seeking treatment needs to work with a team that understands the full spectrum of symptomatolgy that attends Suboxone treatment.

The effects of Suboxone, regardless of whether or not it is being taken recreationally or therapeutically, include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Alterations in moods.
  • Bouts of depression.
  • Itching.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Perceptual alterations.
  • Sense of apathy.
  • Decreased physical activity.
  • Constriction of the pupils.
  • Flushing of the face and neck.
  • Constipation
  • Nodding in and out of consciousness.

As previously mentioned, Suboxone Addiction occurs in one of two ways. Either the person has been taking it for a prolonged period time as a sort of aversion therapy to treat Opiate cravings (Maintenance), or the person taking it has been abusing it for its euphoric components in an attempt to get high. With regards to detoxing the distinction is meaningless: both people will experience the same side effects and withdrawal symptoms. However, psychologically and emotionally, the two people could not be further a part.

People taking Suboxone therapeutically (within a Maintenance Program) to thwart cravings are usually shocked by the fact that the very medication they have been taking to help stay off Heroin has enslaved them in an entirely unexpected way. This is in part the fault of the specialized community of addiction practioners who, at least until recently, have typically downplayed Suboxone’s worse features, while touting Suboxone as a non-habit forming way to contain their primary addictions and lead functional lives. As such, this class of addict will frequently resist the idea that they are now in the grips of a tenacious addictive cycle; factors which must be taken into consideration by their treatment team if they hope to arrest the person’s worsening condition.

Addict’s taking Suboxone recreationally frequently crush the pills into a powder form that can then be snorted. The effects are similar to those of other Opiates, and include experiencing a rush, followed by a period of euphoria. As a drug of choice for abuse Suboxone is rather inefficient because of its inherent properties, which make it difficult to maintain a high once dependence has set in. There is a danger too with regards to mixing Suboxone with other Opiates, because the addict ingesting Suboxone with another Opiate can inadvertently induce what are referred to as Precipitated Withdrawal Symptoms (the chemical and neurological reasons for these phenomena are beyond the scope of this article, but easily found online). Suffice to say that as awful as Opiate withdrawal symptoms are coming off of dugs like OxyContin or Heroin, the withdrawal symptoms precipitated by mixing Suboxone with another Opiate are profoundly uncomfortable. The withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone, although not as intense as withdrawal symptoms from Heroin, are significant in their own way. Instead of the five day ordeal Heroin addicts experience, Suboxone withdrawal symptoms emerge more slowly, with les intensity, but also linger for a period of weeks.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping.
  • Chills.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fever.
  • Insomnia.
  • Bodily aches and pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Symptoms resembling the flu; runny nose, leg cramps, and general unease.
  • Tremors.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

The fact that Suboxone is prescribed by a physician gives it a patina of legitimacy that is predictably significant to how the addict perceives themselves and how they orient themselves to treatment. Denial is a powerful mental tool, unconsciously employed by the addict to undermine the severity of their condition and thus their needs for treatment. As with any medication prescribed by a physician, be it Benzodiazepine, Adderall, or Vicodin, this resistance is most pronounced in addicts who abuse prescription medications.

Suboxone Treatment & Dual Diagnosis

When used for short durations, as a tool to detox a person off of another Opiate – say, for example, off of Heroin – Suboxone is invaluable, and can ease or lessen the withdrawal symptoms to an astonishing degree. Suboxone detox typically follows the following set of protocols: an addict enters treatment. They are assessed by their treatment team, during which time the treatment team ascertains what quantities of Opiates the addict has been indulging. The physician in charge of the detox then determines the Suboxone dosage that is proportionate to the person’s habit, at which time the medication is administered. Once the Suboxone is in the person’s body, the withdrawal symptoms they are experiencing from their primary drug of choice largely disappear, and over the course of the detoxification process the person’s Suboxone dose is reduced daily until they completely clean. This process might take anywhere from four to seven days. Once the addict has been taken off of the Suboxone, it is common to experience mild agitation for several days as the Suboxone exits their system.  Although not entirely painless, this is nonetheless a relatively small price to pay to circumvent the worst symptoms of a Heroin detox.

Coming off of Suboxone, especially after a prolonged period of dependence, requires a treatment team trained to address all of the physical issues pertaining to the medical detoxification, in addition to a treatment team adept and skilled at dealing with the variety of emotional and psychological issues that arise during the detox a phase of treatment. Once dependence has set in, cessation becomes very difficult. In addition to the mental and physiological compulsions, fear of physical withdrawal and all of its intense symptoms has, by this time, come to dominate many aspects of the addict’s life.

Once an individual has been properly detoxed and freed from their physical dependence, treatment moves to the next phase. Long-term studies indicate that psychotherapy is an effective tool for treating Suboxone addiction. The most widely used style of therapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses attention on the ideas and beliefs that people cultivate which in turn keep them sick.

The specifics of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are as follows:

The therapist works with the client to discover faulty patterns of thinking, disassemble negative ideas, and challenge destructive belief systems. These emotional and intellectual trends typically occur without the person realizing they are operative. And because they occur below the level of consciousness, they play a major role in the manner in which the client perceives themselves and experiences the world. When a person undergoes CBT for an anxiety disorder, the therapist will have the client focus on confronting negative thinking processes, damaging behaviors, and the irrational, emotional responses to potential stressors, which contribute to the continuation of their symptoms.

Psychodynamics – this style of therapy that is an outgrowth of Freudian theory. The essential components of any psychodynamic approach rests on the assumption that neuroses (in this case, the fear-response to specific stressors), are the expression of unconscious, unresolved conflicts and misrepresentations that are hold-overs from early developmental stages of personality growth. The focus on defense mechanisms helps to make the person aware of how their unconscious mind influences, shapes, and perpetuates their panic symptoms.

Dual Diagnosis refers to a condition in which an individual’s addiction occurs simultaneously with another mental health problem, each aggravating the other and both contributing to the problems of the individual.  In situations where a dual diagnosis has been made – especially where some form of Anxiety Disorder has been diagnosed in tandem with a Suboxone addiction – the use of Benzodiazepines is usually discouraged. Unlike the anti-depressants that are prescribed for an Anxiety Disorder, Benzodiazepines have a euphoric component and abuse potential that generally makes them inappropriate for treating a population with histories of addiction.

Because of these complications, most physicians specializing in treating dual diagnosed clients will only prescribe Benzodiazepines in a very restrictive way, for the shortest duration possible. Given these considerations, dual diagnosed individuals have a better chance of receiving comprehensive care from treatment teams that are specifically trained to deal with individuals who suffer from co-occurring disorders.

The Benzodiazepines most commonly prescribed for short-term treatment are:

At ARC, our clinical program and our treatment team is specifically geared to address all of the facets of this condition. ARC’s multidimensional approach includes medical interventions overseen by our MDs, who work in conjunction with our therapists and clinical staff to ensure that a treatment plan is created and adhered to that gives the client the best possible chances for recovery. ARC’s Treatment Services include:

  • The most advanced and effective Dual Diagnosis treatment available.
  • Comprehensive assessments that take into consideration both medical, psychological, and emotional factors.
  • Detoxification services that are closely monitored by our trained staff and overseen by our doctors.
  • A dignified approach that honors the total needs of the client.
  • Counseling that includes Family Counseling, Group counseling, as well as One-on-One Counseling.
  • Ongoing therapy with clinicians who specialize in Addiction pathology.
  • Long-term treatment planning that includes Aftercare, Extended Care, and Alumni services.
  • Integrated treatment, specially designed to treat Dual Diagnosed individuals. This includes psychiatric care, oversight of medications, and continued aftercare.

This is by no means a comprehensive picture of the services ARC provides. Please visit the other sections of our website to better understand the full spectrum of Addiction Treatment options available to you or your loved one. Education is the most important tool available to you, and keeping current on latest treatment practices is the best way to ensure you or someone you love receives the care they need. If you would like to learn more about our Dual Diagnosis treatment services please call 1 877 415 4673 to speak with a counselor today.

Call to Learn More about the Authentic Recovery Center Today

This section of the website outlines in great detail the dangers of Suboxone addiction. However, nothing quite takes the place of speaking with us directly. If you would like to learn more about the Authentic Recovery Center call 1 877 415 4673 now. Our credentialed staff will help you understand the many treatment options available with us. We can also provide you with information about medical detoxification, which is an important component of successfully overcoming Suboxone addiction.

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