Psychological Addiction

Psychological Addiction

Addictions can be either physical or psychological. When a person is addicted to a drug, both of these subtypes of addiction are present. Psychological habits come from the impact that substances may have on the brain. Typically, they deal with the reward center of the brain. In many cases of addictive substances, the drug produces a massive amount of dopamine that leads to feelings of euphoria or pleasure.

The Role of Dopamine in Psychological Dependence

Unfortunately, the dopamine flood has some severe impacts on the brain’s structure. Over time, the brain changes to make it impossible to have regular feelings of accomplishment. The mental desire for the drug becomes too much to avoid, and eventually, the person gives in to the feeling.

Sometimes, the psychological component of addiction might be both pleasure-seeking and avoiding returning to the real world. Many people who use recreational drugs do so as an escape from reality. Because they use the substance this way, they feel less of a draw to return to the real world and keep using it as a means of permanent escape. This approach can be dangerous and lead to overdosing if the user isn’t careful.

Physical vs Psychological Addictions

As mentioned before, addictions can be both physical and psychological. Physical addiction is based on the physical need for a drug to be present in the body. Because it’s not used to the sheer volume of dopamine that a drug’s high generates, the brain will rewire itself to deal with it. As a side effect, the brain retools itself to be unable to function if the drug isn’t present in the bloodstream. This situation is a physical addiction, where the brain’s structure has changed to accommodate the drug.

Psychological addiction doesn’t rely on the body. The brain is a powerful organ, and when it wants something, it creates urges in a person. Psychological dependence comes from the brain wanting more of a substance. This situation may arise because the brain wants its pleasure centers to function or escape reality. The urges formed can be compelling and hard to ignore in either case.

What Is Psychological Dependence?

Psychological dependence is when the brain becomes attached to a substance through emotions or feelings. Mental dependence doesn’t show the same sort of effects as physical dependence. However, that doesn’t reduce their impact on their wants and needs. The brain’s pleasure center is the core of these psychological addictions. Because many of these drugs make it impossible to feel regular feelings of accomplishment anymore, the brain becomes depressed when it doesn’t get the chronic stimulation from them.

Part of the impetus to keep using the drug is to recover those feelings of euphoria that the brain was chasing initially. The dependence on that feeling of joy keeps the user coming back for more. The brain’s normal dopamine response can’t provide the emotions that the brain’s pleasure center needs anymore because of tolerance. This tolerance comes from the massive dopamine flood discussed earlier. The more dopamine within the brain, the more it needs to get the same feelings of pleasure.

How Does Psychological Addiction Happen?

Psychological Addiction

Psychological addiction is the exact mechanism a person uses to ingrain habits into their daily schedule. When a person does something consistently over time, their body starts rewarding them with small shots of dopamine to the brain. The minor doses of dopamine are usually enough to get the brain’s pleasure centers working and feeling satisfied.

The body, detecting that doing a particular thing gives a reward, continues setting up times to do that thing, establishing a habit. Habits don’t necessarily have to be bad. Some of them, such as exercising regularly or taking breaks from work, are healthy and necessary parts of restoring balance to life.

Unfortunately, using drugs short-circuits the reward pathway and drives the brain into a spiral of uncertainty. The amount of dopamine that even the mildest drug generates is far more than what the brain can deal with usually. Once it’s had this taste of pleasure, it can’t go back to the tiny allowances it would typically get. The result is psychological addiction.

What are the Underlying Causes of Psychological Addiction?

What causes a person to become mentally addicted to a substance? The mental draw of a substance may be due to the feelings it produces when it’s in the body. However, this isn’t the only reason for developing psychological dependence.

Some studies have suggested that certain people get a positive reaction from doing a particular drug. The response here is simple – they enjoy the feeling, so they do the drug. However, in some cases, it might not even be about the emotions that the drug generates when it’s in the person’s body.

Other researchers have found that some people do drugs because of nostalgia. In many cases, people started doing drugs when they were younger and associated it with having a good time or going to a party. Because of their feelings rooted in the past, these individuals are more likely to do drugs.

In a few cases, people use drugs as a tool to cope with their reality. Just like some people read, others use drugs to help them imagine themselves away from their surroundings. Also, psychological dependence can take hold as the outside world gets more unforgiving. The fantasy world that the drugs introduce them to becomes where they want to spend most of their time.

What Substances Cause Psychological Addictions?

Most substances can cause psychological addiction. Some substances may only cause psychological dependence and have no physically addictive properties. While almost any substance can result in psychological addiction, a few stand out as the most addictive from a mental standpoint. Among them are:

  • Cannabis
  • Psychotropic medication, including depressants
  • Stimulants, like cocaine and Ritalin
  • Hallucinogens like LSD
  • Inhalants

Many of these substances also have a physical addiction component that goes along with psychological addiction. It’s not a simple process to understand how a person becomes psychologically addicted to a substance or whether they are more mentally or physically addicted to it.

How Does Addiction Affect the Brain?

As most people would know, addiction is a brain disease that results from making bad decisions regarding sourcing a drug and using it. These decisions are illogical and don’t make sense to someone who understands the user. Even the person making the decisions isn’t sure why they’re doing it.

Addiction’s effect on the brain makes it less aware of the world around it. It encourages tunnel-vision – forcing the person to focus on a single goal and ignore all the other things that might happen during their quest to achieve it.

The brain’s physical structure also changes because of addiction. Physical addiction stems from a condition known as dependence. As mentioned above, the brain rewires itself around the massive floods of dopamine that the drugs introduce. This rewiring leads to an inability to function without the drug.

Dependence is the fuel for psychological addiction as well. When a person becomes dependent, their urges and cravings center on getting the drug at any cost, including facing jail time or death. The psychological blocks that would stop these behaviors become eroded, leading the person down a dangerous path that may eventually claim their lives.

Withdrawal From Psychological Addictions

Psychological Addiction

Withdrawal is a crucial part of addiction recovery. Going through withdrawal breaks the body’s dependence on a drug, but it can also give users agency in their decisions again. Detoxification is a method of controlled withdrawal that most rehab facilities use to help their patients overcome their addiction.

Unfortunately, withdrawal can have some severe symptoms. These symptoms may ramp up in intensity the longer a person avoids the substance. Among the typical psychological responses to withdrawal are:

  • Cravings
  • Change in sleep patterns or incidences of insomnia
  • Obsessing over the substance or romanticizing its use
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety when considering stopping the use of the substance
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Denial of a substance abuse problem

These psychological responses are in addition to the physical reactions a person may have from a drug. The psychological responses work alongside the physical withdrawal symptoms to push a person back into using the substance, even though they know it’s not in their best interest.

Supervised withdrawal in detox facilities is the best way to overcome withdrawal. Staff at those facilities can help in case there’s a medical emergency. These facilities are also excellent at preventing people from succumbing to their urges and relapsing. Withdrawal sets the stage for further treatment.

Can Rehab Help with Psychological Addictions?

Psychological Addiction

Rehab centers offer many solutions for psychological addiction. As mentioned before, many rehab centers have detox facilities that can aid in breaking the physical dependence a person might have on a substance.

However, physical addiction isn’t the only thing that detox addresses. Psychological addiction can be dealt with partially in detox. The real power of detox is allowing a person to proceed to in-depth therapy to deal with their psychological dependence on a substance. If they are still physically dependent on the substance, there’s no way they can succeed in overcoming the psychological dependence on it.

Behavioral Health Treatment for Psychological Addictions

Behavioral therapies have shown a lot of promise in helping patients overcome their psychological urges to use a drug. These therapies focus on giving the individual tools to spot when their thoughts are impacting their actions. The goal is to spot the negative thoughts that lead to negative actions early to avoid them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become one of the best ways to deal with psychological addiction over the long term. Other behavioral therapies may also contribute to overcoming psychological addiction. However, this requires constant work, even after in-facility treatment has ended.

Many people believe that they’re clean of the substance when they’re finished their three-month stay in a rehab facility. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Rehab centers address the problem of overcoming the most pressing symptoms of addiction. Over the long term, psychological urges may persist, potentially risking falling back into their old habits of use.

CBT can be helpful in these situations, giving a person the tools they need to overcome their psychological addiction. Recovery is only truly complete when a person no longer has these urges to use the substance. This final point may take years to get to, but it’s worth the time spent getting there.

Treatment For Psychological Addiction or Dependence

Pathfinders Recovery has dealt with both physical and psychological addiction. Our rehab centers have dedicated detox facilities, but we also provide long-term support for recovering persons in the form of therapy. Our trained staff are knowledgeable in treating psychological addiction and can advise you on the best approach for you.

If you’re unsure whether you can overcome your addiction, come see us. Our doors are always open, and we’re willing to listen and help. Contact Pathfinders today to schedule your first visit and experience our approach to overcoming addiction.

Can You Force Someone into Rehab?

Force Someone into Rehab

Rehab is often thought of as a voluntary activity, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be voluntary. Sometimes the court or other legal representatives may consider forcing someone to go to rehab because it’s what’s best for them. The person sentenced to rehab this way might not have believed it otherwise.

In other states, it’s illegal for someone to send someone to recovery without their consent. Depending on the locale, you might not be able to legally put someone into rehab who doesn’t want to go. The real question shouldn’t be if you could force someone into rehab, but rather if you should.

In some cases, a person might become self-destructive because of their addiction. They may not even see that as a problem and won’t accept that they are addicted. Putting someone in rehab forcibly should be a last resort, but even so, you should be aware of whether it’s legal to do so.

What Are Requirements for Arizona Drug Court?

In Arizona, a person can enter Drug Court if the state deems that they’ve met the requisite requirements. With Drug Court, a person is mandated to attend status hearings so the state can be updated on their progress. The attendee will have to sign a contract that outlines what goals they agree to meet during their recovery at each court date. The program runs for one year, and a person must complete all the goals set forth by the court to “graduate” the program. To be eligible for Arizona Drug Court, a person must have the following:

  • Drug-related felonies that are eligible for probation within the previous two years
  • Has a score of medium-high or high risk on the OST/FROST and spiked more than 67% on the drug domain
  • Has a history of substance abuse that’s severe to moderate
  • Must reside within the supervision area for the Drug Court

This state-mandated treatment is involuntary, and a person committed needs to complete it before being discharged.

How Effective Is Court Mandated Treatment?

Force Someone into Rehab

One of the most common questions is whether court-mandated or involuntary treatment is effective. The research on this topic is limited, and there’s not much to go on. Statistics show us that almost one-third of all patients admitted to rehab programs in 2013-2014 was through involuntary methods such as court-mandated rehab.

Based on the number of people who recovered because of the court-mandated rehab, it seems that the process does work. Individuals who are coerced into rehab programs tend to do better and stay longer, completing their course of treatment. While the data is still uncertain, the results are promising based on what we know.

What Are Involuntary Commitment Laws in Arizona?

Forcing someone into rehab through involuntary commitment usually means relying on the law to do so. If the person you intend to commit to rehab is a minor, the court might not be willing to do so. They will commit a minor if there is enough evidence that the person has a substance use disorder and may have attempted to harm themselves in the past. The same goes for a non-minor, although the court is more willing to look at involuntary commitment in those cases.

One of the most compelling arguments for involuntary commitment is the inability to function. If a person is so addicted to a substance that they can’t take care of themselves, the court is likely to force them into rehab. The person will be appointed a lawyer to argue their case at a hearing. However, in many cases, they may also think that the person may need to go to rehab.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

Dual diagnosis treatment

Dual diagnosis occurs when a person has both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. In the past, these disorders weren’t treated together, but it was found that a dual diagnosis treatment must be used for proper recovery from addiction to occur. When a person is admitted to a rehab center, they will have to go through an evaluation that helps the facility determine whether they are a candidate for dual diagnosis or not.

Dual diagnosis combines treatments to give the most effective outcome for individuals who have both a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression and substance use disorder. Sometimes, the mental health condition leads to addiction.

Who Pays For Court Ordered Rehab?

In most cases of court-ordered rehab, the weight of payment rests on the shoulders of the plaintiff. It’s a common misunderstanding that the state will pay for involuntary commitment to a rehab center. The state is never responsible for paying for a plaintiff’s rehab.

If it’s not the state that brought the request for commitment, the circumstances of payment change. In these cases, the person who put the person forward to be committed involuntarily is responsible for paying for their treatment. This rule only applies in states that have passed “Casey’s Law” (Ohio and Kentucky). Indiana has “Jennifer’s Act,” which performs the same function.

What Are Some Ways To Convince Someone To Go To Rehab?

Force Someone into Rehab

Convincing someone to go to rehab might be quite hard. However, doing so ensures that they are also on board with overcoming their condition. Compelling someone to go to rehab requires them to admit they have a problem and wanting to get help for it. In some cases, families might try intervention to get their loved ones aware of the hurt that their addiction may be causing others within the family. Professional interventions may not work, however.

When someone is dealing with addiction, their brain may not be in the proper frame to make the right decision. As a result, they might not agree to enter rehab, leaving you with few options aside from an involuntary commitment to a rehab facility.

Establishing Motivation for Sobriety in Court Ordered Rehab

The most crucial part of overcoming addiction is setting up a motivation for sobriety. Why should a person want to get sober when they enjoy using the drug? Usually, the reason for sobriety for voluntary patients is the need to recover their lives. Addiction can cause severe economic and social damage to a person who has to work through it.

Many of these people remember life before their addiction and want to get back to that point. Their urges challenge this motivation, but a rehab facility can give them the tools to deal with it.

Court Ordered Rehab

For involuntary addiction, the approach is somewhat different. A person who is checked into a rehab center against their will might not want anything to do with the process. However, these cases can be resolved by helping the person understand the point of view of others.

When a person starts to accept that they have a problem and decide to change their circumstances, rehab can help them overcome their addiction. While a person might enter rehab being against recovery, they’re more likely to want to finish the treatment once they realize the benefits it offers them in the real world.

Make Treatment Attractive: Presenting Pathfinders Recovery

To convince a reluctant person, it helps to make treatment attractive. At Pathfinders Recovery, that’s what our staff always aim to do. We provide amenities and therapy for all of our clients that cater to their specific needs.

Our team is personable and approachable, making it easier to discuss addiction and come to terms with it. If you have a loved one that needs that special attention and care, give us a call today. We’re more than glad to facilitate you and help your loved ones get the care they need.

What is the Importance of Mental Health?

How to Improve Mental Health

If you want to know how to improve mental health, the key may be halting your substance use.

In any given month, over 165 million Americans use an addictive substance.

That is more than half of the teen and adult population.

And whether or not you realize it, your drug or alcohol use may be damaging your mental health.

In fact, substance problems are a major source of mental health issues.

And without a sound mental state, it is impossible to maximize your sense of well-being.

No one should be left to deal with these kinds of issues on their own.

If you feel that your substance use is impacting your mental health, seek help as soon as possible.

This is by far the best way to avoid further problems and return to a healthier, happier way of living.

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How to Improve Mental Health: Addiction as a Mental Illness

When thinking about how to improve mental health, it is important to keep something in mind.

Today, experts classify substance addiction itself as a form of mental illness. The term for this illness is a substance use disorder, or SUD.

You also qualify for a diagnosis of the same illness if you suffer from major, non-addicted substance abuse. Tens of millions of Americans have a substance use disorder.

The SUD category is an umbrella for multiple types of mental illness. Each of these illnesses is named for a class of addictive substances.

Examples of these names include:

  • Alcohol use disorder, or AUD
  • Stimulant use disorder
  • Opioid use disorder, or OUD
  • Cannabis use disorder
  • Sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic use disorder

Why are these conditions considered to be forms of mental illness? Because they significantly alter your state of mind and reduce your ability to function. They also change the way your brain works, and may physically damage your brain. In addition, SUDs alter your behavior and cause you to do harmful things you would not normally do.

A doctor can check if you have the symptoms of a substance use disorder. There are 11 different possible problems in affected people, including:

  • Losing control of how much or how often you use drugs or drink
  • Making substance use and related behaviors the focus of your daily routine
  • Growing less and less sensitive to the effects of drugs or alcohol
  • Having a habit of using addictive substances in risky or dangerous situations
  • Not being able to quit drug use or drinking, even with repeated efforts
  • Failing to meet your responsibilities because of your level of substance use
  • Substituting drinking or drug use for other activities you once loved to do
  • Experiencing social or relationship issues as a direct result of your substance use
  • Feeling powerful urges to drink or take drugs throughout your day
  • Developing symptoms of substance withdrawal if you quit or cut your consumption

Some of these problems are strictly related to addiction. Others reflect the presence of non-addicted abuse. From a mental health standpoint, addiction and major, non-addicted substance abuse are equally serious. What is more, they often occur simultaneously.

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How to Improve Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis

Unfortunately, some people with SUDs also have other mental health issues to deal with. This is not a rare problem. In fact, for every two people with a SUD, roughly one will be affected by an additional mental illness. The same statistic holds true in reverse. In other words, roughly one out of every two people with a mental illness also has a SUD.

What kinds of mental illnesses are most likely in people with drug- or alcohol-related SUD? The list of these conditions includes anxiety-based disorders such as:

  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

Other commonly found illnesses include:

  • Depressive illnesses like major depression
  • Bipolar illnesses like bipolar I disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia and related conditions
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD

The current standard term for co-occurring SUDs and additional mental illness is dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is a serious concern because it often has a double negative impact on your well-being. This is why it is so vital to understand the importance of mental health.

When it is present, it can make both your SUD and additional mental illness symptoms worse than normal. This double whammy on your mental health poses significant treatment challenges. For this reason, the question of how to improve mental health in people with dual diagnoses is vital.

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How to Improve Mental Health: Treatment for SUDs

If you have a SUD, professional treatment should be a top priority. There is a range of treatment environments available, including:

  • Medically supervised detox, or detoxification
  • Inpatient programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Standard outpatient programs

Your doctor can help you find the right option for your particular SUD symptoms. Once you are enrolled in the right kind of program, you will receive help tailored to your needs and understand the importance of mental health. This help may include:

  • General supportive care
  • Medication
  • Behavioral therapy or counseling

While in treatment, you will benefit from the experience of addiction specialists. You will also learn how to improve mental health through your own efforts. As a rule, you should pursue some kind of follow-up treatment once your primary rehab program is over. You can also further your recovery by joining a mutual self-help group.

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How to Improve Mental Health: Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

It takes a special effort to improve mental health if you have a dual diagnosis. Why? Not only must you get help for your SUD symptoms. You must also get help for your particular form of additional mental illness. This two-part treatment is essential. Without it, your mental health will likely continue to suffer.

Mental health and addiction facilities may use medication for two aspects of your dual diagnosis treatment. First, you may receive a medication targeted at your SUD symptoms. In addition, you may receive something targeted at your other mental illness symptoms.

Other forms of treatment are also used in dual diagnosis programs. For example, you will almost certainly be treated with behavioral therapy or counseling. There are specialized therapy options available for people with dual diagnoses. One such option is called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT. You may also receive a more widespread use SUD therapy such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • 12-Step Facilitation Therapy
  • Family Behavior Therapy
  • Contingency Management Intervention

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Get More Information on How to Improve Your Mental Health

More than 20 million Americans suffer from mental illnesses called substance use disorders. And many of those affected must also cope with additional, serious mental health issues. If you feel you may have a SUD or dual diagnosis, professional treatment is a must. Otherwise, you may find yourself caught in a worsening spiral of mental and physical despair.

Most people with SUDs do not seek help. It is crucial that you do what you can to escape the ranks of the untreated. Every day, mental health and addiction facilities support recovery from SUDs and dual diagnoses. Some of the very best facilities provide all of the services you need in a single location.

Need more information on how to improve your mental health and protect your well-being? After all, the importance of mental health is crucial during and after recovery. If your concerns are substance-related, just called the specialists at Pathfinders. Our deep expertise gives us the ability to answer any question you may have. Pathfinders is also a top destination for the treatment of SUDs and dual diagnosis. We offer programs suited to anyone affected by these pressing mental health issues and the importance of mental health overall.

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What is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Can Be Essential

Many people with substance problems need a dual diagnosis treatment program to complete their recovery.

That’s true because they also suffer from other serious mental health issues.

If you are affected by these additional issues, you may wonder if it’s even possible to get better.

But with the effective treatments available today, this is indeed a realistic, achievable goal.

Recovery from dual diagnosis is not easy.

In fact, you may find yourself facing more difficult problems than people only affected by addiction or mental illness.

However, with time, effort and expert care, you can turn things around.

There is always hope, even for people severely affected by dual diagnosis symptoms.

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Basics of Dual Diagnosis

Until recently, dual diagnosis was widely known by another name: co-occurring disorders.

All people diagnosed with this issue are simultaneously affected by two significant problems:

  • A substance use disorder, or SUD
  • A separate mental illness

Some people with a SUD are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

However, some are not. Instead, they have serious, substance abuse-related problems even though they are not addicted.

You can also suffer from symptoms of addiction and non-addicted abuse at the same time.

There are many types of mental illness.

The list of these conditions includes such things as:

  • Major depressive disorder and other depressive disorders
  • Bipolar I disorder and other bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other schizophrenia-related disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders

There is a strong, two-way connection between mental illness and SUDs.

If you have a mental illness, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance that you will also have a SUD.

There is also a 50/50 chance that people with SUDs will have a separate mental illness.

That figure includes people affected by all kinds of mental illness.

A smaller number of people with dual diagnoses, roughly 3.6 million, suffer from serious or severe mental illness symptoms.

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Substance-Induced Disorders

Sometimes, substance use itself directly leads to significant mental health problems. When that occurs, you do not actually have a separate mental illness. Instead, you have a substance-induced mental disorder.

All major addictive substances can trigger this type of disorder. Specific problems you may experience include:

  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Serious anxiety
  • Extreme disorientation, also known as delirium

When diagnosing you, your doctor will look for these kinds of issues. If they are directly caused by your substance use, you do not have dual diagnosis. However, it is possible to be affected by dual diagnosis and substance-induced problems at the same time.

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Typical Rehab Vs. a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

If you have dual diagnosis, you cannot recover your health just by treating your substance problems. Instead, you must get help for your mental illness, as well. Why? Untreated mental illness creates a major roadblock for your ability to quit drugs or alcohol. The connection also works the other way. An untreated SUD creates a serious drain on your odds of recovering from mental illness.

Since the two issues affect each other, they must be treated together. This is the big difference between a typical rehab and a dual diagnosis treatment program. Standard substance rehab just helps you recover from an SUD. In contrast, treatment for dual diagnosis also helps you cope with additional mental health problems.

Not all addiction specialists offer dual diagnosis treatment. This means that you must take the time to find a program that meets your specific needs. You may find help in a facility that also offers standard substance rehab. However, some dual diagnosis treatment centers operate independently.

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Features of a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Assessment of Your Condition and Situation

What happens in a dual diagnosis treatment program? When you first enter this kind of program, you should receive a thorough assessment of your condition. This assessment helps your treatment team uncover a range of crucial details. That includes such things as:

  • The exact nature of your substance problems
  • The type or types of mental illness affecting you
  • Whether or not you actually have a dual diagnosis
  • How badly you’re affected by your SUD and mental illness symptoms
  • What kind of care you’ll need to make your recovery
  • How much care you’ll need
  • The strength of your personal support network
  • Any important details of your personal background
  • Potential problems that could make your recovery process harder

Substance Detox

If you’re being treated for a dual diagnosis, you must stop your drug use and/or drinking. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on detox or detoxification. That’s the name for a supervised process where you halt your substance use and go through withdrawal.

People who only have a SUD can sometimes go through detox on an outpatient basis. However, as a rule, you need inpatient detox if you have a dual diagnosis. That’s the only way to protect you from any unforeseen problems while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

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Active Substance and Mental Illness Treatment

Inpatient care is also often necessary for dual diagnosis patients once they finish detox. Why? You may need this kind of 24/7, live-in program to protect your health and well-being during treatment. However, some people may be eligible for outpatient treatment, instead.

Integrated intervention is recognized as the most effective option for dual diagnosis care. What does this term mean? From the very beginning, your dual diagnosis treatment program will address both your SUD and your mental illness. That way, you will never have to worry about continuing to suffer from untreated symptoms.

To treat your SUD, your program may rely on medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. The specific approach depends largely on the substance that triggered your problems. One type of psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy or DBT, is becoming increasingly common in dual diagnosis treatment. Evidence shows that this therapy makes it easier for people with mental illness to stop their substance use.

You may also receive medication specifically targeted at your mental illness symptoms. There are many different options available. Your dual diagnosis treatment program will ensure that the medication you receive meets your unique needs.

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Find Out More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

On its own, a SUD is enough to throw your everyday life far off track.

The situation is even direr if you also suffer from additional mental illness.

That’s why dual diagnosis receives special attention from addiction specialists.

It is also you need this kind of expert care if you are affected.

Without it, you have little chance of recovering from your combined substance and mental health problems.

The good news is that effective help is now available.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center, you receive focused care that addresses all aspects of your health.

This care can make all the difference between a successful recovery and months or years of fruitless struggle.

Need more information on dual diagnosis treatment programs?

Contact the specialists at Pathfinders today.

Our knowledgeable staff will answer any question you may have about these modern facilities.

We also feature first-class dual diagnosis care that meets the highest standards.

No matter how badly you are affected, we have the expertise needed to help restore your total well-being.

The Stigma Of Addiction: How Do I Break It?

What is Alcoholism?

In 1956, alcoholism was classified as a disease by the American Medical Association. The definition of a disease is “a quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or a group of people.”

The AMA’s conclusion is fitting to say the least. Today, alcoholism is a part of a much larger epidemic – the disease of addiction. Unlike physical ailments, alcohol addiction has become a serious societal issue, one plagued by stigmas and stereotypes. People often say, “Addicts are weak, they just need to toughen up and quit,” or, “Addicts are liars, burnouts and waste of space,” and “Addicts are bad people and criminals.”

All too often these types of judgmental statements are spoken. The purpose of this article is to give the reader a glimpse into what it is like to be an addict.


How Alcoholism Starts

stigma-of-alcoholismOutside circumstances vary drastically, but internally most addicts, including myself, have similar experiences although it can often feel like they’re the only one.

You’re introduced to a substance, you try it, and you like the way it makes you feel. In the beginning the substances make you feel euphoria, and for the potential addict, you just want to do it again. It’s a slow and gradual decline of one’s power of choice and into dependency.

 


Becoming An Addict

beginning-of-alcohol-addictionAs time goes on our tolerance for the substances gets greater. Leaving us needing more of our drug of choice in order to become intoxicated. So, what does any motivated addict do at this point?

More drugs and alcohol of course.

A non-addict may be able to anticipate what might happen if they continue down this path and decide to turn it around. This isn’t so with the real addict from our experience. What we see is delusions crop up, and from this altered reality we are able to find justifications for our actions.

Here is an example: a close friend of yours approaches you and says, “I think you should slow down with partying. I’m worried about you and you do not seem like yourself lately.” The non-addict’s thought process might lead to some introspection like, “Are they right? Am I getting carried away? Maybe I should take it easy for a while.” An addict on the other hand may say, “They don’t know what they’re talking about! I’m fine and if they can’t accept me for who I am, then I don’t need them in my life.” This defensiveness and sometimes anger comes quickly when someone challenges them or they think they may lose their drug, which is one reason so many addicts become alienated from the people in their lives. This cycle goes on until you have reached the no man’s land of dependency.


Active Full Blown Addiction

Once an addict has reached the stage of full-blown dependency, it is incredibly difficult to stop. When I was using, you could have given me a lie detector test and I would have been telling the truth when I said I believed to my core that there was no chance that I could stop.

The physiological make-up of my body had changed. This is true with all addicts. As a person in long term recovery, I wanted to get clean for years before I was actually able to make it stick. Allow me to emphasize the important part of that statement. I wanted to get clean for years.

When an addict feels like they can’t stop using, they often feel ashamed, weak and like a failure. Having the world say the same and worse, contributes to an addict’s need to detach from those feelings on some level, so they just keep using. Punishing and condemning addicts, bad mouthing them and judging them will never help this problem. It doesn’t help the addict, nor does it benefit the world as a whole as society continues to perpetuate the cycle. What is needed is an educated society that understands the issue and its complexities, and how best to approach it.


The Recovery Process

Since the founders of Pathfinders Recovery Center have been in recovery we have found that addicts, and people in general for that matter, are capable of great things. The same men and women that come from dark, selfish, and lonely pasts are now selfless and caring, with a unique compassion for their fellow man. One in ten adult people in this nation are struggling with some form of addiction, and only one in ten of those people get help. These statistics are staggering. This disease does not discriminate. There are politicians, lawyers, policemen, doctors, pilots, therapists, and all other professions. We are your neighbors, your friends, your pastor, and your child’s school teacher. Before judging and condemning addicts, please remember that these people you are talking about are sick. Very sick. The power of choice is more than likely no longer in their grasp. They need compassion and understanding. They need help, and to be shown there is a way out.

For more information and the science behind each chemical’s effect on the body view our earlier blog posts or contact a Pathfinders Recovery Center founder directly at (855) 728-4363.

5 Important Things To Do After Addiction Treatment

post-addiction-treatment

Many people attend detoxes, short-term and long-term addiction treatment centers. A common issue for clients exiting these facilities is a lack of a sound aftercare plan. This article is meant to address this issue and provide you with some tips on what to do when you have graduated from your treatment center in order to optimize your chances of success in recovery. Before we begin, and before even checking into a treatment center you should discuss in detail their practices regarding aftercare planning. Here is an article on what to look for in a treatment center.

1. Be Open To Feedback

Not sure where to turn after treatment? Gather your resources, seek information and ask those around you. Sometimes what we think want and what is best for us are two very different things. That is why it is so crucial to be open to feedback from professionals and your peers when leaving your treatment center. They only want to see you succeed and become a more healthy and active members of your community..

2. Consider Sober Living After Primary Treatment

Sober living is a great option when leaving an addiction treatment center. Here you gain the freedom of being independent and self-sufficient with just enough structure and people around to help you through the transition of leaving your treatment center. A good sober living home will allow you to work, have a late curfew, and help you with practical life skills such as budgeting finances, relationships, healthy communication, nutrition, health and wellness and more. They will help you stay on track to long term recovery, reducing the risk of a relapse.

3. Develop a Sober Network

addiction-aftercare-planningA good group of peers is so imperative during the recovery process, people that we can trust and stay committed to.  Not to mention people to enjoy life and have sober fun with. We call this having an “A-Team” and it will save your life time and time again. Make sure you choose your A-Team wisely and be sure to stick with the winners. If you don’t know anyone sober outside of treatment, or if you have a fear of meeting new people, don’t worry we were all there once. We recommend looking into your local intergroup and attending, 12-step meetings, group and individual therapy. There you find a bountiful amount of sober people that will be willing to help you anyway that they can. A solid, safe support system can be the difference between sobriety and relapse.

4. Set Goals To Work Towards

A wise man once told me after years of sobriety, “You’ve wanted to die before…you have wanted to get sober before…now that you ARE sober…you have to find a reason to live.” This was a powerful statement for me because he was absolutely right.

I related to this on many levels; in regards to my son, towards helping others, having fun with friends, respecting myself on a daily basis, supporting my family and friends, and many more. It is important to figure out what is important to you and go for it.

Do what you love and love what you do.

5. Remain Humble And Hardworking Even After Treatment

It is all too common and very easy to stop working on ourselves and growing in recovery. After years of suffering, then months of feeling good it is impossible to remember the suffering you endured at all times. This ties into the last entry, as well, but you have to find a life worth being sober for. There is a catch here. Once you get the job, a place, a car, a relationship, and some money in your bank account, it becomes easy to become complacent and lazy. Don’t get caught in this trap, don’t let your sober life get in the way of what sobriety has given you.  

Until next time… stay humble and love yourself, life is what you make it.


Contact Us

Pathfinders Recovery Center
Scottsdale, AZ
pathfindersaz.com
info@pathfindersrec.wpengine.com
(855) 728-4363

*This blog post was authored by Lawrence Briggs, Director of Operations at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Ph: 480.320.0752