Drug Abuse And Mental Illness

Mental illness among drug addicts is a common and escalating issue. When someone suffers from a mental illness alongside a drug or alcohol addiction, it is categorized as dual-diagnosis. Those struggling with mental illness are 2x as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when compared to the general populous. A variety of scenarios can be included in the complex cause-and-effect relationship between these two areas.

Relationship Between Drug Abuse And Mental Illness

The possible relationships between drug abuse and mental illness as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • A common origin may be apparent for both disorders
  • Drug and alcohol abuse may exacerbate or cause mental illness
  • Mental illness may lead to substance abuse when subjects self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in an effort to ease the side effects of medication or alleviate symptoms of the disorder at hand

Common Origins Of Mental Diagnosis And Substance Abuse

When a single cause is apparent for both disorders, it is often one of the following:

  • Areas of the brain have been linked to both drug abuse and mental illness
  • Some patients are more susceptible to drug abuse and mental illness as a result of environmental factors, including childhood stressors and family issues
  • A genetic predisposition to both substance abuse and mental illness disorders

Consequences Of Substance Abuse With Mental Illness

Mental illness and Co-morbid substance abuse can result in a variety of consequences, including failure to respond to treatment, medication noncompliance, damaged relationships with loved ones and episodes of psychosis.

Problems Of Addiction With The Mentally Ill

Addiction increases the risk of jail and homelessness while contributing to social stigmas regarding the mentally ill. Though individuals with psychiatric issues are generally non-violent, the few who are aggressive in nature are typically struggling with addiction while ignoring their medication.

Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

Diagnosis can prove difficult due to the time required to unravel the interactive effects of mental illness and addiction. This delay may also inhibit treatment. One may require mental illness treatment over substance abuse treatment, or vice versa. Ultimately, both issues must be addressed in order to achieve a state of optimum mental and physical health.

An integrated recovery approach must be sought when addiction and dual diagnosis is present. Treatment will include counseling, intensive case management, social support and motivational interventions. Recovery should be comprehensive, catering to each and every aspect of the patient’s life, including socialization, activities, housing and stress management.

The road to recovery is never an easy journey. If you or a loved one is struggling with dual diagnosis, Above it All Treatment Center is the place to turn. With a team of seasoned addiction, mental health and recovery specialists available to assess and address your individual needs and condition, you can count on Above it All to have you smiling and on the fast track to fabulous in no time. Call today!

Holistic Addiction Treatment

Drug addiction is a common issue that causes many people to seek treatment. An inpatient facility offers a number of options designed to get to the root of the addiction and help clients. A holistic drug treatment program includes elements that treat a client’s body, mind, and soul. All aspects have been affected by the addiction and need healing as part of the treatment process.

Holistically Treating Physical Needs

A client who arrives at a treatment program will be assessed to determine what his or her needs are before an individual treatment plan can be devised. If a person is still using drugs or alcohol, the first step may include going through holistic detox, or a similar program to free the body from the physical effects of drugs and/or alcohol.

Medically supervised detox is a safer way to deal with this part of the treatment. It involves slowly lowering the amount of drugs and alcohol in a client’s system until he or she is completely drug-free.

Nutrition And Exercise In Holistic Treatment

The other aspect of looking after a client during inpatient drug and alcohol treatment is recognizing that a person may not have been eating properly. The treatment program needs to include some instruction in healthy eating, as well as exercise classes and opportunities to spend time outside.  Because they’re so lost in the addiction, many addicts forget to provide very basic care for themselves.

Addressing Mental Health Needs In Holistic Treatment

Successful addiction treatment must include treating a client’s mental health needs. The initial screening should also include an evaluation for issues like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. If holistic treatment for co-occurring disorder is required, expert treatment will be provided for the mental health concern as well as individual and group counseling for the addiction. Both issues are addressed concurrently to help clients in recovery.

Over time, clients can learn how to recognize the situations that may act as triggers for them to use drugs or alcohol. They can start to learn how to change thought processes to move away from negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones that can help to strengthen their commitment to sobriety.

Treating Spirit And Soul With Holistic Treatment

The third part of holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs involves focusing on the client’s soul. It’s just as important as taking good care of the body and teaching clients in treatment how to refocus their way of thinking in a more positive manner. A person’s relationship with his or herself is likely broken at this level from the addiction, and it can be repaired as part of the treatment process.

Meditation can help, even though many people may feel awkward about taking the time to be still and experience what they feel as they spend time in quiet contemplation. Over time, this strategy should help clients to develop a sense of peace and mindfulness that they can use to keep stress levels down.

Holistic drug rehabs use this three-pronged approach to help clients develop good strategies for their sobriety goals. The more tools they can add to their inventory, the more likely the client will be able to achieve long-term recovery.

Understanding Addiction & Bipolar Disorder

Characterized by severe mood swings, bipolar disorder can oftentimes require specialized medication and care for treatment. Unfortunately, some patients believe that the medications are not suited to their needs or simply choose not to take them. These individuals sometimes rely on self-medication through drug and alcohol use, which can result in addiction. Understanding the reasoning behind substance abuse, the moods and the treatments offered can provide insight into both the addiction and disorder as a whole.

Depression and Mania

In order to understand the correlation between bipolar and addiction, we must first educate ourselves in regard to the moods. Depression is the mood where patients show an extreme disinterest in life, a discontinuation of typically exciting and fun activities and a heightened interested in suicide. In some cases the depression can be triggered once a patient is informed of their actions during a manic episode. The same patients can also suffer from mania, which includes heightened energy levels alongside the desire to participate in high-energy activities – exercise, frivolous spending and hyper-sexuality to name a few. Manic individuals will also immerse themselves within a variety of projects with the intent of completing each one, despite a lack of dedication and unrealistic deadlines.

Substance Abuse

When a bipolar patient dabbles in substance abuse, it is considered dual diagnosis. Substance abuse in bipolar individuals may occur during both the depression and manic phases. Some suffering from the disorder refuse to take prescription medication due to a fear of side effects and instead choose to self-medicate through alcohol or drug use. Others cater to the belief that the medications simply aren’t doing enough to alter their state of mind. For depressed patients, stimulants are often the drug of choice due to the energy and positive emotional effects. Patients in a manic state often resort to alcohol due to its depressive qualities. Unfortunately, self-medication will ultimately lead to addiction, providing patients with yet another condition to combat.


Addiction treatment is the first step in addressing dual diagnosis. Many patients often require a mood stabilizer in order to keep the depression and mania at bay. However, most of the mood stabilizers used in mental health recovery do not interact well with illicit drugs or alcohol. Once the addiction can be managed through detox and counseling, doctors can begin administering treatment for bipolar disorder.

Researching dual diagnosis treatment centers? Contact Above It All Treatment Center today! With a team of seasoned addiction and mental health experts available to address each patient’s individual needs, you can count on Above It All for the personalized care and attention you’ve been searching for. Call today for more information and find out what Above It All can do for you!

How To Handle A Dual Diagnosis

A very simple definition of dual diagnosis is a person who not only suffers from drug or alcohol addiction but also has a mental or emotional disorder. Examples of these include bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

When a dual diagnosis exists, it may affect a person who is in or needs rehabilitation. This can be especially true if the drug or alcohol addiction actually seems to help the underlying mental or emotional problem.

Further, addiction treatment is sometimes implemented with no knowledge on the part of those administering the treatment that a dual diagnosis exists. This may be caused by the patient not having disclosed this, or having been able to conceal the problem from those conducting rehab programs to the fact that the underlying condition was never diagnosed in the first place.

There have been incidences when those who were in charge of rehabilitation could not figure out why rehab programs were not working. Upon further examination and consideration, however, the fact that the patient was indeed suffering from depression, bi-polar disorder, or another mental or emotional problem came to light, and the treatment program was adjusted to account for this.

In some cases, the patient may enter into rehabilitation with that fact already disclosed, and may even be on medication for the problems. As mentioned earlier, however, this is not always the case and those who operate and work at addiction treatment facilities need to be aware that there is a possibility of dual diagnosis.

Whether or not the problem is known at the beginning, once it is realized, those who come in contact with patients in drug or alcohol rehabilitation may need to be extra vigilant in how they approach the patient, especially during counseling sessions. In addition, it may be necessary to take additional steps to see that a patient is protected from injuring himself and others.

There are some addiction treatment facilities, like Above It All Treatment Center, that actually provide case managers for those diagnosed with dual diagnosis as a result of trauma during childhood or at other times. A patient in this situation is under the care of both a clinician and a case manager, who make sure that the patient has access to treatment for both his mental or emotional problem and addiction treatment. In addition, they collaborate with everyone involved in every aspect of the patient’s treatment.

Sometimes, in order to facilitate treatment, and make it easier on both the patient and care providers, efforts are made to place the patient in the care of someone who can provide both clinical treatment for the mental/emotional disorder as well as drug abuse counseling and other aspects of drug rehabilitation. This allows the patient to only have to deal with one person, and gives the care provider the opportunity to see what is happening in both areas of treatment, without having to constantly consult with other personnel. The result is a greater overall chance of success in treatment of both problems.

Where Do I Go For Help

The Above It All Treatment Center is a co-occurring disorders treatment center located in Los Angeles, California. We provide an interdisciplinary therapeutic approach designed to address the root causes of addiction. With an inpatient capacity of just 12 people our holistic style is completely individualized and offers the highest standard of dignity and confidentiality during rehabilitation. If you would like to learn more about our treatment options call 1 888 805 0127 now.

Whether you are looking for a sober living home, an inpatient drug rehab, an outpatient addiction treatment program or psychotherapeutic counseling, Above It All Treatment Center can provide you with what you need. Above It All Treatment Center is a southern California drug rehab located on Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains about 90 minutes from Los Angeles.

The application process starts with a phone call or an email. Contact the Los Angeles drug rehab center that interests you and ask questions: Do they offer medical detox? Do they provide residential treatment or outpatient services? What aftercare services do they offer? Do they take your insurance? When will they have a space available for you?

After that, you can ask for a tour of the facility or an in-person meeting with a counselor to discuss your drug history and your goals and needs for treatment. If you have co-occurring medical and/ or psychological disorders, food allergies or other issues that will require accommodation, this is the time to bring it up and make sure that your Los Angeles drug rehab center can cater to your needs.

Paying for a Los Angeles drug rehab center starts much like getting into a Los Angeles drug rehab center starts: with a phone call. Start with one of the questions listed above: Do you take my insurance? Then follow it up with more specifics. Find out if your insurance covers all of the cost of treatment or just part. They may cover only certain treatments or pay for a certain amount of time in drug rehab.

Here is what you’ll notice as soon as you arrive:  The stunning beauty of Lake Arrowhead and the surrounding forest, The quietness, the feeling of peace and solitude and The crisp mountain air along with the and the soft scent of pine.

Above It All Treatment Center is the perfect place to escape your everyday life, leave your cares behind, and begin your journey to sobriety — and happiness. Call us today at call 1 888 805 0127 so we can assist you in the start of your recovery.

Fighting Depression Following Addiction

Combating depression on its own can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Fighting depression following an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be 10x worse. A small part of you will want to pick up where you left off; another will disagree. In some ways, it’s safe to say that depression works on the human brain in similar fashion to drug use… it’s time consuming and negative. If you’re up for the good fight, you will require assistance along the way. Reading this entry is the first step.

1 – Educate yourself. Though reading this article is a wonderful step forward, the act – in and of itself – will not cure your depression. Throw yourself into the fight by learning as much as you possibly can about it. Find out how other addicts have dealt with their depression, and chose combative techniques that best suit your individual needs and situation.

2 – Know that turning to drugs will only serve in feeding the depression. Though you may experience a few moments of euphoria, the escape will be short-lived, and draining. Finding ways to address your depression without the aid of drugs or alcohol is key to ensuring a happy life to come.3 – Need help? Ask for it! While medications and pills can help combat the pain of depression, they only address a small part of the big picture. Set goals, stay positive, and communicate your worries with a trained LA drug rehab counselor. Seek support from close family and friends who hold a vested interest in your sobriety. Drug addiction is very common in our society, as is depression. Finding help to address these issues is only as difficult as you choose to make it.

4 – Expand your social life! It can be easy for recovering addicts to avoid social interaction due to fears of relapse and anxieties. If you find yourself feeling nervous in social situations, just remember that you have the ability to leave when you like. Take things one step at a time, and push yourself to encounter new people and situations. In time, you’ll find yourself happier, more involved, and eager for fun!

5 – Always remember what brought you to this point. Some people will always maintain a desire for alcohol and drugs following recovery. Accept this, and move forward with a goal to maintain sobriety while staying active. Depression cannot be hidden or outrun… it must be dealt with head-on; as with addiction. When the going gets tough, just remember to take a good deep breath, and remember that for every low point, there is an equally drastic high point waiting around the corning.

“We Aren’t a Glum Lot”

“ … we aren’t a glum lot.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 132

In the lives of many alcoholics and addicts who have begun the path to sobriety and a new life are many fears. One of them is often that we will never enjoy ourselves again.  This question, “How will I ever have any fun without a drink or drug in hand?” is based on our reliance of substances to provide for us things we think we have been without.

For many there was, once upon a time, the feeling of instant invincibility and the idea that we could be friendly and fun, attractive and well-liked when we had that drink of drug and now, without that drink or drug, we believe we would never be able to feel comfortable enough to have fun and let loose again.  In effect, we began to use drugs and alcohol as a way to treat this symptom, the belief of an inability to fit in. We believed that drugs and alcohol allowed us to suddenly become the vision of who we so wanted to be. Finally, we thought, not only do we fit in but the lampshade on our respective heads amused everyone around us.  Or so we thought.

The truth is that through our newfound and ever-evolving sobriety, we learn more and more that fun is there for the taking.  Maybe we always wanted to engage in an activity to which we were drawn but never sober enough to follow through on to even make the attempt.  In sobriety, all doors open to us, we are able to seek our heart’s desire and enjoy ourselves along the way.  We learn how to throw our heads back and laugh.  In the dawn of our Recovery, we begin to realize we have a bond with others who suffered in, possibly, the very same way.  The staff at this Los Angeles drug rehab understands the root of this fear and teaches us that enjoying oneself is paramount as well as shows us how to do just that.

Laughter and joy are waiting for you on the other side of the darkness to which alcoholics and addicts have become so accustomed.  We move together, meeting new people all along the way who encourage us on our journey into our new life where we will find ourselves happy, joyous and free.

The Alcoholic Addict and Emotion

“We want to find exactly how, when and where our natural desires have warped us.  We wish to look squarely at the unhappiness this has caused others and ourselves.  By discovering what our emotional deformities are, we can move toward their correction.  Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little sobriety or contentment for us.” – Alcoholics Anonymous’ The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg. 43

Warped natural desires and emotional deformities are difficult concepts to not only grasp, but to own.  We don’t want to believe there’s anything wrong with us.  Who wants to think any of us are, as the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous states on pg. 30, “bodily and mentally different from his fellows.”

However, truth be told, we are different.  We absorb information differently.  We assess our environments differently and many times, we are very sensitive to anything we perceive might be about ourselves, which, more often than not, is nearly every sentence and situation with which we come into contact.

This is not a viable plan for living.  If we constantly think we are the subject of every conversation and the target of every casual glance, how would that thinking not be warped and deformed?  We, as alcoholics and addicts, are, by definition, selfish creatures.  In our selfishness, our emotional capacity is stunted and our ability to grasp and process information is stilted.  We cannot adequately function in the world, much less strive within our own lives and the lives of those around us.  This is not a sturdy platform on which we stand, it is a balancing act on a house of cards on a windy day.

It is suggested we find out how, when and where we have gone astray.  It is with this knowledge that we may ask to be relieved of these burdens, this bondage of self, by whatever Power greater than ourselves to which we’ve connected.  If we do not face this information, how can we ever receive the grace that awaits us and live life in a dignified, upright, helpful fashion?   Finding these facts may seem arduous however they could very well be the key that fits the lock of a life worthwhile.