How We Treat Co-Occurring Disorders

People who are battling a substance use disorder alongside an existing mental health issue face unique challenges in the recovery process. At Cumberland Heights, we understand how difficult it is to manage co-occurring disorders. Because of the complexities associated with a dual diagnosis, it takes specialized care to adequately treat both mental health and substance use disorders. Let’s look at how we treat co-occurring disorders to help individuals manage multiple diagnoses. 

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

When someone is diagnosed with a mental health disorder and also struggles with substance abuse, they are said to have co-occurring disorders. Because both of these diagnoses are existing at the same time, it’s often difficult to manage both effectively. This creates a challenge for both individuals and mental health professionals. It takes a skilled addiction treatment team to successfully treat these diagnoses concurrently. 

Treating a Dual Diagnosis

Adequate management of a dual diagnosis requires more intensive treatment than either managing a substance use disorder or mental illness individually. Symptoms of substance abuse and mental health issues are often exacerbated by each other. For example, a person with major depressive disorder and an alcohol use disorder may experience more frequent periods of depression if they are not drinking. Consuming alcohol could also increase symptoms of depression, especially for those who drink in excess. 

A skilled treatment team will know how to address symptoms of both disorders while working to limit the effect one has on the other. Our team at Cumberland Heights works with each person who comes through our doors to assess and create an individualized treatment plan for their dual diagnosis.

Therapies We Use

At Cumberland Heights, we have found that each client benefits from a unique combination of evidence-based therapies. All of our modalities are backed by peer-reviewed research, and our expert practitioners deliver care tailored to each client’s needs. Our scientifically backed approach blends a variety of therapies, including:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • 12-Step Facilitation (TSF)
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Seeking Safety
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
  • Somatic Experiencing (Som-Ex)
  • Person-Centered Therapy
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Metaphor Therapy
  • Adventure-Based Counseling
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Art Therapy
  • Structured Family Therapy
  • Stages of Change
  • Music Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The Cumberland Heights treatment team continuously strives to help our clients to achieve the best possible results. We further this goal by collecting data at various stages of recovery. Through this process, we have gained deep insight into what it takes to recover from substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental illness. Here are a few of our findings.

  • Symptoms lessened over time. Tailored treatment reduced the symptoms of anxiety and depression in our clients throughout the first year after discharge. On average, patients reported a 68% reduction in depression symptoms and a 63% decrease in anxiety symptoms. They also experienced a 74% drop in cravings.
  • Lower rates of readmission. Some people require multiple rounds of treatment to stay sober. We found that those who engaged with our continuum of care were less likely to relapse and return to Cumberland Heights.
  • Increased levels of abstinence. Clients who successfully completed treatment reported increased recovery engagement and decreased health consequences.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Cumberland Heights

If someone walked into a doctor’s office with a pre-existing heart condition but had recently developed a persistent cough, these two conditions would be analyzed together. This helps a doctor determine if one diagnosis is influencing the other.

At Cumberland Heights, we take the same approach.

We treat mental health disorders alongside the presenting substance use disorder because we know how each can affect the other. Through this treatment approach, we have seen many achieve recovery for both diagnoses. If you or someone you love are managing co-occurring disorders, contact us today to learn about our integrated treatment.