Karen R. struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction for way too long. She got clean, then relapsed. The story repeated. She got frustrated. She saw her friends stay clean. She stayed clean for a few months and then relapsed. Like many others that have had multiple stints with drug treatment, she started losing hope. .Fortunately, she was referred to a doctor that diagnosed her with a mood disorder. This discovery saved her life. Karen’s doctor referred her to a drug treatment center that specializes in co-occurring disorders. In this article, we share valuable information about co-occurring disorder and the type of treatment is available for those that self-medicate to manage an underlying a misdiagnosed mental illness.

What are the Difference Between Co-Occurring Disorder and Dual Diagnosis?

There is no difference between the terms co-occurring disorder and dual diagnosis. Both describe the presence of both a mental health and a substance-use disorder. For example, a person may be abusing a narcotic and also have bipolar disorder. Some of the most common mental health disorders diagnosed in combination with a substance abuse issue include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and personality disorders.

The Challenge of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

There are plenty of “Karens” out there who never get the kind of treatment “our” Karen did.  Cornerstone Rehabilitation Center is one of the only drug treatment centers in South Florida to offer a comprehensive co-occurring rehabilitation program. That’s remarkable, considering that 8.9 million U.S. adults have dual diagnosis. So we’d like to share our knowledge with you, as you consider dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida. Following are three typical challenges associated with dual diagnosis rehab:

  1. Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose because of the complexity of the symptoms.
  2. Practitioners themselves are generally specialists in mental health disorders or drug and alcohol addiction, and typically not both. They may not be adequately trained to diagnose and treat both. And if they are trained in only one disorder, they will treat only one disorder resulting in relapse.
  3. There are a variety of screening and assessment tools available to primary care practitioners. It takes time and effort to determine if further assessment is needed, access patient background on a client’s mental health and substance abuse disorders, and determine the likelihood of proposed interventions.

The Chicken or the Egg? It May Not Matter.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, what comes first, the mental health disorder or the alcohol or drug abuse? That question may not be as critical as the need for an integrated approach that provides for a truly coordinated, co-occurring rehabilitation program.

As our Medical Director, Dr. Levi Kahane, recommends, “Each person needs a full and thorough assessment to properly diagnose. It may not always be easy, but it can be done through gathering data from an interdisciplinary approach and exhaustive psychic assessment."

Cornerstone Rehabilitation Center dual diagnosis rehab program treats co-occurring addictions and the following mental health conditions:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Our preferred methods of treatment include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps redirect negative behaviors into positive activities; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a form or CBT, which provides methods for dealing with sudden and intense swings in emotion; and other techniques, including Person-Centered Therapy (PCT), validation and relaxation.

Cornerstone provides addiction and trauma treatment through a variety of programs administered by addiction recovery specialists who deal specifically with the following addictions:

  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Alcohol
  • Heroin/Opiates
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Synthetic/Designer Drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Over the Counter (OTC) Medications
  • Inhalants

We use various programs to uncover the causes of substance abuse and address their treatment. These include Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), SMART Recovery® (including multiple mental health therapies), Aftercare Treatment Program, (ATP) and lifetime-based Alumni Services.

Where to start? As Dr. Kahane insists, "Speak to your loved ones. A comprehensive diagnosis can be arrived at through a thorough and individualized test, and then a plan can be developed and initiated."

Dual Diagnosis. Single Source.

Cornerstone Recovery Center is one of the few co-occurring treatment centers in South Florida. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, there may be an undiagnosed and underlying mental health disorder. Please contact our admissions counselor online or call 888-711-0354 today. All communications with our staff are strictly confidential.