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Introduction to Dual Diagnosis

While mental health professionals understand dual diagnosis conditions are closely connected, little research is available to help determine which condition came first in most cases. Unfortunately, there is often little evidence available for treatment professionals to determine if someone’s mental health struggles led to substance use or vice-versa. What is known is that it is not uncommon for people who experience significant or overwhelming symptoms related to a mental health condition to turn to drugs or alcohol to help reduce the intensity or severity of their symptoms. This is referred to as maladaptive coping and is frequently a stepping-stone to drug or alcohol dependency and addiction. Additionally, using substances as a way to manage mental health symptoms can sometimes work oppositely, leading to new or worsening mental health conditions related to substance abuse.

At Casa Serena, we believe that to recover from the deep trauma which often lies beneath substance use and mental health disorders, you must feel completely safe and comfortable. This is why we offer a recovery space that is absent of a mixed population to better support your journey toward a new life. Women have specific needs and goals that separate them from men when participating in addiction treatment. Women-only treatment addresses these needs to ensure women receive the most comprehensive treatment possible in a safe and supported setting. Casa Serena's women-only treatment programs provide gender-specific therapy groups and address the biologically unique emotional and physical issues women experience as they work to overcome addiction. Additionally, a women-only treatment program increases comfort levels and inspires option communication with like-minded peers who share and support your treatment goals.

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment is Key for Long-Term Recovery

Dual diagnosis treatment is often more complex than a treatment program to address mental health conditions or substance use disorders on their own. Since these orders are closely related, a dual diagnosis program must focus on both conditions simultaneously. It is essential to ensure your treatment program addresses the symptoms of both disorders to provide the best opportunities for relapse prevention and overall positive treatment outcomes.

The best option for a woman experiencing symptoms of a co-occurring disorder is to seek help from a specialty dual diagnosis treatment center for women like Casa Serena. At a facility specializing in dual diagnosis treatment, members of your treatment team are highly skilled and trained to address the unique nature of co-occurring disorder treatment. Therapy at a dual diagnosis treatment center ensures your treatment program will be focused on all areas of your struggle, including your mental health symptoms and the psychological and physical health struggles resulting from substance use disorders. As part of dual diagnosis treatment, your treatment team will work with you to help address the specific mental health conditions and the emotional or psychological factors that may have led to drug and alcohol abuse.

As part of therapy, you will learn more about how drugs and alcohol are used as harmful coping tools. By understanding how drugs and alcohol are ineffective in helping manage symptoms, you can learn and practice safer, healthier coping strategies for symptom management and relapse prevention. Additionally, your therapist will help you learn about triggers. Triggers are people, places, or events that lead you to think about drug and alcohol use or “trigger” anxiety, stress, and other emotions common to many mental health diagnoses. Having a clear understanding of those things that are triggering for you will help you avoid them in the future or, if they are unavoidable, develop ways to safely and effectively manage them. The tools that you develop as part of therapy in a women’s dual diagnosis treatment center will help you prevent relapse and maintain lasting sobriety.

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Why Choose a Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Women

Dual diagnosis treatment programs for women involve multiple steps. In the majority of cases, the first step is often detox. Detox is a vital component of many treatment programs as it is necessary to cleanse your body from the effects of drugs or alcohol before you can effectively participate in a treatment program. Unfortunately, detox is not always pleasant. However, it is vital. If you are still struggling with cravings or other symptoms related to withdrawing from substances, it will be impossible to focus on therapy and learning how to address mental health issues without turning to drugs or alcohol. Once detox is complete, it is possible to transition into the therapeutic portion of your program.

During therapy, you will participate in a range of different therapy sessions. Depending on your treatment program and the models of therapy chosen by your team, this will likely include individual, group, and possible family therapies. At a women’s treatment center, therapy will occur in gender-specific settings, meaning for women only. A gender-specific environment can be highly beneficial for women with underlying mental health conditions related to problematic relationships with the opposite sex. Many women who have been victims of trauma (especially at the hands of the opposite sex) are unable to actively and comfortably participate in mixed-gender therapy sessions. At a women’s rehab, you can feel safe and comfortable knowing you are surrounded by a group of like-minded women, many of whom share similar experiences. Additionally, women who struggle to manage the responsibilities of parenting or managing their homes while seeking help to overcome addiction can seek support from peers in the same treatment program who share similar struggles. Peer support is highly beneficial and greatly helps improve treatment outcomes.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Women

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Our Women's Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

If you or a loved one struggles with a dual diagnosis condition, seeking help at a dual diagnosis treatment center for women is a key factor in achieving lasting recovery. Unfortunately, although all addiction treatment centers are equipped to provide effective addiction treatment care, not all are equally qualified to manage the unique nature of dual diagnosis symptoms. It is crucial to choose a treatment center like Casa Serena, where the caring and compassionate treatment staff can help you understand your mental health symptoms and how to effectively manage them without drugs or alcohol.

Struggles with addiction and mental health do not go away on their own. Unfortunately, the chronic circle of turning to drugs and alcohol to manage mental health symptoms only deepens dependency and addiction to substance use. Using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate does not help you safely and effectively manage your mental health symptoms in a way that can help you recover and put struggles with mental health in the past. If you would like to learn more about how dual diagnosis treatment at our women-focused treatment center can help you get sober and overcome difficult mental health struggles, reach out to our admissions team today. A member of our caring and compassionate woman focus treatment community will walk you through the admissions process and how treatment at Casa Serena can help you heal. Call us to learn more about our programs, or if you would like to see what women-only treatment that causes Serena looks like, ask about scheduling the tour of our beautiful oceanside facility in Santa Barbara, California.
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