How to Know if a Dual-Diagnosis Program is for You

Real life is complicated. Our minds, our bodies, our feelings, even our experiences – on paper, it seems things should be so clear-cut. We think this, we want that, we feel X, Y, or Z…

In reality, of course, it’s rarely that simple. Feelings crash into thoughts which disrupt our plans which then change our feelings – we are complicated creatures, it seems.

Diagnostic Challenges

The same is true when it comes to diagnosing disruptions to living our best life. Mental health issues and behavioral disorders are very real, and often very damaging, conditions. We don’t choose them, and they don’t always each stay in their box. They interact and complicate one another without asking our permission.

Substance abuse is a harsh disruptor as well. Sometimes it’s just one thing, but it’s not unusual for substance use disorder (SUD) to take a variety of forms for the same individual. Like I said, real life is complicated.

People wrestling with mental health issues or behavioral disorders are more likely than the general population to seek relief or solace through the misuse of alcohol or drugs, whether they come from pharmacies or neighborhood dealers. That’s certainly not a good thing, but it makes sense – things feel messed up and out of control. We don’t always know what to do or how to feel, and the false promise of whatever substance is available can prove overwhelming. And sometimes, mental health issues just plain make it harder to make our best choices.

Conversely, individuals struggling with substance abuse are more likely than the general population to have mental health issues or behavioral disorders. The disruptions of addiction can lay the groundwork for latent issues to manifest themselves unexpectedly, or otherwise trigger thoughts and behaviors which otherwise might have remained dormant.

The cause-and-effect of it all isn’t always clear, but the correlations are undeniable. And if you’re the individual, your chances of sorting it all out by yourself are statistically slim. You need someone with training and experience in just this sort of difficulty.

Dual Diagnosis Experts

The good news is, you’re not alone. You’re not even some rare exception to how struggle is supposed to work. There’s a name for what you’re experiencing: “co-occurring disorders,” sometimes referred to simply as “dual-diagnosis.”

Either term simply means you’re dealing with a combination of substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health or behavioral issues. It’s unlikely you’ll find your way out on your own, but there is a way through this to a better version of you. And we can help you get there.

Dual-diagnosis situations require experts with both the training and experience to recognize and understand the many factors at play in the same individual. The symptoms for many types of substance abuse and many varieties of mental health or related issues overlap and impact one another in innumerable ways.

How Do I Know If I Need Help?

That’s a great question, although there’s not a single, simple answer. In general, however, there are common warning signs that should at least prompt a phone call or setting up an appointment:

  • You no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy (and maybe you don’t enjoy much of anything).
  • Your mood or overall attitude has changed dramatically without obvious external reasons.
  • Anger, depression, defensiveness, paranoia, or any other intense emotions or perceptions “take over” from time to time
  • It’s hard to think clearly or to focus for extended periods of time.
  • You’re no longer motivated to take care of yourself or your surroundings.
  • You used to “self-medicate” to deal with stress or extreme situations; now you do it just to feel “normal.”
  • Friends or family members have started asking you a lot of questions about what’s going on with you or commenting that you don’t “seem like yourself.”
  • You have strong thoughts, feelings, or urges, which are destructive or dangerous or which drive you to do things that don’t make sense
  • Performance at work or school drops off suddenly, or you find yourself having trouble with things that used to be easy – keeping up with the bills, buying the right groceries, etc.
  • You’ve become impulsive or unpredictable.
  • You find yourself thinking about suicide or self-harm or talking about suicide even without intending to.
  • You have a family history of mental illness or substance abuse.
  • Friends, family, or co-workers urge you to get professional help, even if you don’t think you need it or don’t understand why.

When In Doubt…

If any of these describe you, or if you’re still not sure, don’t wait. Reach out. Let us help you figure out the best way forward to confront mental health challenges as well as providing effective addiction treatment. No matter what you’ve done or how you feel, you are not alone.

The Link between Depression and Substance Abuse

The relationship between substance abuse and depression is bidirectional. This means that individuals who have depression do experience an increased chance of having a substance abuse problem and those with addiction are at a greater risk of having depression.

Many people who suffer from depression will abuse drugs or drink in order to boost their mood or escape feelings of misery or guilt. However, certain substances, including alcohol, have depressant properties, which escalate feelings of sadness. Using substances to alter any negative feelings can become part of a cycle, which hinders the ability to get treatment for depression.

Does Depression or Substance Abuse Come First?

It can be hard to say which comes first since the results will vary from person to person. Some will develop drug addiction or alcoholism while others develop depression first. A study published in the National Institute of Health’s U.S. Library of Medicine shows that alcohol can actually induce depression. This is because it alters the level of serotonin. When serotonin levels rise, the symptoms of depression can sometimes decrease. Those who have depression can sometimes self medicate in order to treat the problem. Over time, substance abuse will worsen depression. Alcohol dependence and drugs can cause a lot of hardships across every aspect of life and these hardships can make depression worse.

Both alcohol use and mental illness will have a similar underlying cause. Genetics play a role in both substance abuse and depression. Someone who has a sibling or parent with depression can be two to three times more likely to develop it than an average person. Both addiction and mental illness can stem from issues in the brain. When someone is vulnerable to one type of brain disease, they can also be vulnerable to other conditions as well. Both mental health disorders and addiction affect the same chemicals and molecules in the brain. Trauma and childhood stress can put a person at a greater risk for depression and substance abuse. Further research is needed to determine the exact reasons why this can occur. Stress can be triggered by neglect, domestic violence, sexual or emotion abuse, or the death of a parent at a young age. Regardless of a person’s age, stress can be a risk factor for depression. When the body releases the stress hormone cortisol, it stimulates symptoms that are similar to depression.

Can Drug Abuse Be a Cause of Depression?

Drug addiction and alcoholism may be able to cause mental illness because they change the chemical balance in the brain. If a mental health specialist doesn’t diagnose and treat the mental illness quickly, it can also encourage the use of substances. Addiction can be a dangerous cycle once it starts.

How Drug Abuse Can Hinder Depression Treatment

Those who have co-occurring substance abuse disorders and depression usually receive specialized treatment to manage both disorders to be able to improve symptoms and increase the effectiveness of rehab. If someone with depression is getting treatment, such as therapy or medication, and notices that drinking numbs feelings, he or she may still be inclined to continue engaging in that activity and avoid evidence-based treatment. This patient may think that substance use works better than medicine or therapy and stop prescriptions or therapy visits. The substance abuse can then create other symptoms of depression, making it even harder to treat the individual.

Effects of Substance Abuse on Depression

Using drugs or drinking to wind down at the end of the day can lead an individual to think that symptoms are improving. Instead, this can just be creating more health problems. Reaching for alcohol or drugs to help lift spirits can cause depression symptoms to worsen. Depression poses risk such as a suppressed immune system, self-harm, a weakened body, and accidental injury. When a mental illness occurs alongside substance use, risks to emotion and physical health increase.

How Having Both Affects Treatment

When an individual suffers from both depression and substance abuse, this is called a co-occurring disorder. These disorders require a more comprehensive treatment plan that will effectively address both disorders. One shouldn’t be treated without the other since an individual that isn’t treated for both can have a higher rate of relapse.

It can be common for people to be unaware of either condition. If only the substance abuse is treated then a person can go back to abusing substances whenever they feel depressed. When only the depression is treated, an individual can continue using substances, which can lead to more depression symptoms. Drugs that are used to treat depression can be affected by alcohol intake. The person can still feel depressed and even develop anxiety when drinking and taking the medication. Alcohol can also cause an individual to become sedated or feel drowsy. Treatment for both substance abuse and depression will usually involve a combination of therapy and medications.

What To Expect When Coming Down From Alcoholism

The dreaded alcohol come down. Anyone who has experienced symptoms of withdrawals has an idea of what lies ahead when deciding to get sober, once and for all. It may have taken months, or years, to finally arrive at this important fork in the road, but no matter, you are here and have chosen the right path.

Deciding to get sober is one thing, but following through can be another story altogether. You are psyched up and mentally prepared for this first step in seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder, but the idea of coming down from alcoholism is a daunting one.

The best way to approach the goal of achieving sobriety is with the support of a trained team of detox experts. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become erratic and intense, so it is never wise to take on the challenge alone. A medical detox program will provide the safety and comfort to get you through the detox and withdrawal process and prepare you for the treatment phase of recovery.

What is a Medical Detox?

When coming down from alcoholism there are is a diverse range of symptoms, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms dictated by the length of history engaged in alcohol abuse, the level of daily alcohol consumption, general health status, and whether there is more than one substance involved. All of these factors will determine the severity of the detox process.

To help ease the detoxification process, while the body is purging the alcohol and toxins, detox specialists provide clients with medications. Because each person’s detox experience will vary, these interventions are determined based on the observable symptoms, vital signs, and psychological status throughout the process. Benzodiazepine is commonly administer to help minimize the risk of seizure, anxiety symptoms, and to aid sleep. Over-the-counter medications provide relief for gastrointestinal distress, headache, and fever.

What Are the Symptoms of Coming Down From Alcoholism?

Coming down from alcoholism happens gradually over a period of days, with the peak withdrawal symptoms occurring on days 2-3, before beginning to subside. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms emerge between 6-12 hours after the last alcoholic beverage, and the detox usually lasts for 5-7 days.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Where Should I Get Treatment for the Alcohol Problem?

Getting treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) may be somewhat confusing at first glance. There are different types of treatment programs, most falling into two camps: outpatient or residential treatment. The outpatient option is appropriate for a recently acquired AUD, one that is mild to moderate in severity. Outpatient programs offer far less structure and oversight, so for someone with a more entrenched AUD, this format will probably not be advisable.

The residential treatment option is appropriate for moderate to severe AUD, as these rehabs offer structure, 24-hour oversight and support, and have a physician on staff. A residential program will likely feature a full daily schedule of various therapy sessions, classes, and groups, which are all designed to promote success in recovery. A residential program lasts from one to nine months, depending on the needs of the client. In general, the longer someone can remain in treatment, the better their recovery outcome.

What to Expect in Treatment

An effective alcohol recovery program will utilize a variety of treatment elements that are designed to work together in helping clients overcome the AUD and transition to a new sober lifestyle. Each rehab has its own “personality” and philosophy, but most will offer most of the following treatment modalities:

Evidence-based therapies: These are scientifically studied therapies that resulted in statistically significant results. Clients will engage in the therapy best suited to their own specific needs and underlying factors. All of these therapies work toward assisting the client to change their behaviors by guiding them toward recognizing disorder thinking that fueled the AUD. Some examples of evidence-base therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and contingency management.

Group sessions. Peer interaction in group therapy sessions is essential while in treatment. These sessions offer the participants a supportive space where they can share their stories, their fears, their disappointments, and their hopes.

Recovery classes. Learning about how addiction happens, how the brain is affected by alcohol, and how to avoid relapse, is helpful in teaching clients how the disease of addiction develops. Recovery tools are taught, equipping clients with new coping skills and better communication techniques that will benefit them when encountering challenges in recovery.

Holistic activities. The mind-body connection is important to address in recovery. Learning techniques that help to regulate stress and anxiety are essential coping tools to be incorporated into life after rehab. These activities might include mindfulness meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and art therapy.

After Treatment, Then What?

Leaving rehab after an extended stay can be very stressful. After a prolonged stay in a highly structured environment, clients may leave rehab feeling vulnerable and lonely. Attention should be paid to aftercare planning from the outset of treatment. Such services as sober living housing, continuing outpatient therapy, and locating a recovery community for social support are critical in maintaining sobriety for the long term.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcoholism

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based rehab, located in a private home setting. This family-type environment provides a comfortable, secure setting for obtaining a medically supervised detox, and then transitioning into treatment. The treatment program is customized to align with each client’s unique recovery needs and goals, and is based on a comprehensive plan that combines several treatment methods for best results. At Quest 2 Recovery, clients find a caring, compassionate staff that is highly supportive throughout the early recovery process. For more information about our program, please reach out to the team at (888) 453-9396.

The Link Between Panic Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

When it comes to exploring the connection between panic disorder and alcohol abuse, one is faced with a quandary; which disorder emerged first, the alcohol abuse or the panic disorder? This is a logical question, as there is evidence that either scenario may be valid. Someone who suffers from anxiety, in the form of panic attacks, may self-medicate using alcohol as a panacea for the intense fear response that is common with panic disorder. On the other hand, alcohol abuse itself has been linked with stoking panic attacks. Evidently, alcohol abuse is detrimental to individuals struggling with anxiety or panic disorder.

In the first example, of using alcohol to help alleviate the severe feelings of distress experienced during a panic attack, alcohol can become addictive. The individual begins to anticipate the need for alcohol in the event of another attack, so they might reflexively reach for it at the slightest sign of fear or worry. Over time, this thought-behavior pattern has the potential to morph into alcohol use disorder, adding an additional layer of complexity to the existing mental health disorder.

In the second example, alcohol use or abuse may trigger panic attacks due to resulting physiological conditions, such as dehydration, low blood sugar, and increased heart rate. In addition to the physical cause for possibly initiating a panic attack, alcohol abuse leads inevitably to serious negative consequences that themselves could spark the intense fear response. Alcohol withdrawal may also cause anxiety and symptoms related to panic disorder.

The correlation between panic disorder and alcohol abuse is an important one to explore. Each of these disorder on its own lead to isolating behaviors, so when they coexist there is the risk of serious impairment in functioning due to social withdrawal and isolation.

Dual diagnosis are more complex conditions to treat, necessitating a specialized treatment approach that addresses both of the issues, the anxiety disorder and the substance use disorder, simultaneously. This approach has been shown to yield higher recovery success rates than treating the disorders one at a time.

About Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is under the anxiety umbrella of mental health conditions, impacting approximately 2.7% of American adults each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. When someone initially experiences a panic attack, they may seek medical attention thinking they might be having a heart attack. This is due to the similarity of symptoms between these two events. Panic disorder episodes typically involve the following symptoms:

  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Shaking
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal distress, diarrhea

When a panic attack occurs it often happens with no warning and with no cause or dangerous situation present. Although research has not yet determined the cause of panic disorder, there is some indication that panic disorder has a genetic component. Significant and stressful life events may also be causal in developing this mental health disorder.

About Alcohol Use Disorder

While most adults can use alcohol responsibly, some may find themselves leaning on the substance and consuming more alcohol than is healthy for them. When someone consistently exceeds the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this constitutes an alcohol use disorder. The CDC defines moderate alcohol intake as no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women or two per day for men.

The number of symptoms an individual experiences will dictate the level of severity of the alcohol use disorder, ranging from mild, to moderate, to severe in acuity. Symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Drinking more than you intend
  • Try to stop drinking, or cut back, and cannot
  • Engage in high risk behaviors while intoxicated
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol, leading to higher consumption
  • Continue to drink regardless of negative consequences
  • Spend increasing amounts of time drinking
  • Withdrawing socially, isolating
  • Legal problems due to drinking, such as a DUI
  • Neglecting responsibilities and obligations
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit drinking

Comprehensive Treatment for the Panic Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

Treating the co-occurring panic disorder and alcohol use disorder requires a dual diagnosis treatment program. These specialized programs are equipped with the expert staff that is trained to manage the sometimes unpredictable issues that may emerge during treatment. Both disorders should be treated concurrently for the best recovery outcome.

If the individual with panic disorder has developed alcoholism, the first step in recovery will be to undergo a medical detox process. Alcohol detox can present certain health risks, so it is advisable to seek a medically supervised detox program where symptoms and vital signs can be closely monitored and treated.

Treatment for the two conditions will involve psychotherapy, medication, such as antidepressants or naltrexone, and experiential and holistic adjunctive therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful for both disorders by guiding the individual to make fundamental shifts in their behavioral response to triggers. CBT also helps individuals develop new coping skills and a more productive mindset.

Exposure therapy is helpful for treating the panic disorder in particular. Exposure therapy is what the title infers, involving incremental exposure to fear situations or sensations. Helping individuals to apply the coping skills learned in CBT, and utilizing deep-breathing techniques, while engaged in exposure therapy can help them learn how to better manage the intense fear and worry associated with panic disorder.

Treatment should also include activities that enhance relaxation, teaching individuals how to achieve relaxation as a lifestyle remedy for managing stress. These activities might include meditation, mindfulness, yoga, massage therapy, journaling, and regular exercise.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Expert Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is a leading provider of addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, offering an effective blending of evidence-based approaches with holistic adjunctive therapies. For individuals struggling with the co-occurring panic disorder and alcohol abuse, our compassionate team is here ready to guide you toward a successful recovery. For more information about our program, please visit our website or reach out to the Quest team at (888) 453-9396.

What To Expect With the Oxycodone Withdrawal Process

As the country continues digesting the factors that led to the opioid epidemic, new light is shone on this particular class of drugs. Once sold to the public as non-addictive analgesics, drugs such as oxycodone, sold under the brand names, OxyContin or Percocet, swept through the population as doctors enthusiastically prescribed the pain reliever like candy. Ultimately, the reality of the opioid’s highly addictive potential became apparent, as tens of thousands of Americans annually became dependent, many of who eventually lost to overdose deaths.

The nation now must be supportive of individuals who are committed to breaking free from oxycodone, and provide not only encouragement but also the important information about detoxification and rehabilitation process.

Detox is step one in recovery. Understanding the basics about the oxycodone withdrawal process will help prepare those interested in seeking help for an opioid addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant, but equally true is the fact that medical detox providers can alleviate much of the discomfort through a variety of interventions.

About Oxycodone Detoxification

Oxycodone misuse, whether a result of legitimate pain relief efforts or recreational abuse, has a powerful impact on brain chemistry. Addiction to oxycodone can happen in a very short period, even less than one week of regular use. Oxycodone addiction is both psychological and physical, only making it that much more difficult to break away from. Anyone who has experienced the withdrawal symptoms that begin to creep in between OxyContin dosing is understandably reticent about going through detox, the necessary first phase of recovery from opioid addiction or dependence.

But once someone has decided to get treatment for an opioid addiction, detox and withdrawal must be the first step of the recovery process. The detoxification from the oxycodone will take about one week to complete, although this will vary depending on:

  • The length of time misusing the oxycodone
  • The usual daily dosing of Oxy
  • The presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • The general health of the person

Detox proceeds along a fairly predictable course involving three stages of withdrawal symptoms—early stage, peak stage, and subsiding stage. Withdrawal from the extended version of the oxycodone will take longer than the short-acting varieties.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant that many who attempt to detox on their own will fail to ever complete the detox, meaning they remain in active addiction. To overcome the discomforts of detox, it is always recommended that the individual seeking recovery begin with a medical detox. During the medically monitored detox process, the detox team will provide necessary medical interventions and psychological support to help safely transition the person from detox and withdrawal into active rehabilitation.

Early stage of detox: Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours after the last dose of the drug. The emerging symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Tearing eyes
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Yawning
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Peak stage of detox: Days 2-5 will feature an escalation of the withdrawal symptoms. These peak symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vominting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Goosebumps
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure

Subsiding stage of detox: Around day 5 the individual will notice symptoms beginning to subside. This final stage may last 1-5 days and features these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Digestion problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures (for more severe addictions)

Medication-Assisted Detox (MAT)

Several drugs are FDA approved for helping someone with an opioid addiction succeed in their recovery efforts. The drugs work in different ways, so a doctor who specializes in addiction recovery determines the best MAT course of action. These drugs act to block opioid receptors in the brain and can block any high that the person would normally experience from opioids. Some of these drugs can be prescribed during detox to help diminish the discomforts of withdrawal. The MAT drugs include:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone

The drugs are all regulated and monitored, as these, too, can become drugs of abuse.

Comprehensive Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction or Dependence

It is a serious mistake to believe that once the body has been detoxified the person is good to go. Opioid addiction involves a lifelong effort to remain clean and sober. Without acquiring the tools needed to make fundamental changes in behaviors, there is no hope of overcoming the addiction. This is why an extended rehab program is needed if there is to be recovery success.

Rehab services for oxycodone recovery will vary to some extent depending on the underlying philosophy of the treatment program. However, in most rehabs a core menu of treatment interventions will define the program, including:

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy remains the standard-bearer for addiction recovery as it serves two important functions—1) to examine and heal underlying emotional pain or trauma and 2) to identify disordered thoughts that have led to the self-destructive drug-seeking behaviors and then make fundamental changes in these thought/behavior patterns.

Group therapy: Meeting in small groups, facilitated by a therapist, allows a safe, supportive environment fostering peer support. In the group sessions individuals are encouraged to share their own experiences, frustrations, challenges, and hopes with others.

Addiction education: Learning about how drugs impact brain chemistry and how addiction develops helps individuals understand how dependency evolves. The classes teach recovery skills, such as coping skills, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, as well as prepare for post-rehab by developing a relapse prevention plan.

It is absolutely possible to break free from an oxycodone addiction and to reclaim a happy, fulfilling life.

Quest 2 Recovery Leading Los Angeles Rehab Provider for Oxycodone Recovery

Quest 2 Recovery is a private rehabilitation program located in North Lost Angeles County. Individuals desiring to overcome an addiction to oxycodone will find Quest 2 Recovery to be a comfortable, family-like program where they will receive abundant support and attention throughout the recovery process.

Offering a respite from the city, Quest 2 Recovery leverages the surrounding quiet serenity in creating a warm, inviting program where individuals heal and thrive in recovery. Using an integrated approach that combines core evidence-based therapies with holistic therapies, Quest 2 Recovery treats the whole person, not just the diagnosis. For more information about our program, or for specific questions about oxycodone withdrawal, please reach out to Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Detox Protocol for Opiate Withdrawal

Facing off the opiate detox process is a formidable barrier for many to overcome, regardless of how much they desire to break free from opioids or heroin. While admittedly unpleasant, the detoxification phase of recovery is a necessary first step that will allow the individual to transition safely to the treatment phase, which is where the real work of recovery is encountered. But to get there one has to first complete the detox and withdrawal process.

It often helps reduce the anxiety around anticipating detox to have a basic understanding of the detox protocol for opiate withdrawal. Just knowing that this is a fairly predictable process made manageable with proven interventions can relieve stress and help the individual move closer to initiating this important step.

Understanding Opiate Addiction

According to the government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) website, more than 2 million Americans had an opiate use disorder in 2016, and over 130 people died from opiate-related deaths in 2017. In late 2017 HHS issued a public health alert to increase public awareness and guide individuals toward appropriate treatment. Clearly, the U.S. is in the midst of an opiate crisis that has been slowly building for the past decade.

Opiate addiction directly impacts the opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the feelings of pain, and producing a euphoric, deeply relaxing state. The brain registers this pleasant state as a positive experience and one to be repeated, and thus the neural pathways and brain chemistry begins to become altered. Over time, increased tolerance to the drug leads to higher, more frequent dosing, and the brain stops producing dopamine as a result.

Synthetic prescription opioids were initially said to be non-habit forming by the medical community and the pharmaceutical companies who manufactured the drugs. This has, obviously, turned out to be patently false, as millions have found themselves psychologically and/or physically dependent on these medications. In many instances, once they are unable to secure the opioids legally, individuals may turn to heroin or illicit sources for the opioids, increasing their exposure to fentanyl, which has been seeping into the drug market in recent years. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than morphine and deadly when the user is unaware that the drug they purchased contains the drug.

What is the Detox Protocol for Opiate Withdrawal?

When it is time to enter rehab, the first step will be securing a medical detox. The trained detox team will provide the detox protocol for opiate withdrawal by the use of medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, which help step the addict down to a less potent opioid that also helps block cravings for the drug of abuse.

These medications work by attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors and tricking the brain into thinking it has received the drug of abuse. The drugs are strictly regulated and monitored and may be prescribed for at least one year following detox. This helps the individual transition into recovery with a reduced risk of relapse. After a period of time, some can shift over to naltrexone, which is non-narcotic and also helps reduce cravings and relapse.

The Benefits of a Medically Supervised Detox

It is never advised that an individual seeking to become clean and sober attempt to detox without medical supervision. This is due to the highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that, when left untreated, can derail the detox and send the individual right back to using. A medical detox program is able to provide the medical interventions that will dramatically reduce the suffering and help safely guide the individual through the detox process.

In addition to medical interventions, the medical detox staff is also trained to provide psychological support as needed. Many of the withdrawal symptoms are psychological in nature, and can be just as unpleasant. By providing this emotional support, the individual is more apt to stay on course and complete the detoxification successfully.

Transitioning to Opiate Addiction Treatment

Detox alone is not sufficient for achieving a sustained recovery. This is because, while the body may have been detoxified the reflexive addictive behaviors are still hard-wired into the brain. To truly achieve long-term sobriety it is necessary to make fundamental shifts in thinking and subsequent behaviors. This is accomplished via an extended stay at a residential addiction recovery program.

Rehab will involve an integrated program of therapeutic activities and therapies that compliment each other as a comprehensive approach to treating opiate addiction. These treatment elements might include:

  • Psychotherapy. Modalities may include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivation enhancement therapy, solutions focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and contingency management.
  • Groups. A therapist leads discussion topics that allow the participants to share their personal stories, challenges, and successes as they travel the recovery journey together.
  • Classes. Learning about how addiction works and how the opiates impact brain functioning can help deter future drug use. The classes also provide opportunities to create carefully considered relapse prevention planning, as well as to acquire recovery skills such as conflict resolution, communication and interpersonal relating skills, anger management, and stress reduction.
  • Holistic therapies. These experiential activities foster relaxation, introspection, and self-empowerment. Holistic activities might include mindfulness training, meditation, yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, massage therapy, and gardening therapy.
  • Aftercare. Rounding out a comprehensive rehab program are aftercare services. These might include 12-step meetings like N.A. or SMART Recovery, sober living housing, and ongoing outpatient therapy.

Quest 2 Recovery Adheres to Detox Protocol For Opiate Withdrawal

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based private recovery program that offers comprehensive medical detox, treatment, and continuing care services for helping individuals overcome opiate addiction. Our intimate and serene treatment environment provides a sense of comfort and security while clients transition through the phases of early recovery. By creating an integrated program that includes traditional evidence-based therapies, medication assisted therapy, and holistic therapies, all facets of the individual are addressed and treated. For more information about our family-like program, please reach out to Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Preventing Overdosing on Pills

According to the Centers for Disease Control, each day about 130 individuals in the U.S. suffer an opioid overdose death, including prescription pain medications and heroin. Overdosing on pills has been an ongoing problem for decades, especially after the introduction of drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Initially, the dangers associated with these opioids were not clearly understood, which only became crystalized in the past decade. Overdosing on pills or illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl has doubled since 2010, with more than 72,000 deaths in 2017 alone.

While overdose deaths may result from the recreational misuse of opioids, a certain percentage of victims are overdosing on pills due to the powerfully addictive nature of the drugs, or by not heeding the warnings stated on the labels, especially regarding alcohol use. Combining alcohol and pills is an often lethal combination. When discussing how to prevent overdosing on pills, including opioids, benzodiazepines, or any prescription pills, understanding how alcohol impacts the effects of the drug is key.

How to Prevent Overdose

Accidental overdose kills thousands of people every year. In most cases, these fatal events can be avoided by following precautions. Some of the ways to prevent drug overdose include:

  • Read medication labels carefully and heed them. This means to only take the drugs as prescribed and to not take with other drugs unless the doctor has prescribed certain safe combinations. Keep the packaging for future reference to the drug precautions.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol while using prescription drugs
  • If you have a history of overdose or addiction, inform your doctor
  • Take any unneeded drugs to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Do not stockpile
  • Inform the doctor if you suffer from depression or anxiety
  • Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of children

What Are the Signs of a Drug Overdose?

Prior to actual overdose there will be signs that someone has taken too many pills. The symptoms of excessive dosing include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Nodding off, in and out of consciousness
  • Scratching due to itchy sensation
  • Muscles are slack
  • Speech is slurred

Opiate (OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Demerol) and benzodiazepine (Valium, Ativan, Xanax) overdose symptoms include:

  • Shallow breathing or no breathing
  • Unresponsive
  • Severe disorientation if conscious
  • Snoring or gurgling sounds
  • Vomiting
  • Pulse is slow and erratic
  • Skin is pale and clammy
  • Blue finger tips or lips

What To Do in the Event of a Drug Overdose

If you suspect someone has overdosed on pills, it is imperative to take quick action. This constitutes a medical emergency so do not panic. Instead, take the following action:

  • If the individual is not conscious and breathing is shallow or not present, the first thing to do is to firmly rub your knuckles over the sternum (chest bone) and shout their name. If they do not respond, immediately call 911.
  • While awaiting the first responders, employ CPR (rescue breathing) on the person. This entails tilting the head of the individual back, lifting the chin, and pinching the nostrils. With your mouth over theirs, give two quick breaths and one long breath. Repeat every five seconds.
  • When first responders arrive they will likely administer Naloxone to resuscitate the individual.

What is Naloxone?

The opioid reversal drug, naloxone (brand names Narcan and Evzio) has been instrumental in saving hundreds of lives. Police officers, paramedics, and fire fighters are increasingly trained and equipped with naloxone injectables or nasal sprays for a rapid reversal of respiratory failure. Naloxone is a safe and well-tolerated drug that may induce nausea, vomiting, sweating, or tremors. Compared to the alternative, certain death, these adverse effects are inconsequential.

Getting Treatment for Drug Addiction

Opioids and benzos can quickly lead to addiction. This is a problem that many individuals, who simply took the drugs as directed, have realized when attempting to discontinue using them. Due to highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, the hallmark sign of addiction or chemical dependency, the individual may choose to continue using the medication to avoid the painful experience of getting off the drug.

The best way to avoid accidental overdose is to seek treatment for addiction once it becomes evident that a problem has developed. The sooner one reaches out to get help the faster and easier it is to overcome an addiction to opioids or benzodiazepines.

DETOX

Initially, the individual will need to undergo the detox process, during which a drug-tapering schedule will help ease the individual off the drug safely. As withdrawal symptoms arise, the trained detox staff will intervene with various medications to ease pain and discomfort. Detox can take 7-14 days depending on the length of time using the medication and the usual dosing levels.

TREATMENT

After detox is completed, the client will begin to address the various behaviors and underlying psychological issues associated with the drug use and addiction. They may have acquired certain thought patterns that have resulted in reflexive drug use behaviors, such as “I can’t handle this stress,” “I won’t be able to handle the pain,” or “I cannot sleep without the drug.” Through cognitive behavioral therapy, this negative self-messaging is shifted towards positive and constructive self-messaging. In psychotherapy, the client will examine any unresolved emotional issues that may be contributing to the drug use. The therapist will guide the individual toward expressing emotions about the issue and toward healing.

Other aspects of treatment for drug addiction include learning how to cope better with stress or difficult emotions, how to communicate more productively, how to resolve conflicts better, and how to avoid relapse back to drug use.

Quest 2 Recovery Offers Comprehensive Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is a leader in the field of addiction recovery. Getting the individual into treatment is only the first step on a recovery continuum that will include medical detox, addiction treatment for making fundamental changes in behaviors, learning recovery skills to reinforce sobriety, and aftercare services such as outpatient rehab and sober living housing. For more information about our program, please connect with Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Getting Off Opioids Safely

No one enjoys experiencing pain. Pain is to be avoided at all costs, right? We humans have sought and developed medicines and other analgesic tools and methods to reduce or eliminate pain for thousands of years. One of the key sources for these medical miracles is a particular poppy plant, the opium poppy, from which morphine, heroin, and other pain relievers were derived. Morphine is the foundation of all future prescription opioids, including Dilaudid, Demerol, and OxyContin. Amazingly, heroin was used as a cough suppressant for children as recently as the 1890s!

The powerfully addictive properties of the opiate products became widely known by the early 1900s, so heroin was reclassified as an illicit, illegal narcotic and efforts to rein in the effects of morphine abuse and addiction have continued to this day. It seems that pharmaceutical companies delude themselves to the addicting properties of the drugs they concoct until reality shines a bright light on the subsequent devastation and forces them to retrace.

Opioid-related deaths have taken over 217,000 lives in an eighteen-year period between 1999-2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now that it is impossible to deny that the U.S. has a serious opioid epidemic on its hangs, the focus now shifts to helping people with getting off opioids safely. Medical detox programs, tapering schedules, and medication-assisted treatment are all making inroads for getting off opioids safely, and offering hope to individuals held captive by opioid dependency.

How Opioids Become Addictive

It is easy to understand how someone might become addicted to opioids. A doctor prescribes the pills to assist with pain management after a surgery or sustaining an injury. The opioids attach to the opioid receptors in the brain, spine, and other organs, blocking pain messaging. With the sensation of pain now gone, the patient experiences a deep sense of relaxation and euphoria.

The brain imprints the positive effects of the drug into the reward system, something to be remembered as a desirable experience, and to be repeated. The patient continues to rely on the opioid as they continue to heal from the medical event, and the brain becomes accustomed to its presence. Because the drug floods the bloodstream with dopamine and endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, the brain cuts back on producing these neurotransmitters naturally. Over time, the brain stops producing dopamine altogether.

Tolerance to the drug increases as the individual continues to diligently take their pain medication. This translates to a need to take ever-increasing amounts of the drug to enjoy the original effects of the opioid. This eventually leads to opioid dependency.

Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction or Dependency

In addition to increased tolerance and using more and more of the drug to get the desired affect, there are other signs that dependency is forming. These might include:

  • Obsessing over acquiring the drug, having enough on hand, looking forward to next dose
  • Doctor shopping when primary doctor discontinues refills
  • Buying opioids from strangers
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Stealing pills from others
  • Chronic constipation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Agitation
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back

Getting Off Opioids Safely

Detoxing from opioids can be very uncomfortable, with withdrawal symptoms arising within 12 hours of the last dosing. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Chills, fever
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cold sweat
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking
  • Agitation
  • Bone pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Goose bumps
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive yawning

To get off opioids safely it is important not to go cold turkey and stop suddenly. Instead, a medical detox program will set up a tapering schedule so the body can slowly adjust to incrementally lower levels of the drug over a period of about two weeks. Other features of a supervised medical detox include:

  • Monitoring vital signs throughout the detox and withdrawal process
  • Providing medications to aid in gastrointestinal distress, headache, fever, constipation, muscle aches
  • Providing psychological counseling and support

Opioid detox usually lasts about one week, with withdrawal symptoms peaking on days 2-3.

Medication Assistance for Opioid Addiction

Using a replacement drug in opioid recovery is becoming much more common. These medications are not considered to be taken permanently, but focus more on the first year of helping to sustain recovery and prevent relapse. The drugs, including methadone, Suboxone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, are also opioids, but they act as opioid agonists or antagonists, which can reduce cravings.

Individuals on medication-assisted treatment should be closely monitored, as the drugs can also be abused, too. Methadone is very highly monitored, and the other drugs managed through a primary care provider.

Treating Addiction Behaviors

It isn’t enough to simply detox from an opioid drug; detox is only the first step of the recovery process. Deeply ingrained reflexive addictive behaviors have become habit, and these behaviors will need to be identified and replaced with healthy responses in recovery. This is accomplished through a combination of approaches, such as using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and motivation enhancement therapy. During both individual and group sessions, recovering addicts are guided through examining their disordered thoughts and behaviors, and then reframing the self-messaging to elicit positive, constructive behavioral responses. Therapy can also help individuals identify their recovery goals and take ownership of them.

Holistic and experiential activities compliment the evidence-based therapies and promote a deeper dive into personal insights by contemplating contributing psychological factors. These activities might include mindfulness meditation, yoga, art therapy, equine therapy, gardening therapy, journaling, or massage therapy. These activities also help reduce stress and promote a sense of peace and relaxation, which can be helpful throughout recovery.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

Quest 2 Recovery is a residential addiction treatment program in an intimate home setting outside Los Angeles. The extensively trained addiction specialists at Quest 2 Recovery understand the importance of helping their clients with safe, effective strategies for getting off opioids safely. Without the compassionate support of a caring detox staff, most who attempt to quit opioids will quickly return to the drugs to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In a dedicated medically supervised detox program the individual is guided safely through the detox and withdrawal process and offered medications that help alleviate discomfort. For more information about the tapering detox program at Quest 2 Recovery, please contact us today at (888) 453-9396.

Understanding the Heroin Detox Stages

One of the most looming barriers to getting treatment for a heroin addiction is the anticipation and fear around the detox and withdrawal process. Most addicts will have already experienced a taste of the highly uncomfortable symptoms if the drug was unavailable at some point. Once the body has become chemically dependent on heroin it can be a painful experience trying to break free of it. In the absence of the drug the body will, within hours, begin to exhibit the signs of distress as it attempts to stabilize.

Without medical detox support, most individuals would simply give up and return to the drug as the withdrawal symptoms mount and intensify, never making it into treatment. While detox and withdrawal are difficult regardless, through medical monitoring various interventions can be provided to minimize the suffering and usher the individual through the process safely.

By understanding the heroin detox stages it can help prepare the individual for how the process will unfold and what medical interventions will be offered to assist them. Detox is never a pleasant experience, but with medical oversight by trained detox professionals both the physical and emotional discomfort can be managed. This support allows the individual to enter the detox phase of recovery feeling prepared, confident, and reassured.

About Heroin Withdrawal

When someone enters into detox and withdrawal as the initial step of recovery from a heroin addiction they will first meet with clinical staff to share with them their history of heroin use, how long, how much of the drug is consumed on a daily basis, if there is a history of rehab and relapse, if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder, and physical health status. From this information the clinician can determine the best course of treatment, and approximate how long the detoxification phase will take.

The severity of the detox and withdrawal process will vary between individuals based on these details. The heroin detox stages can be longer or the symptoms harsher for individuals with a long history of extensive heroin use. Also, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can linger for a month or two afterward in many cases. Once this is understood as something to be expected it can help the individual gear up and accept the effects of the heroin detox stages. Generally, heroin detox lasts anywhere from 5-10 days.

What Are the Heroin Detox Stages?

Heroin detoxification processes predictably through three distinct stages. A professional detox team will usher the client through the difficult middle stage using a variety of medical interventions that help mitigate many of the uncomfortable symptoms.

Stage One: Early phase

Withdrawal symptoms begin to appear within 12 hours of the last heroin dosing and may include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Chills and fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drug cravings
  • Excessive yawning
  • Tearing eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure

Stage Two: Peak phase

Withdrawal symptoms peak on the third day and may include:

  • Goosebumps, shivering
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low mood
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Impaired respiration
  • Tremors
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Suicide ideation

Stage Three: Subsiding phase

During the final few days of detox symptoms begin to dramatically subside, although psychological symptoms may persist for some time.

Medication Support for Heroin Recovery

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is available to assist with early recovery. These FDA- approved drugs are also opioids, but are classified as partial opioid agonists. These longer acting opioids, such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone, replace the heroin while also reducing cravings for the drug. In many cases, the drugs can begin to be dispensed at a specified stage of detox, which helps ease withdrawal symptoms as well.

MAT is carefully monitored and is provided in tandem with a rehab program, not as a substitute for addiction treatment. The drugs themselves have the capacity to be abused, which is why clients using MAT should be monitored closely with a timeline for tapering at some point in the first year of recovery. MAT can be very effective in helping to prevent relapse and sustain recovery.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

After successful completion of a medical detox the client is ready to being treatment for overcoming the heroin dependency. This process requires commitment and patience, as heroin addiction is a challenging disease to manage. The best outcomes are experienced through residential rehab programs where the client will reside for a few months. That is the length of time it takes for brain chemistry to normalize, for health and wellness to be restored, and for new recovery skills to be reinforced before returning to one’s home community. It also allows client to remove themselves from unhealthy environments and relationships that would undermine their recovery efforts.

Treatment will involve a multi-faceted integrated approach, with treatment elements selected specifically for the individual client. This customization is important if the treatment will be relevant to the client and effective in the long run. Core treatment elements include:

  • Individual psychotherapy. During these one-on-one sessions a clinical psychotherapist will work with the client to explore life issues or past traumas that may be contributing factors to the addiction.
  • Group therapy. Clients benefit from meeting in small groups and discussing their personal stories or challenges under the direction of a clinician.
  • Acquiring recovery skills. During treatment a great deal of attention is directed toward providing clients various recovery tools. These include coping skills, interpersonal skills, stress-reduction techniques, and life skills.
  • 12-step programming. The Alcoholics Anonymous method of incrementally reaching benchmarks in recovery also includes recovery group meetings.
  • Relapse prevention planning. Clients will be educated about how addiction develops, the dangers of relapse, and to strategize about preventing relapse.
  • Holistic activities. To compliment the traditional psychotherapy, certain experiential activities or therapies are utilized. These include yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, journaling, art therapy, and mindfulness meditation.

Quest 2 Recovery Leading Provider of Heroin Addiction Treatment

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based residential treatment program that offers medical detoxification and fully individualized heroin treatment plans. Set in a comfortable, serene home setting, Quest 2 Recovery helps clients quiet their minds and restore health and vitality. For more information about the program, please contact us today at (888) 453-9396.

Self Medicating Depression With Opiates

People are depressed in this day and age. The prevalence of depressive disorder in the United States hovers around 16 million, or about 6.7% of the adult population according to the National Association of Mental Illness. Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression, and young adults have the highest rates of all the age groups, with 11% affected by depressive disorder.

Sadly, a large percentage, about 37%, of individuals who battle depression, do so without getting professional help from a doctor. Barriers to treatment might include feelings of shame or stigma associated with mental health disorders, a sense that it would signify weakness in character to ask for help, and cost constraints for individuals without adequate insurance coverage.

Among those who chose to tough it out, a tendency to self-medicate the debilitating symptoms of depression with drugs or alcohol is common. By using a substance, the individual hopes to numb the difficult feelings that accompany a depressive disorder, such as feelings of despair, sadness, shame, and guilt. Self medicating depression with opiates is one such solution, while others may favor alcohol or another drug.

When it comes to self medicating depression with opiates, or any drug, it can be a two way street. Some individuals may have become addicted to opiates, such as OxyContin or Vicodin, following an injury or surgery where these prescription pain medications were used long enough to create a dependence on them. In other cases, the individual may have become addicted to an illicit type of opiates, such as heroin. Addiction to opiates can lead to depression, especially for individuals who use opiates for chronic pain for a certain duration of time. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine reported that about 12% of patients who used opioid pain medications for 30 days or more developed depression. As for heroin use, the life-altering consequences of the drug can result in major depression.

Effects of Self Medicating Depression With Opiates

For those who have existing depression but seek the use of a substance to help hide the highly unpleasant symptoms of depression, they may lean on opiates. The reason for choosing an opiate, either a synthetic opioid or heroin, is due to the deep relaxation and sense of euphoria that the opiate provides. The individual virtually escapes from reality, meaning they escape from their depression symptoms.

Sadly, the effects of self medicating depression with opiates are short-lived. As the individual develops a higher tolerance to the drug, their need for more of it increases. Over time, opiate addiction can develop, creating long-term effects that are much worse than the initial struggle with depression alone.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

When someone begins self medicating depression with opiates they may initially enjoy the effects of the drug on their mental health. Opiates can alleviate pain, anxiety, and enhance relaxation in addition to masking the depression. However, once the brain’s neurotransmitters are impacted, and brain chemistry shifts to accommodate the influx of the drug’s dopamine response, the individual will begin to experience negative symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of opiate addiction include:

  • Needing to take higher or more frequent doses
  • Constipation
  • Impaired vision
  • Slowed thinking, cognitive issues
  • Ignoring obligations and responsibilities
  • Insomnia
  • Drug cravings
  • Memory impairment
  • Anoxia
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining the opiates off the street or Internet
  • When attempting to quit using the opiate withdrawal symptoms commence

These symptoms of the opiate abuse or addiction only compound the distress caused by the depression, creating a complex dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Depression and Opiate Addiction

When someone has been self-medicating depression by using opiates, or any substance, that has resulted in a substance addiction, they will need expert dual diagnosis treatment. Successfully treating someone with co-occurring disorders requires a specialized program with both psychiatric and addiction professionals available to treat both disorders simultaneously.

Depression treatment follows a conventional protocol of combining antidepressants with psychotherapy. The antidepressants aim to regulate brain chemistry, namely serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, but the effects take about a month to be noticeable. Many times, the initial prescription, selected from about 25 types of antidepressants, may need to be adjusted or switched to another antidepressant if the individual doesn’t experience relief by the 6-week point.

Psychotherapy is useful in treating both the depression and the addiction. Psychotherapy is a core treatment element for both disorders, helping individuals communicate their underlying emotional issues, past traumas, or difficult life circumstances with an objective therapist. In addition to assisting the client in processing these sources of pain, a psychotherapist can also point out a client’s distorted thought patterns—“I can’t function without Oxy, I can’t handle life without it—that lead to a reflexive behavioral response to reach for the drug. Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) the therapist can suggest replacement thoughts—“I am feeling sad today so I will take a brisk walk and feel better”—leading to positive and more constructive behavioral results.

To further treat the addiction piece of the dual diagnosis, there are various additional treatment elements provided in a dual diagnosis program. These might include:

  • Addiction education. Classes that teach clients how addiction develops in the first place can be effective in deterring future use of drugs, as well as assisting in relapse prevention planning.
  • Experiential activities. Because a dual diagnosis impacts all aspects of one’s being it is helpful to augment therapy with holistic therapies such as mindfulness meditation, journaling, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, yoga, and acupuncture.
  • Medication-assisted treatment. Some individuals may benefit from a drug that is designed to reduce cravings and improve recovery outcomes. For opiate recovery, this might include buprenorphine, Suboxone, or methadone.

Individuals struggling with both depression and opiate addiction can greatly benefit from dual diagnosis treatment, going on to enjoy a fulfilling and productive life.

Quest 2 Recovery Offers Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is unique among addiction treatment providers. At Quest 2 Recovery, we have created a comfortable, intimate home setting for individuals struggling with depression and a co-occurring substance use disorder, including opiate addiction. Our dual diagnosis program is holistic in scope, treating all aspects of the client—mind, body, and spirit. Situated in a serene location, Quest 2 Recovery offers new hope to those who need a quiet respite from the stressors of daily life in which to heal and restore overall wellness. For more information about the program, please contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.