Although mental illness does not cause substance abuse disorders, people with a mental health disorder are at a greater risk of developing a substance abuse disorder and vice-versa. Frequently a person will experience both of these illnesses at the same time, and the overlap of symptoms can make a clear diagnosis difficult.
Skyland Trail requires all our clients – even those who do not meet the criteria for a substance abuse diagnosis - to abstain from mood-altering substances like alcohol, marijuana, and street drugs while in treatment. This helps our treatment team get a true picture of a client’s psychiatric illness without substances to cloud or complicate the clinical picture. A clearer diagnosis helps us match clients with the best evidence-based treatment to address their psychiatric symptoms and unhealthy thought and behavior patterns.
We work with clients all along the continuum of substance use and substance abuse disorders. We don’t require people to refer to themselves as addicts or alcoholics. Some clients choose to live a life of sobriety after treatment, and others agree to sobriety during treatment but do not plan to abstain from alcohol or substance use long-term. Our treatment teams asks that our clients be open and honest about their substance use so we can make an accurate clinical assessment and give them the best tools for managing mood, anxiety and thought problems.
Some clients will be assigned to our Dual Diagnosis recovery community and will participate in daily core groups focused on sobriety. Other clients, while not assigned to the Dual Diagnosis program, will be encouraged to participate in dual recovery groups throughout the week as part of their individualized treatment plans.