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I wish me back then could talk to me now. I would say ...You will have so much more fun than you have ever had before, and you will be able to remember it! You are an ordinary alcoholic/addict and bipolar, but you are no ordinary person. You will pull through this, and that is extraordinary.

– Coleman H., Skyland Trail alumni

Dual Diagnosis

What is a dual diagnosis residential treatment program?

Individuals in our Dual Diagnosis residential treatment program have a primary psychiatric diagnosis, such as major depression, bipolar illness, or an anxiety disorder, with a co-occurring substance use disorder. They may have tried to address the mental illness or substance abuse problem individually or sequentially without success. 

Research shows that treating both problems at the same time leads to the best results. As a treatment center for dual diagnosis, Skyland Trail integrates multiple evidence-based therapeutic approaches to address the symptoms and challenges of both a mood or thought disorder and a substance use problem. Each client engages in a comprehensive, individualized treatment program focused on his or her unique needs. 

The difference between dual diagnosis treatment programs and rehab programs

The Dual Diagnosis program at Skyland Trail is designed to treat clients with a primary mood or thought disorder who have a co-occurring substance misuse issue. It is not appropriate for individuals with a primary substance use disorder. 

Skyland Trail is not a detoxification facility. Potential clients who are in danger of withdrawal may be referred to a formal detox or rehabilitation facility for treatment prior to further consideration of treatment at Skyland Trail. Detoxification is a period of time during which the body is allowed to cleanse itself of alcohol or drugs. Detoxification should take place under close medical supervision, typically as an in-patient in a hospital.

When you contact Skyland Trail, your admissions counselor will work with our psychiatry team to assess your treatment needs. We want to ensure that each person admitted to Skyland Trail can be supported safely and benefit from our therapeutic environment. 

Our dual diagnosis recovery program: improving mood, reducing anxiety, managing cravings

The dual diagnosis program is available as an additional area of focus to clients in all of our specialized recovery communities in our mental health residential treatment and day treatment programs. 

Each client in the Dual Diagnosis program has a consistent daily group focused on their psychiatric symptoms. We call this a recovery community, and each client is assigned to the CBTDBTCognition and First Episode, or Social Integration recovery community. Clients meet in a daily core group to address common challenges and goals. 

Clients with co-occurring substance use disorders also are assigned to a second Dual Diagnosis recovery community. Clients in the Dual Diagnosis recovery community meet in an additional daily group  focused on understanding the addictive process, managing cravings, utilizing community supports and preventing relapse. 

For example, a client may be a part of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy recovery community focused on depression or anxiety, and also participate in the dual diagnosis program to address a problem with alcohol or marijuana use. 

In dual diagnosis groups, our addiction disorders experts apply evidence-based therapeutic approaches and relapse prevention models in a way that matches the specific needs of individuals recovering from mental illness and a substance use disorder. 

Individual one-on-one sessions with a primary counselor and a psychiatrist are based on a client's self-defined goals and address both psychiatric and substance use challenges. In addition, close monitoring of relapse through witnessed, random drug screens is required for clients in this recovery community.

Our experts give our clients the best chance for recovery through effective medications, therapy and connections to 12-step recovery programs

Our clients also have the time and space to practice newly acquired coping skills, improve their physical health and wellness, explore spirituality as a resource for recovery, and find effective ways to express their thoughts and feelings through art, music or horticultural therapy. Structured social activities help clients learn how to enjoy their leisure time and interact with peers in the absence of drugs or alcohol.

Results of dual diagnosis treatment

Graduates of Skyland Trail have an improved understanding of their addiction and mental health issues and how to cope with both. They have new tools and skills to prevent relapse and to live a sober, healthy life that includes personally and socially meaningful activities. Graduates also have connections with professionals and 12-step or other relapse prevention groups in the community to help sustain their sobriety, and ideally use their experiences in recovery to help others.

Call today to talk to an admissions counselor about our dual diagnosis program

Our admissions team is available for a free consultation to discuss your unique needs and concerns. We can help recommend next steps to help you or your loved one find the right treatment program to address co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

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