Substance Use

Dual Diagnosis Program for Adults with Co-Occurring Alcohol, Marijuana, or Substance Use

Our most intensive level of care for adult clients with a primary mood, thought or anxiety disorder and co-occurring alcohol or substance use is our dual diagnosis program. Clients who admit to our residential dual diagnosis program may step-down to our nonresidential day treatment and intensive outpatient programs as their skills improve.

What is a dual diagnosis residential treatment program?

Individuals in our dual diagnosis residential treatment program have a primary psychiatric diagnosis, such as major depressionbipolar illness, schizophrenia, 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, thought, or anxiety disorder and a substance use problem. Each client engages in a comprehensive, individualized treatment program focused on his or her unique needs.

Kari S alumni story

“It was the first time in my life that I realized there are consequences to my behavior...I learned that a healthy life requires you to feel feelings, not flee from them.”

Kari's Story >>

What's the difference between dual diagnosis and rehab programs for addiction?

The dual diagnosis program at Skyland Trail is designed to treat clients with a primary mood, thought, or anxiety disorder who have a co-occurring substance use 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 a 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.

What does dual diagnosis look like at Skyland Trail?

The dual diagnosis program is available as an additional area of focus to adult 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 CBT, DBT, cognition 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.

Tony's Story

Tony participated in the dual diagnosis program at Skyland Trail and found healthy ways to manage his symptoms of depression.

Sobriety During Treatment

Skyland Trail requires all our clients – even those who do not meet the criteria for a substance use 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.

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.