There is an undeniable link between childhood trauma and mental health issues. Whether through abuse, neglect, or traumatic events, children who were traumatized tend to become adults with anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. The strongest relationship, though, is between substance abuse and alcoholism. If a person seeks treatment for substance abuse or problem drinking, they need to be evaluated for other mental health issues that can stem from childhood trauma. The best environment to help clients who are dealing with alcoholism and a mental health condition is a dual diagnosis treatment program.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
The term ‘co-occurring disorders’ refers to a situation in which a person is experiencing a substance use or alcohol use disorder and a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Untreated or under-treated mental health conditions can often aggravate addictions, so people seeking treatment for substance abuse or alcoholism should always be evaluated for mental health conditions and vice versa.
What Is the Relationship Between Childhood Trauma and Alcoholism?
Children who experience trauma are at high risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Although it is difficult to point to a direct cause-and-effect relationship, many more traumatized children develop alcoholism than children who did not experience trauma.
One explanation offered for why this may be is that children who have experienced trauma turn to alcohol to alleviate the intense and negative feelings that the trauma has caused. In essence, the child’s untreated mental health concern tends to self-medicate through alcohol.
Another explanation offered is that trauma directly impacts the development of the child’s brain, altering how neurotransmitters operate. This would make the child who has been traumatized uniquely vulnerable to addictive behavior as they grow older.
What Is a Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Program?
A dual-diagnosis treatment program is a program that treats substance abuse and alcoholism as well as mental health conditions. For a person struggling with both conditions at once, both must be treated for either treatment to be effective. The dual-diagnosis client needs specialized care sensitive to how addiction and trauma interact and strengthen one another.
How Can a Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Program Help With Alcoholism?
A dual-diagnosis treatment program offers a variety of therapies and services that can help clients stabilize and begin the healing process. Often, the root causes of addiction need to be uncovered and processed, which can help the client see their alcohol use more clearly. Some of the types of therapies and treatments offered are:
- Individual mental health counseling
- Mental health diagnosis and medications
- Group therapy with peers experiencing similar issues
- Complementary, holistic, and wellness therapies to reinforce self-care
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Family therapy
By offering individuals a wide range of therapeutic options, our addiction treatment professionals can better create a recovery plan. Each person’s journey through recovery will be unique. Thus, each person will have different goals in recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment identifies the unique needs of each client so that their mental health concerns can be appropriately addressed as treatment for alcohol use disorder commences. In this way, dual diagnosis treatment at Rise Above Treatment gives clients the best chance at making a lasting recovery.
Discover How Rise Above Treatments Can Help With Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
We at Rise Above Treatments know that dual-diagnosis treatment can be challenging. Our clients will be given access to proven treatments and shown how to achieve lasting recovery: no muss, no fuss, just real help, and real solutions. Reach out to our caring and knowledgeable staff today at 855.948.6325, and let us tell you how we can work together to give you back your future.