Safe Harbor Treatment Center

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities are able to help women who suffer from dual diagnosis.

A dual diagnosis is defined as someone who has a mental disorder and alcohol or drug addiction concurrently. A dual diagnosis is very common. Persons suffering from drug and alcohol problems may also show signs of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, bi-polar disorder, and panic disorder. A person may develop mental health issues first and then progress, in order to cope or feel better, to abusing alcohol or drugs. In other instances, alcohol or drug abuse may lead to emotional and mental health issues.


To live a fulfilled and sober life, someone with a dual diagnosis must be treated for both conditions simultaneously.

Healing at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities for women should include: detoxification from the drugs and/or alcohol, treatment for the substance abuse, a psychiatric assessment for a mental disorder, and treatment for the mental disorder. In the beginning, it may be difficult to tell if a woman suffers from an emotional disorder because many symptoms of severe substance abuse are similar other psychiatric conditions. The benefits of admitting a woman to Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities include: a psychiatric assessment to determine if there is an underlying psychiatric disorder; a long-term nurturing environment can be key in mental stabilization. Due to the side effects of drug and alcohol abuse, it can take several weeks or months for a true accurate assessment to be completed as both problems can be treated concurrently, the client has the time to work through issues, develop coping skills, and stabilize medication that maybe necessary for disorder.

After completion of a medical detoxification from drugs and alcohol, healing at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities should include: individual and group psychotherapy, education about the disease of addiction, education and practice of healthy live skills, participation in a 12-step recovery, as well as medication management. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women understands and excels at providing such a program at its facilities with trained staff that have a direct understanding of the impact of duel diagnosis treatment for women.

Drug Treatment facilities are only designed for people whose problems are primarily substance abuse and are generally not recommended for people who also have a mental illness. Women suffering from a dual diagnosis need to be placed in an environment that is designed with the appropriate therapies and staff, who have a full understanding of the disorders they are treating. Appropriate Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities for dual diagnosis clients should be staffed with licensed therapists that are educated in a variety of therapeutic approaches. Dual diagnosis clients do not respond well to confrontation and should be approached with a more gentle technique as a common characteristic of dual diagnosis clients is denial. Therapeutic staff must understand that denial is an intrinsic part of the problem and has been used as a coping strategy for most sufferers. Patients often do not have insight as to the seriousness and scope of the problem. Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities are able to integrate treatment modalities that improve the success of clients with a dual diagnosis.


Women often experience anxiety as a reaction to frightening situations as a result of an increase of adrenaline in the nervous system. An anxiety disorder is a disorder where feelings of fear, apprehension, or anxiety are disruptive or cause distortions in behavior and is considered a psychiatric illness that is useful for normal functioning. At times, an underlying illness or disease can cause persistent anxiety. Direct treatment of the illness or disease will stop the anxiety. Anxiety illnesses affect more than 23 million Americans with about 10 million Americans suffering from the most common, general anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can be caused by psychological factors as well. One theory is that there is an unconscious conflict between certain wishes and desires, and guilt associated with these desires. Another theory is that certain fearful childhood situations provoke anxiety later. This later theory has been associated with agoraphobia in that the fear of being abandoned in the past may lead to fear of public places. Panic disorder is treated with drugs, cognitive- behavior therapy and other forms of psychotherapy, and/or a combination of the two.


Relaxation therapy is also used in combination with other treatments for suffering women. Anxiety occurs when the person is in or thinks about being in a place where escape may be difficult or help may not be available. The condition is managed with behavioral techniques such as exposure therapy and it is believed that these techniques may be more effective than drug therapy. Anxiety can occur from exposure to a particular situation or the mere thought of being in the situation. General anxiety disorder (GAD) GAD affects two to five percent of the general population, but it accounts for almost 30 percent of psychiatric consultations in general practice. GAD is chronic or exaggerated worry and tension.

Women suffering from anxiety cannot seem to shake their concerns, seem unable to relax, have trouble falling or staying asleep, or feel lightheaded or out of breath. Some women are startled more easily than other people, and tend to feel tired, have trouble concentrating, and sometimes suffer depression. Anxiety affects people of both sexes and all ages but is diagnosed more frequently in women than in men.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities include a mixture of medication and counseling, finding the most useful combination for each patient. Anxiety disorders oftentimes cannot be linked to specific life events and persist for months if not years at a time. Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities use of Behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective for treating several of the anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing specific actions and uses different techniques to alter unwanted behavior. Techniques include special breathing exercises and exposure therapy – gradually exposing women to what frightens them and helps them cope with their fears. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches women to react differently to the situations and bodily sensations that trigger panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms.

Patients also learn to understand how to change their thoughts so that symptoms are less likely to occur. These techniques are designed to help people confront their fears.

Without treatment, anxiety disorders can be extremely disabling and disrupt family, work and social relationships. Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities offer families a hope in treating their loved one. We at Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women specialize in dual diagnosis and will help guide you through the recovery process. Help is just one phone call away.