When someone is said to have a dual diagnosis/co occurring disorder, it means that they have both a substance abuse issue and a mental health issue. Mental illness and drug abuse feed off each other, creating a cycle that can often feel unbreakable. That doesn’t mean there aren’t options. Villa Oasis offers a dual diagnosis treatment center consisting of medication assisted treatment, family therapy, and other dual diagnosis disorder treatment.

At Villa Oasis San Diego, we understand that it is common for mental health problems to overlap with substance use. In these cases, we find that it is simply not enough to treat one, so we implement a program that tackles both issues at the same time.

Man talking about his dual diagnosis in therapy

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    2 Main Aspects of a Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorder

    At Villa Oasis, we prefer to treat the whole individual and not just the problem. So, we look carefully at our patients in our dual diagnosis program. There are two aspects of each co-occurring disorder. These are:

    Mental Health

    The mental health condition of someone suffering from dual diagnosis often falls into one or more of the following categories:

    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Mood disorders
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Bipolar disorder

    One thing to remember is that regardless of the issue, it often stems from trauma that has not been dealt with. People who have a history of trauma have often decided, consciously or subconsciously, to avoid it as much as possible. The problem is that when this occurs, there are more opportunities for internalization, leading to unresolved problems that manifest in deepening mental health issues.

    Substance Abuse

    Most people entering a treatment center will find that their main concern is substance abuse. Though it may be tied to their mental health, their first priority is finding ways to lessen their need for substances. These substances may include:

    • Alcohol
    • Cocaine
    • Heroin
    • Methamphetamines
    • Hallucinogens
    • Opiates

    Individuals will begin to rely on these substances to the point of addiction. When this happens, the need will get worse, and people will find that they require more as they develop a tolerance. This is the feedback loop our dual diagnosis program seeks to address.

    Treatment Options for Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, we offer four main types of treatment for dual diagnosis.


    Individual therapy is essential for people dealing with a dual diagnosis. It allows them to delve into the mental health portion of their trauma. Psychotherapy in addiction treatment is the first step in a process that will continue after leaving treatment.

    Many people with a new dual diagnosis will not have confronted their trauma. This can be a complex process. Our trained medical professionals are well-versed in trauma therapy and how it relates to continued substance abuse.

    The goal of psychotherapy is to give people the tools to find a starting point. Their avoidance of therapy is tied to their continued substance abuse. Our staff is prepared for questions, pushback, and any other emotions that may arise during this phase of treatment.

    Group Therapy

    This piece of dual diagnosis treatment will focus on the substance abuse aspect of a dual diagnosis. Group therapy has been shown to be an integral piece of the process. When individuals are placed in a group setting with other people struggling with substance abuse, they are free to express themselves. This has the added bonus that the people around them are going through the same situation.

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, there are never more than six people in this group. This means that during mental health treatment, everyone gets the chance to talk, listen, and share. For people who have spent so much time living insular lives and pushing people away, this connection is transformative.

    Medication-Assisted Treatment

    Initial assessments will determine if a resident at Villa Oasis San Diego may require medication. This is especially important should the person have a dual diagnosis.

    Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has two very distinct reasons for existing. The first is how it can help with the mental health side of a dual diagnosis. For those dealing with co-occurring disorders, there is often underlying anxiety or depression that gets in the way of confronting true trauma. Medication can help lessen these underlying problems and give the person a cleaner field to view the big picture issues.

    The second reason for MAT is to help lessen some withdrawal symptoms when an individual stops using substances. There are a variety of medications for different substances, which can include:

    • Acamprosate for alcohol withdrawal
    • Methadone for opioid dependency
    • Naloxone for opioid overdoses

    These are only three examples of the many medications that can help individuals cope through the recovery process. It should be noted that these medications are not in place to cure substance use and mental health disorders. They are there to assist in the co-occurring disorder treatment process and lessen specific side effects.

    Non-Traditional Therapy Options

    One of the specialties of Villa Oasis’ treatment program is our ability to provide a litany of non-traditional therapies to our residents. These are where our program truly stands out. When people come to us with a dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorder, we provide not only excellent medical assistance but ways of allowing people to heal their whole selves.

    During their stay with us, people will find that typical forms of therapy can feel quite draining. That is where we see the opportunity to help these individuals focus inwards in ways of relaxation and self-expression. Some of our non-traditional therapies include:

    • Yoga
    • Sound baths
    • Expressive art therapy
    • Hiking
    • Reiki

    This is only a small sample of the non-traditional therapies we offer. The benefit of these therapies is that they serve a part of the person that deals with the digestion of emotions. These emotions can be overwhelming, and when these therapies are presented, they offer an outlet that other drug rehab programs do not.

    Cognitive Behavioral therapy

    When it comes to dual diagnosis, CBT can be used as part of an integrated approach to treatment. The goal of this type of therapy is to help individuals understand the relationship between their thoughts and behaviors in order to develop healthier coping strategies for dealing with difficult emotions or situations that may arise during recovery from addiction or mental health issues. For example, CBT can help individuals recognize triggers that lead them to use drugs or alcohol as well as any underlying issues related to their substance abuse problem. Additionally, CBT can also be used as part of relapse prevention planning by helping individuals recognize potential warning signs before they turn into full-blown cravings or use episodes.

    Find Wellness at Villa Oasis San Diego

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, we provide a luxury experience for people struggling with all aspects of substance abuse. This includes those with a dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorder. Unlike other substance abuse treatment programs and dual diagnosis rehab, we cap our residents at only six. That means unsurpassed, individualized care. Our beautifully maintained facility provides a relaxing environment where people can concentrate on healing and not worry about smaller details.

    We understand the hardships of dealing with a dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorder. The need to heal the entire person, not just their substance use disorder, is the focal point from which we derive your care. Our mission as a treatment provider is to give you the time and resources to heal.

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