UCLA Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program
The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program is an 8-week Intensive Outpatient program consisting of group therapy each weekday, once weekly individual therapy, and medication management.
The program uses evidence-based approaches to treat both Addictive Disorders and co-occurring conditions including Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Bipolar Disorder. Addiction and co-occurring disorders are treated simultaneously with emphasis given to the way in which these conditions reinforce one another.
Millions of Americans suffer from untreated addictions. Many of these addicts also struggle with co-occurring psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, or ADHD. At the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program, we recognize that addiction can make it difficult to recover from another condition - and vice versa. Therefore, we treat both addiction and its related comorbidities at the same time.
Understanding the effects that each of these conditions have on the patient is an important step toward recovery. Although the exact nature of an addiction varies by the substance (e.g., alcohol, stimulants, opiates, benzodiazepines, or other substances) or behavior involved, there are some concepts that are common to most addictions: dependence, withdrawal, tolerance, cravings, and impulsivity.
Chronic use of certain substances (or engagement in addictive behaviors) can lead to an altered physical and/or mental baseline state of the body. Thus, dependence on a substance occurs when a person's body begins to require the substance in order to continue functioning at the body's new "baseline." In other words, when the substance use stops, the body feels deprived of an expected and necessary component of its accustomed state, and responds by producing withdrawal symptoms. Addicts can be physically dependent (causing physical withdrawal symptoms like nausea or convulsions), psychologically dependent (causing psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression), or both.
A person is said to have developed a tolerance to a drug if increasingly higher doses are needed to achieve the desired effect. Both tolerance and dependence can occur in a normal medical (treatment) setting, meaning that the presence of either or both in and of themselves is not necessarily indicative of addiction. However, if the substance use has started to interfere with the person's daily life and responsibilities, the chances of an addiction are increased.
Cravings include both physical sensations and emotional longings for specific substances or behaviors. Although cravings may be uncomfortable, it is how a person responds to cravings that determines the extent of the problem. The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program will equip recovering addicts with the most effective tools to resist cravings when they arise.
People who are impulsive tend to engage in behaviors without necessarily thinking about the potential consequences of those behaviors. Impulsivity is often characterized by emotional or physical "gut" responses to environmental stimuli (including cravings and triggers) as opposed to objective, reasoned reactions that consider a much larger context than simply the present moment. Because addiction makes it difficult for addicts to consider the future, addiction is often marked by impulsivity. Whether impulsivity develops because of addiction or impulsive individuals have a greater propensity to become addicts (and if addiction can exacerbate pre-existing impulsivity) is being studied.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms in your life, we encourage you to make an appointment at the Clinic today.
Dual Diagnosis - Addiction And Depression, ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, And Others
As you may be able to deduce from the phrase itself, "dual diagnosis" describes the process of diagnosing individuals with both an addiction and one or more psychiatric conditions at the same time. But what the phrase does not convey—and is perhaps more crucial to the patient's ability to overcome both (all) conditions—is what might be summed up as "dual treatment." In other words, because these conditions often have overlapping symptoms and consequences, it is unrealistic to treat them independently. The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Clinic was formed with this idea as a guiding principle.
Dual diagnosis is more common than you might realize. Although it is certainly possible for people to develop an addiction in the absence of another mental health problem, there is a good chance that addiction is either a consequence or cause of another condition. For example, of the 4 to 5 percent of Americans with severe Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, experts estimate that roughly half are also suffering from an addiction to a substance (including cigarettes). In fact, imaging studies have provided evidence of similarities between the brain activity of addicts and (separately) those with ADHD, with lower activity in the center that controls impulsivity (e.g., reactions to cravings) in both groups (compared to healthy counterparts). Of individuals who develop Major Depressive Disorder, about a third will also develop a concurrent substance use disorder. Another study reported the lifetime prevalence of co-occurring addiction and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to occur in about half of those individuals who develop GAD.
Although the exact reasons why the presence of one disorder increases the risk of the other is not completely clear, it has been well-established that both should be treated with acknowledgement of and equal concern for the other.
Treatment For Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions
Although addiction trends in the United States have changed over the years, addiction remains one of the most challenging issues facing America. In addition to addictions to illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, an increasing number of individuals are developing addictions to prescription drugs (e.g., OxyContin and Xanax) as well as to relatively new "designer drugs" (e.g., bath salts, K2, spice), inhalants, and sleep aids. Behavioral addictions (also called process addictions) have become more prevalent as well with pathological gambling and sex addiction in the foreground. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that individuals who suffer from an addiction are twice as likely as their healthy counterparts to also suffer from another mental health condition as well.
For many years, the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA has consistently ranked as "Best in the West" for psychiatry as part of the US News and World Report rankings of top hospitals. As an extension of its reputation as a leader in treating psychiatric conditions, UCLA added the Dual Diagnosis Program to its treatment services in 2012. This program specializes in treating recovering addicts who have also been diagnosed with co-occurring depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder in an intensive outpatient environment. The program's clinicians are experts in the field of addiction medicine with extensive experience treating multiple mental health conditions simultaneously.
How to Apply
To schedule an appointment or for more information please call (310) 983-3598
For general questions or to receive more information about the program, you can reach us by email at: [email protected]
Mailing Address and Office Location
300 Medical Plaza, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Information On the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program
What To Expect From the Program
The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program is an 8-week outpatient program that consists of daily groups, once weekly individual therapy, and medication management. The program uses evidence-based approaches to treat both Addictive Disorders and co-occurring conditions including Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Bipolar Disorder. These issues are addressed simultaneously and emphasis is given to the way in which co-occurring conditions interact with and perpetuate addiction.
When both an addiction and another psychological condition are present, it can be very difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Thus, individuals with an addiction often have been given inconsistent or conflicting diagnoses in the past.
For this reason, the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program offers an Expert Assessment Service, which is a detailed evaluation by a UCLA-trained psychiatrist. This is a one-time visit that is independent of the program and is covered by insurance. Its purpose is to provide diagnostic clarity and recommendations for appropriate treatment.
If based on the Expert Assessment, the Dual Diagnosis Program is determined to be a good fit for the patient, he or she may enter the program if they choose. If not, referrals are provided to treatment programs which are felt to be the best fit for the patient based on the Expert Assessment.
The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program is open to all patients who are addicted to a substance or behavior. We also encourage family members and friends of addicts who are in denial about their problem to contact us for guidance about how best to help their loved one.
Why To Enroll in A Targeted Dual Diagnosis Program
As the name of the clinic suggests, our focus is the treatment of co-occurring addiction and other psychiatric conditions including mood disorders (e.g., depression and bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD). Importantly, however, even if you have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder but not a comorbid condition, many of these go undiagnosed, even outside of the context of a concurrent addiction. The numbers of depressed adults in the U.S. are similarly high, and a period of depression will not necessarily begin at the same time an addiction does.
For these reasons, a thorough evaluation by dual diagnosis professionals can help to avoid leaving a serious mental health problem untreated. Furthermore, research is increasingly showing that treating addiction alone (without addressing any other psychiatric conditions) is much less effective.
Whether you are just beginning your recovery from an addiction or you have been sober for many years, our team of UCLA-trained, board-certified psychiatrists will optimize any medications that may be part of your dual diagnosis treatment plan. In some cases, this may mean simply adjusting the dosage to either increase the therapeutic benefits or decrease existing side effects. It may also require trying different pharmacological options before finding what works best for your symptoms.
The clinic's outpatient program meets for two sessions each day over the course of 8 weeks. The first of the two daily sessions will equip the addict with a better understanding of addiction as well as the coping mechanisms necessary to remain sober when faced with a trigger or craving. For the second session, the patient will attend whichever session is most appropriate for any co-occurring condition he or she may have been diagnosed with. These sessions will cover managing anxiety and stressful memories, recognizing and avoiding logical fallacies, and identifying the people, places, things, and events that function as triggers.
Part of successful recovery involves learning to manage the uncomfortable emotions and thoughts that make staying sober difficult. In a safe, non-judgmental environment, individualized therapy sessions will help you explore and change the reactive processes that underlie addiction, anxiety, and depression.
A valuable part of the recovery process is the relief that many recovering addicts feel when they realize they are not alone in their struggles with addiction. Group therapy offers those who participate the opportunity to share experiences and to encourage one another on the path toward recovery.
If you have been frustrated by other programs that have only addressed an addiction or if you are just beginning to look for help for your addiction, we encourage you to get in touch with us. For more information or to sign up for the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Program, contact us by phone or email today.