Alta Loma is an extended care recovery center that specializes in treating a full scope of mental health and substance use disorders in men of all ages. Nearly half of all residents seeking treatment for addiction also have co-occurring psychiatric concerns that too often aren’t properly addressed. If they end up at a recovery center that doesn’t address their mental health, their chances of success are dramatically lower. If residents with a dual diagnosis enter recovery for substance use that doesn’t treat their mental health, they will find it difficult to sustain sobriety as their psychiatric symptoms persist. Treating just one disorder will not improve the other. In fact, untreated mental illness often correlates with substance use, while substance use may increase symptoms or trigger new ones.

We recognize that each resident has different mental health and addiction experiences that have affected them in unique ways. Just as no two people respond to drugs or alcohol in the same way, mental health concerns also affect each of us differently. Some residents may have a chronic, untreated mental health disorder that prompted them to experiment with drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms. Others may be trying to block out severe trauma or use drugs to get through one more day. At Alta Loma, residents learn about the role that mental health has in their substance use so they can better understand how to react to future symptoms. By managing both conditions simultaneously, our clinicians provide comprehensive care that treats psychiatric symptoms without drugs or alcohol so residents can learn about the role that mental health has in their substance use and move forward to focus on achieving sustainable, long-term sobriety.

Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health and Addiction

Seeking treatment for substance use isn’t easy, but the presence of a psychiatric disorder complicates the situation. Those with a dual diagnosis are far less likely to enter recovery than others, and if they do only 7 percent receive proper treatment for both psychiatric and substance use conditions. More than 55 percent don’t seek treatment at all. This may be due to a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Stigmas surrounding mental health and substance abuse
  • Substance use masks underlying mental health disorders
  • Lower motivation to seek treatment
  • Organizational failures to reconcile treatment approaches and integrate care

We have seen a rise in the occurrence of residents with a dual diagnosis over the past decade due in part to increased awareness that mental health conditions and substance use are closely linked. Despite this, there are limited options for men with a dual diagnosis. Only 18 percent of treatment programs for substance use address co-occurring disorders and even fewer mental health programs address substance use. For recovery centers that aren’t adequately equipped for treating residents with a dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders complicate treatment, increase symptom severity and result in a poor long-term outcome. Alta Loma seeks to change this by integrating treatment plans for a variety of addictions and psychiatric conditions to ensure that residents receive the consistent, coordinated care they deserve.

Integrated Care for a Wide Array of Dual Diagnoses

Co-occurring disorders come in many forms and Alta Loma is committed to providing care to residents with various dual diagnoses. Although certain combinations (such as depression and alcoholism) are more prevalent, we treat residents struggling with a wide scope of addictions and psychiatric concerns, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy/MDMA
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Prescription drugs
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • ADHD

Although mental health and substance use are closely related, it’s often difficult to determine which came first once they are intertwined. Some residents have a mental health disorder that predates their addiction and use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, while others may develop psychiatric issues after an addiction has taken hold. Self-medicating often prevents a resident from learning the appropriate coping skills for dealing with mental illness and may mask the symptoms, making it more difficult to recognize the signs. Regardless of how they relate, substance abuse and mental illness lead to a destructive cycle that causes a tailspin of worsening symptoms and increased drug or alcohol use, emphasizing the importance of treating them concurrently.

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Healing on Your Terms

You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.