Substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental health disorder. The use of alcohol and drugs can impact the function of the brain, leading to adverse changes in behavior, thinking, and mood. Co-occurring disorders are pervasive with addiction. A co-occurring disorder means that a person simultaneously suffers from a SUD and another mental health condition. It’s estimated that roughly half of people with SUD have a co-occurring mental disorder. For some people, addiction treatment is synonymous with anxiety or depression rehab in Dallas. But that’s a perfect thing. Decades of research have told us that effective addiction treatment addresses mental health disorders head-on in a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). That’s precisely what you’ll do.
Why Mental Health is the Focus in a Partial Hospitalization Program
Once a person has detoxed and gotten sober, they are still far away from full recovery. Those initial stages are challenging on a physical level as the body, which has become physically dependent on drugs and alcohol, adjusts to functioning without them. After getting past that hurdle, continuing treatment in a Partial Hospitalization Program is highly recommended. Some would argue that outpatient programs after residential addiction treatment are when the long-term natural healing begins. In a PHP behavioral health program, the primary goal is to improve the client’s mental health so that they are better prepared to handle the stress of life without using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Preventing relapse isn’t about willpower. It’s about being in a healthier place mentally where the person doesn’t feel a need to use drugs or alcohol. It’s about understanding how stress affects a person, what triggers difficult emotions, and how to manage difficulties healthily. Addressing mental health concerns means addressing why a substance use disorder developed in the first place—knowing why it happened will tell you how to avoid repeating the same situation. At our Partial Hospitalization Program in Dallas, TX, clients complete treatment with a clear understanding of why they relied on substances in the past and why that’s not the solution for the future. Then and only then is a person prepared for long-term addiction recovery.
How Mental Health is Improved in a PHP Program
The first (and most important) step in improving mental health is a thorough evaluation. Before enrolling in a PHP program, there will be a medical assessment to diagnose the SUD and other co-occurring mental health disorders. The review helps clinicians create a highly targeted treatment plan that addresses all underlying issues. The treatment plan will be based on:
- The mental health disorders that are present
- The symptoms that are experienced
- The type of substance that is misused
- The severity of the addiction
- The age of the patient
- The patient’s health needs
- The patient’s goals
Clinicians use a variety of therapies to improve mental health in a PHP program. Treatments that are commonly used in a PHP include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Motivational Interviewing
- Mindfulness Training and Meditation
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Experiential Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Counseling
Often a combination of therapies is used, and group therapy is almost always a part of a PHP behavioral health program. Making connections with peers and knowing that you aren’t alone is critical to the mental healing process. It’s also possible that the therapies used to improve mental health will change as the person progresses through treatment. Counselors will make a note of which therapies have the most impact. They’ll also track the patient’s progression and adjust to address mental health needs as they evolve throughout addiction recovery.