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Do Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in Massachusetts Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?

treatment for co-occurring disordersDrug addiction and alcoholism are serious problems in the United States. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 15 million Americans aged 12 or older suffer from alcohol use disorder.[1] Additionally, the CDC reports that 1 in 7 Americans suffer from a drug use disorder at some point in their lives.[2]

When you are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, there are usually underlying causes that contribute to your desire to abuse substances. To put it simply, you don’t just become addicted to a substance because you were looking to have some fun. Oftentimes, addiction stems from untreated childhood trauma or underlying mental health conditions.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that 7.7 million adults suffer from co-occurring disorders.[3] Co-occurring disorders occur when you have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder at the same time.

Co-occurring disorders must be treated simultaneously, otherwise, the symptoms of the untreated condition will cause a relapse in the other. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers in Massachusetts, including Woburn Wellness, are equipped with the dual diagnosis treatment services required to help individuals overcome co-occurring disorders.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

A co-occurring disorder (also referred to as dual diagnosis) occurs when you suffer from a mental health condition and an addiction at the same time. For example, if someone has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffers from meth addiction, they have a co-occurring disorder. Similarly, someone with an anxiety condition who struggles with alcoholism also meets the criteria for co-occurring disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says the most common mental health conditions to co-occur with addiction include:[4]

However, it is important to note that any mental health condition can co-occur with any substance use disorder. When you struggle with both a psychiatric illness and an addiction, it can be extremely difficult to recover. Thankfully, there are professional treatment programs that specialize in helping people overcome a dual diagnosis.

How are Co-Occurring Disorders Treated?

Co-occurring disorders must be treated at the same time. If you were to only receive treatment for your addiction, the untreated symptoms of your mental health condition could lead to an addiction relapse. As a result, co-occurring disorders are treated in dual-diagnosis rehab programs that specialize in treating both psychiatric conditions and substance use disorders.

During a dual-diagnosis treatment program, you will receive a combination of the following services depending on your personal needs:

  • Medical detox to overcome withdrawal symptoms
  • Evaluation and diagnosis of mental health conditions
  • Evidence-based behavioral therapy to address addiction
  • Various types of individual therapy for your specific psychiatric disorder
  • Group therapy and counseling for both addiction and mental health
  • Holistic treatments that lessen the symptoms of addiction and mental illness
  • Relapse prevention planning to ensure that you can navigate triggers outside of treatment without reverting to substance abuse
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid or alcohol addiction
  • Medications to help manage the symptoms of mental health conditions that are therapy-resistant

How Do I Know If I Need Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether you need treatment for co-occurring disorders. You might be aware that you suffer from mental illness and substance abuse issues, but are unsure of whether professional treatment is necessary. On the other hand, you might not be aware that you are suffering from a specific mental health condition.

Either way, there are signs and symptoms to be aware of that can help you determine whether you require dual-diagnosis treatment. These signs include:

  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to cope with uncomfortable feelings or situations
  • Experiencing drastic changes in your personality or mood
  • Withdrawing from your friends and family
  • Behaving erratically
  • Being unable to complete daily tasks due to mental health symptoms or addiction
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Experiencing significant weight loss or weight gain that cannot be explained by exercising or eating habits
  • Periods of intense sadness or extreme energy
  • Symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, or psychosis
  • Having a hard time remembering important dates, information, or everyday things
  • Periods of emotional detachment
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you do not use a substance
  • Having to routinely increase the dosage of a substance you are abusing (developing tolerance)
  • Craving substances when you are not using them (dependency)

There are several other signs you may notice if you are suffering from co-occurring disorders, but these are the most common. If you experience any changes in your mood, or personality, or develop physical symptoms of substance abuse, you should consider attending a dual-diagnosis treatment program. If you are still having a hard time determining whether you need help, you should reach out to your doctor, therapist, addiction specialist, or a trusted friend for advice.

Where Can I Get Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Massachusetts?

There are tons of options when it comes to treatment for co-occurring disorders in Massachusetts. Because co-occurring disorders are so common, a lot of drug and alcohol rehab programs specialize in dual diagnosis treatment. However, finding the right program for your personal needs can be difficult, especially if you’ve never been to a treatment facility before.

If you are looking for dual diagnosis treatment in Massachusetts, there are a few ways to make the process easier. First, if you have health insurance you should contact your provider to receive a list of in-network treatment facilities. This list will provide you with all of the local dual diagnosis rehab centers that accept your insurance.

If you do not have health insurance, you should look for programs that offer payment plans. Many co-occurring disorder rehab programs offer sliding scale fees or scholarships to individuals who cannot afford the care they need. If you decide to go this route, make sure to look at reviews and testimonials, become familiar with the treatment techniques they use, and consider touring the facility before committing.

Find Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Massachusetts Today

Living with untreated co-occurring disorders can be extremely difficult, and in some cases, put you at risk of life-threatening situations like overdoses or suicide attempts. With that being said, receiving professional treatment is extremely important. If you or a loved one suffer from comorbid mental health and addiction issues, Woburn Wellness is here to help.

To learn more about our dual diagnosis rehab center in Massachusetts, contact Woburn Wellness today.



5 Signs You’ve Hit Rock Bottom in Your Addiction and Need to Go to Rehab

signs you've hit rock bottomAddiction can change the way you think, feel, and behave. It can be so powerful that you are driven to new lows and do things you wouldn’t normally do if you were sober. The term “rock bottom” is often used to describe the lowest emotional point in a person’s addiction. Rock bottom is usually seen as a breaking point during which a person suffering from addiction realizes the extent of their problem and becomes willing to get help. Rock bottom can look different for everyone.

While the need for rehab is often apparent to friends and family members, people struggling with addiction tend to have a difficult time realizing and admitting that they need treatment. Even if they hit rock bottom, they may rationalize or justify their behaviors. Or, they may act like the victim of circumstance.

So how do you know if you’ve reached the bottom? Here are 5 signs you’ve reached rock bottom in your addiction and need to go to rehab.

1. Getting Fired as a Result of Your Drug and Alcohol Use

When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, using substances becomes your top priority. You may start calling in sick to work, showing up late for your shifts, or going to work intoxicated and being less productive. All of these actions can put your position at work in jeopardy, and if the problem gets too severe, you could even get fired.

If you’ve been fired from your job because of your drug or alcohol abuse, you may have reached rock bottom and should consider going to rehab.

2. Getting into Trouble With the Law

Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to poor judgment and risky behaviors. As a result, many people suffering from addiction, even though they are good people, end up committing crimes and getting in trouble with the law.

Some offenses that are more common in substance users include:

  • Drug possession
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)/driving with intoxication (DWI)
  • Public intoxication
  • Distribution of a controlled substance
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance
  • Theft and burglary
  • Fraud
  • Prostitution

In some people, drug and alcohol abuse may increase the potential for violent tendencies.

If you have found yourself engaging in criminal acts or facing legal issues as a result of your addiction, you can benefit from substance abuse treatment.

3. Losing Custody of your Children

A sign of hitting rock bottom in addicted parents is losing custody of their children. Custody loss can be the result of a variety of different actions you may take due to your addiction, such as:

  • Neglect
  • Abuse
  • Criminal charges
  • Jail time
  • Divorce & being deemed an “unfit” parent by the courts

Losing custody of your children can be a terribly painful experience, and it means your addiction has gone too far. Seek help while you can before you lose your children forever. Going to rehab can benefit you and your kids.

4. Serious Financial Problems Because of Drug and Alcohol Spending

Addiction is an expensive habit. It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars a week on alcohol and even more on drugs. Even if you need to save money, you may find yourself spending more than you should on drugs or alcohol, and getting yourself into debt and other financial issues.

If you keep spending more money than you intended to on drugs or alcohol and it’s causing you financial problems, your addiction has gone too far and it’s time to seek treatment.

5. Health Problems, Overdose, and/or Hospitalization

Drug and alcohol abuse takes a serious toll on your body. Depending on the type of drug you are addicted to, you could be facing a range of life-altering health problems including HIV/AIDS, certain cancers, liver failure, respiratory problems, infections, and more.

Substance abuse can also lead to overdose and other adverse events that can land you in the hospital.

If your addiction has taken you to the point of harming your health and risking your life, there is no time to spare. You must seek treatment from a trusted drug and alcohol rehab center as soon as possible.

More Signs You’ve Hit Rock Bottom in Your Addiction

Rock bottom is different for everyone, and you can always fall deeper into the consequences of addiction. Other examples of reaching rock bottom include:

  • Going through a divorce or breakup as a result of your substance abuse
  • Feeling overwhelmingly discouraged, hopeless, or trapped
  • Developing serious mental health issues as a result of your addiction
  • Getting kicked out of your family home
  • Facing homelessness as a result of your addiction

What to Do if You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

Many people hit rock bottom in their addiction before going to rehab because they avoid treatment due to reasons like lack of resources, denial, or shame. However, when you reach a low enough point, you will feel as though you have no other choice but to seek treatment.

If your addiction has taken you to places you never thought you’d be, the best thing you can do for yourself is to check into a drug and alcohol rehab center. Rehab will help you detox safely, learn how to stay sober, and create a plan to start getting your life back on track.

Contact Woburn Wellness Today for a Confidential Substance Abuse Assessment

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and ready to take the first step toward recovery, please contact us today. Our team of dedicated admissions specialists is here to evaluate your needs and get you started with the right treatment program for you. Call now to get started.

Where Can I Get a Professional Substance Abuse Evaluation?

what to expect during a substance abuse evaluationDrug and alcohol addiction can keep you from living the life you want to live. Caring, comprehensive substance abuse treatment can give you the support you need to put addiction behind you and move forward into a healthy future. Since no two people have the same experience with addiction and recovery, it’s essential to get treatment tailored to help you reach your unique goals.

Before beginning an addiction treatment program, you must get a substance abuse evaluation. This essential step toward recovery means your treatment team can provide better, more personalized treatment. The better your treatment, the better the outcome–and the more likely you’ll be to have a lifelong recovery from addiction.

If you or someone you love require a substance abuse assessment, reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today to get started.

What is the Goal of a Substance Abuse Evaluation?

The ultimate goal of a substance abuse evaluation is to assess your treatment needs and guide the course of your treatment plan. The substance abuse assessment includes several parts that can help your treatment team understand your addiction and recommend therapies to address its physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects.

Generally, a substance abuse assessment involves:

  • Determining the severity of your substance abuse and dependence
  • Identifying aspects of psychological and physical dependence
  • Identifying co-occurring disorders and potential complications
  • Recommending a level of care or type of treatment
  • Verifying insurance plan details

Having a substance abuse assessment before starting treatment is critically important. Without taking this vital step, it will be very difficult to address your specific needs, avoid common setbacks, and find the right type of treatment. The information gathered in your evaluation is used throughout your treatment plan to make sure your treatments are tailored to your needs.

What Happens During a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Before starting treatment, a doctor or addiction specialist will perform a substance abuse evaluation to guide your recovery journey.

There are many providers and practitioners who can perform this type of assessment, but it is crucial to choose one who specializes in providing substance abuse care. An addiction specialist can connect you with the programs and professionals who will support your recovery. Many people decide to seek a substance abuse assessment in an addiction treatment facility so they can transition seamlessly into a tailored substance abuse treatment program.

A substance abuse evaluation consists of the following:

  • Questions about your substance use–what substances you used, the frequency and amount you used, and withdrawal symptoms
  • Your medical and mental health history, including prior treatment programs, medications, therapies, and medical procedures
  • An assessment of your readiness to change
  • An evaluation of your relapse risk
  • Questions about your environment–how it may impact your recovery
  • Verification of your insurance coverage and benefits–this can help you understand your out-of-pocket costs for treatment or help you make informed decisions about your care

The first step of a substance abuse evaluation is often to assess a person’s acute withdrawal risk to determine if medically-supported detox is necessary. This is a critical aspect of the assessment because it allows people to get the support and treatment they need during withdrawal. Without participating in a drug and alcohol detox program, many people relapse before experiencing a complete detox.

It is essential to be honest during your substance abuse evaluation so that your treatment team can recommend the level of care and type of treatment to meet your needs. If appropriate, your doctor may recommend specialized care, such as gender-specific or dual-diagnosis treatment. Your team may also begin mapping out an aftercare plan to help support long-term sobriety after rehab.

Do I Need a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Living with substance abuse and addiction can make life very difficult. It can lead to life-altering legal and financial trouble, severe health issues, relationship strain, and can threaten your immediate health and safety. Getting a substance abuse evaluation is the right first step if you believe you need treatment for addiction.

But recognizing you need help can be difficult. It’s important to understand some of the common signs of substance abuse and addiction. These include:

  • Developing tolerance–needing more of the substance to get the same effect
  • Spending a lot of time and energy getting, using, and recovering from the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you don’t use the substance
  • Isolating, neglecting relationships and hobbies, or losing interest in things you enjoyed
  • Falling behind in your responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but feeling like you can’t
  • Engaging in risky behaviors when using drugs or alcohol
  • Facing legal or financial trouble because of your substance use
  • Becoming sick or injured as a result of your substance use
  • Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences

If you or a loved one needs help, getting an evaluation is crucial to set you on the path to recovery.

Get a Substance Abuse Evaluation Now

Do you need a substance abuse evaluation? Reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today to learn more about starting a treatment program. Don’t live another day with your addiction. Get the help you need now.

Why do Some People Get Addicted and Others Don’t? Understanding Risk Factors for Addiction

risk factors for addictionPlenty of people experiment with substances, from alcohol to marijuana and even cocaine. While some people can use drugs and alcohol without becoming addicted, others fall into a cycle of substance abuse, dependence, and full-blown addiction. But why do some people get addicted and others don’t?

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 50% of people aged 12 or older have used illicit drugs at least once. Out of those individuals, 25.4% suffer from a substance use disorder.[1]

Addiction develops due to an array of underlying circumstances. Certain people face specific risk factors that make them more prone to addiction than others. While anyone can get addicted to a substance after repetitive use, some individuals find themselves suffering from the condition after only taking drugs once or twice.

Understanding the risk factors for addiction can help you or your loved ones take preventative measures to ensure that you do not develop a substance use disorder.

Risk Factors for Addiction

One of the reasons why some people get addicted to drugs while others don’t is that they have underlying risk factors that their peers do not face. For example, having a family history of addiction, suffering from mental health conditions, or experiencing a traumatic event puts you at an increased risk of developing an addiction.

Individuals who do not have these underlying risk factors may be less likely to abuse and become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The common risk factors for addiction include:


According to the American Psychological Association, “At least half of a person’s susceptibility to drug addiction can be linked to genetic factors.”[2]

Genes are functional units of DNA that provide the information responsible for directing your body’s basic cellular functions. Genes determine what color your hair will be, how tall you are, and even how susceptible you are to developing certain diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, or addiction.

However, it is important to note that genetics are never solely responsible for the development of addiction. If you have a genetic predisposition to addiction, you must also suffer from other risk factors to develop a substance use disorder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “research shows that a person’s health is the result of dynamic interactions between genes and the environment.”[3]

Mental Health

When you suffer from a mental health condition, you are more likely to develop substance abuse issues. This is especially true if your mental illness is left untreated because mental disorders can be extremely difficult to cope with, often causing individuals to seek out forms of self-medication.

While any mental health issue can put you at an increased risk of developing an addiction, certain illnesses are highly linked to substance abuse. For example, bipolar disorder often causes people who are experiencing mania to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors like abusing drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health, “brain changes in people with mental disorders may enhance the rewarding effects of substances, making it more likely they will continue to use the substance.”[4]

Traumatic Experiences

When someone experiences something traumatic, they often deal with difficult emotions and painful memories. Without professional treatment, the symptoms of past trauma can become so difficult to cope with that you begin participating in unhealthy coping mechanisms. More often than not, this leads to self-medication with drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, trauma exposure led to substance abuse in up to 76% of individuals.[5]

A history of trauma is one of the most common risk factors for addiction. Because of this, people who have suffered from a traumatic event should always seek counseling to process their trauma before it impacts their lives further.

Early Use

The large majority of people who suffer from addiction report abusing substances in their adolescent years. When you abuse drugs or alcohol before your brain is fully developed, you may experience changes in your brain that put you at an increased risk of addiction.

Substance abuse can affect adolescent brain development by:

  • Creating memory issues
  • Ingraining expectations of unhealthy habits into brain circuitry
  • Inhibiting your development of perceptual abilities
  • Reducing your ability to experience pleasure naturally
  • Interfering with neurotransmitters and damaging important connections within the brain

Keeping this in mind, abusing substances as a child or a teen increases your risk of developing an addiction for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that your impulse control is not fully developed until your mid to late twenties. When you are abusing substances as an adolescent, your ability to control how much and often you use drugs is extremely low.

Find Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Just because you have the risk factors for addiction does not mean you will develop it. However, if you do abuse drugs and alcohol, your chances of becoming addicted are extremely high. Regardless of your history, anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, so it is important to care for your mental health, address any past traumas, and avoid substance abuse–especially when addiction issues run in your family.

Unfortunately, preventing addiction can be difficult when you do not have the resources or support you need. If you or a loved one find yourself suffering from a substance use disorder, professional treatment can help you gain the tools you need to recover. Contact Woburn Wellness today for more information on our drug and alcohol rehab program.



How to Find Treatment for PTSD and Alcoholism

treatment for PTSD and addictionPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. The effects of PTSD can be debilitating, between the mood swings, flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety associated with the condition. Unfortunately, untreated PTSD often causes people to self-medicate with alcohol, leading to the development of alcoholism.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, women with PTSD are 2.5 times more likely to develop alcoholism than people without the condition. Additionally, men with PTSD are 2 times more likely to suffer from alcoholism.[1]

Because alcoholism and PTSD often co-occur, treatment centers need to provide programs that include recovery services for both conditions. Thankfully, if you suffer from these co-occurring conditions, there are dual-diagnosis treatment programs that can address both your PTSD and alcoholism.

What Should Treatment for PTSD and Alcoholism Include?

Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism must include a combination of services for both conditions. If you struggle with both conditions you should always seek help from a dual diagnosis program, as these rehab centers integrate substance abuse and mental health treatment tactics.

For alcoholism, treatment services should include:

  • Medical detox services to help you overcome the symptoms of withdrawal
  • Addiction education groups that teach you about the disease of addiction, how it affects you, and how to overcome it
  • Individual therapy and group counseling that addresses the psychological and emotional factors that played a role in the development of your alcoholism
  • Relapse prevention skills that teach you how to identify your triggers for alcohol abuse and provide you with coping mechanisms to overcome unavoidable triggers
  • Services that allow you to develop important life skills, such as vocational training, self-care tips, and how to foster healthy relationships with others

For post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment tactics should include:

  • Individual therapy methods that help you safely process your trauma without the risk of re-traumatization
  • Counseling groups that allow you to realize you are not alone and display how others are finding healing from their PTSD
  • Evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) teach you how to process your emotions in a healthy manner[2]
  • Options for medications that help treat the symptoms of PTSD on a short or long-term basis depending on your needs

Both the treatment services for PTSD and alcoholism should be combined in a comprehensive dual-diagnosis program to ensure that you recover from both conditions simultaneously.

If you only treat your drinking problem, unresolved trauma can result in alcohol relapse. Dual diagnosis programs provide healing for PTSD and alcoholism at the same time, ensuring that you are ready to integrate back into everyday life.

How to Find a Treatment Program for PTSD and Alcoholism

Choosing the right alcohol rehab center is essential for your sobriety. Finding a facility that meets all of your treatment and financial needs can be difficult, however, there are ways to make the process easier.

Work With an Addiction Counselor

Addiction counselors specialize in helping people recover from substance use disorders. They can provide an array of services, all of which allow them to provide you with a support network throughout your recovery process.

When you first connect with an addiction counselor, they will get to know you and your history to get a clear picture of what you need and what your goals are for recovery. An addiction specialist can refer you to a PTSD and alcoholism treatment center that suits all of your individual needs.

Ask Your Doctor or Therapist for Recommendations

If you have a primary care physician or a therapist whom you trust, you can ask them if they have any recommendations for inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.

Speak to People in Your Local Recovery Community

If you already attend self-help groups or know people who are active in the recovery community, they probably have experience in attending professional treatment. You could ask your friends and peers if they have any recommendations on reputable treatment programs for PTSD and alcoholism. Sometimes, the best way to find a professional treatment program is through word-of-mouth, because this way you will know someone personally who has gone through the program and found success.

Reach Out to Your Insurance Provider

Another great way to find a PTSD and alcoholism treatment program is to contact your insurance provider. They can provide you with a list of local treatment centers that accept your insurance. Using this method will ensure that the program you choose will be paid for by your insurance, saving you money and connecting you with a professional and reputable facility.

Find Treatment for PTSD and Alcoholism Today

If you or a loved one suffer from trauma and alcoholism, you know how difficult it is to live with these conditions without support. Both PTSD and alcohol use disorder can be debilitating, making it hard for you to function in your daily life. Attending a trauma-informed alcohol rehab program can provide you with the support you need to heal and the tools you need to maintain long-term recovery.

Effective alcohol rehab is available to men and women of all ages in Woburn, MA and all surrounding areas. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of an alcohol use disorder of any severity, reach out to Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment today.



Can I Get Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health at the Same Time?

treatment for addiction and mental healthAddiction affects people’s lives in profound ways. Living with untreated substance abuse and addiction often leads to lifelong consequences for people’s physical and emotional health. It impairs a person’s ability to live a healthy, fulfilling life. The effects of addiction often ripple outward into people’s families and communities. Many people require treatment to overcome addiction and live a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Many with addiction also have a diagnosed mental illness. When someone lives with both mental illness and addiction, it is called having a dual diagnosis. About 4 million people in the United States require treatment for addiction and mental health problems, but only about 8% of those who need this type of treatment get it.[1]

When someone does require treatment for both addiction and mental health problems, it’s important to treat both conditions at the same time. Not all addiction treatment facilities can treat mental illness, so it’s crucial that you find a center that offers dual diagnosis treatment.

For information on starting treatment for addiction and mental health or for support during recovery, reach out to the Woburn Addiction treatment specialists today.

Do I Need Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health?

Some people have received a formal diagnosis of a substance use disorder and a mental illness from health professionals, and some live with symptoms of both conditions without being formally diagnosed for years.

More than half of people who seek substance abuse treatment meet the criteria for a formal mental health diagnosis.[2] Having a formal diagnosis from a medical professional may help you start the process of getting treatment for addiction and mental health.

Each person’s experience with substance abuse and mental illness will be different, but people often share common symptoms when living with a dual diagnosis, including:

  • Having a diagnosis of either a mental illness or a substance use disorder
  • Starting to use drugs or alcohol after experiencing a traumatic event
  • Diagnosis of bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or borderline personality disorder
  • Continuing to use drugs despite negative consequences like losing a job, the breakup of a relationship, being involved in an accident, legal trouble, or a significant medical problem
  • Changes in mood, personality, sleep, or appearance
  • Strained relationships and isolation
  • Using a lot of time and energy to get, use, and recover from substance abuse

It’s important to get treatment for addiction and mental health at the same time. If you treat only mental illness, the substance abuse may interfere with treating your symptoms. Similarly, if you treat only the addiction, your mental illness may prevent you from completing treatment.

What Happens During Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health?

Dual diagnosis rehab is similar to other substance abuse treatment programs but includes time and treatments to address the symptoms of mental illness and addiction. Treatment for addiction and mental health often happens in several stages.


Treatment for addiction and mental health is offered in several levels of care. People’s needs differ significantly and having the opportunity to find a program that fits is essential. The levels of care include:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Inpatient care
  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
  • Medically-supervised detox

Before beginning treatment, a mental health or medical professional will evaluate your needs and recommend a level of care. Their assessment will include questions about your mental health, physical health, substance use, treatment history, and other vital information.

Many people start in one level of care and move on to others as their symptoms and skills change.


When a person’s body becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop using these substances. Many people begin treatment for addiction and mental health by completing a medically-supervised detox program.  During detox, medical and support staff monitor patients and treat them for uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Treatment during detox includes medications, emotional support, and holistic care to keep people comfortable.


After completing detox, people begin programs that include counseling for addiction and mental health. A combination of evidence-based and holistic treatments provide the support, skills, and healing people need to overcome addiction and work toward a healthy, sober lifestyle. Treatment plans often include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Holistic therapies like yoga, mindfulness, art and music therapy, and nutrition counseling

The length of time and level of care a person requires depends on the length and severity of their addiction and mental illness and other factors. Someone who begins in an inpatient program may move to a lower level of care, such as outpatient treatment or a partial care program.


People who live with mental illness and substance abuse or addiction must remain active in their recovery and manage the symptoms of both conditions for the rest of their lives. Treatment for addiction and mental illness often includes developing an aftercare plan that allows people to stay committed to sobriety for life.

Get Help Now

Seeking treatment for addiction and mental health at the same time can reduce your risk for relapse. If you or someone you love requires dual diagnosis treatment or support during recovery, reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment addiction specialists today.



5 Ways an Addiction Treatment Center Can Help You Cope With Depression in Recovery

can rehab help me cope with depression in recoveryAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.”[1] Co-occurring disorders are described as having a substance use disorder along with one or more mental health conditions. One of the most common mental illnesses to co-occur with addiction is depression.

Depression is a mental health condition that negatively affects how you think, feel, and act. If you suffer from depression, you probably experience feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed. Dealing with this condition while you are attempting to recover from a substance use disorder can be extremely difficult.

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment centers offer comprehensive treatment that can help you cope with depression while you recover from the disease of addiction.

5 Ways a Dual Diagnosis Rehab Can Help You Overcome Depression in Recovery

Dual diagnosis rehab centers combine traditional addiction treatment methods with evidence-based mental health recovery practices. Here are 5 ways an addiction treatment center can help you cope with depression in recovery.

1. Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is one of the most important tools used in the treatment of depression. Oftentimes, when you struggle with depression you keep a lot of emotions and feelings bottled up. During individual therapy, you have a chance to open up to a professional about the things you are struggling with in a private, supportive setting.

One of the most common types of therapy used to treat moderate to severe depression is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapeutic method allows you to recognize distorted or negative thinking patterns and teaches you how to change your thoughts and behaviors to respond to situations more healthily.

2. Group Counseling

Another way that a dual diagnosis treatment center can help you cope with depression is through group counseling. Counseling groups are facilitated by a licensed psychologist or therapist and include about 5 to 15 patients.

During group therapy sessions, you and your peers will respond to group discussion topics surrounding your depression. These topics allow you to open up about your experience with depression and how it has affected you while hearing your peer’s responses so you gain insight into how others have begun to recover from depression and learn new methods of coping from your fellow patients.

Group counseling can also help lessen any symptoms of loneliness or isolation caused by your depression. As you interact with your peers, you begin to feel a sense of camaraderie as you find similarities in your stories. Group counseling can also teach you how to have mutually beneficial relationships with others, as you begin to connect with and support the people around you.

3. Medication

While medication is not necessary for everyone, some people benefit from being on an antidepressant while they are in the early recovery stages from depression. Antidepressant medication can provide you with short-term symptom relief while you learn how to manage your depression in therapy and group counseling. Antidepressants are non-habit forming so they will not cause any problems in your recovery from addiction.

Common medications used to treat depression include:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)

4. Safe, Supportive Environment

When you are in a residential dual diagnosis program, you will be constantly surrounded by people working to better themselves. As you progress in the program, you will make connections with other patients based on the common goal of recovery and overall happiness in life. Being fully immersed in such a supportive environment can teach you to have a brighter outlook on life.

Also, during your treatment program, you will have 24/7 access to licensed mental health professionals. If you are having a hard time (day or night), these individuals will be on-site and ready to provide you with the support you need. You can rest assured that there is always someone there to listen to your concerns and help you problem-solve.

5. Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Lastly, a dual diagnosis treatment program will teach you healthy coping mechanisms that you can use to self-regulate your emotions.

Before you got into recovery, you probably used drugs and alcohol to cope with your feelings of depression. Unfortunately, doing so only worsens your symptoms over time, as they were never truly dealt with. Healthy coping mechanisms provide you with an outlet for your negative and difficult-to-deal-with emotions while distracting you from the mental pain you are facing.

Examples of healthy coping mechanisms include:

  • Speaking with a supportive friend or a professional
  • Journaling your thoughts
  • Exercising
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Attending self-help support groups
  • Breathing exercises

Find Help for Depression and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from co-occurring depression and addiction, it’s time to seek help. Living with these two conditions can significantly impact your ability to function in your daily life. Additionally, depression and addiction can worsen one another, putting you at a higher risk of experiencing life-threatening emergencies like overdoses or suicidal ideation.

Dual diagnosis recovery centers like Woburn Wellness can help you overcome addiction and depression with individualized treatment and aftercare support. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.



How Unresolved Trauma Can Lead to Addiction Relapse

trauma therapy to prevent addiction relapseTrauma is, unfortunately, not rare. One in four young people in the United States experience at least one potentially traumatic event before they turn 16. Nearly 70% of all adults experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives.[1,2]

Trauma comes in many different forms, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, violence, military combat, chronic illness, natural disaster, loss of a loved one, and more. Trauma can be painful or shocking when it happens, and it often has long-lasting effects on your mental and emotional health. Trauma can also increase the risk of substance abuse and addiction relapse.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), up to 59% of young people with PTSD develop substance abuse issues later in life, and traumatic stress can make it more difficult for people to stop using drugs and alcohol.[1] Over 90% of clients in behavioral health facilities have experienced trauma.[2]

Trauma and addiction must be treated at the same time to avoid relapse and avoid progression of the addiction or deterioration in mental health. If you or a loved one have experienced trauma and need support in any phase of your recovery, please contact a team member at Woburn Wellness today.

Why Does Trauma Lead to Addiction?

Traumatic events shape the way you think, feel, and behave. Whether you have childhood trauma from abuse or neglect or more recent trauma from things like violence, natural disaster, or assault, traumatic experiences stick with you and can influence who you become. Trauma is so impactful that it can even cause changes in brain structure and increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine.[3]

Trauma can lead to a variety of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders. It can also increase the risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

When you don’t have a healthy coping outlet, especially for something as impactful as trauma, you will naturally seek out another way to alleviate your symptoms. People who experience trauma may abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with their emotional distress. They may also self-medicate to cope with symptoms of anxiety or depression.

How Does Trauma Impact Your Recovery?

Recovery isn’t just about giving up drugs and alcohol–it’s also about overcoming the root cause of your addiction. If trauma is the driving force behind your substance abuse like it is for so many people, you may require trauma-informed care or treatment involving trauma therapy.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), trauma-informed care acknowledges the need to understand a patient’s life experiences in order to deliver effective care and has the potential to improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, health outcomes, and provider and staff wellness.[4] If trauma is left untreated, it could result in drug or alcohol relapse.

Many therapies may be involved in treating trauma and addiction, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma-focused CBT
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Exposure therapy
  • Emotionally-focused therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy

Understanding How Unresolved Trauma Can Lead to Addiction Relapse

Just because you stop using drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean your trauma will go away. If you are sober, but haven’t addressed your trauma, you may continue experiencing anxiety, emotional distress, chronic stress, and depression. These feelings may eventually become too much for you to handle, prompting you to return to a cycle of self-medication and drug abuse.

Lingering effects of trauma that you may experience include:

  • Mood swings
  • Erratic behavior
  • Fear, nervousness, or anxiety
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Avoiding certain people, places, or things that remind you of trauma
  • Flashbacks
  • Difficulty developing and sustaining healthy relationships

The effects of trauma may lessen over time, but they don’t go away on their own. Treatment is essential for your recovery.

How to Heal From Trauma

Healing from trauma looks different for everyone. During therapy, your therapist will assess your needs and help you heal in ways that are effective for you. Your therapist may also suggest helpful coping strategies, such as:

  • Connect with others, especially with those who have shared experiences with you
  • Exercise
  • Find ways to relax, like yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing, or meditation
  • Find an expressive hobby that you enjoy such as art or music
  • Write in a journal about your day or your emotions

Most importantly, it’s crucial to be patient and forgiving with yourself. Healing takes time. You must acknowledge that you have experienced trauma, but that you are worth more than your trauma. Take your therapist’s suggestions and take your recovery one day at a time.

Find Help for Trauma and Addiction

At Woburn Wellness, we understand that addiction is a complex disease that has physical, mental, and emotional impacts. Our goal is to help you identify and understand your trauma so we can treat it and you can recover.

Whether it’s our Day Treatment Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, or Outpatient Services program, help with trauma, addiction, and relapse is available. Contact us today to start your recovery.



4 Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Massachusetts

Massachusetts dual diagnosis treatmentStruggling with drug addiction or alcoholism is always difficult. However, dealing with a substance use disorder becomes even more challenging when you suffer from more than one issue. Recovery from two or more conditions, whether it’s addiction or a mental illness, requires an intensive and highly customized treatment program.

When you have a mental health condition and suffer from addiction, that is referred to as having co-occurring disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.”[1] Because comorbid addiction and mental illness is so common, dual diagnosis treatment programs were created to help you and other individuals who need support.

Dual diagnosis programs use an integrated approach to addiction and mental health treatment. These programs combine evidence-based addiction treatment techniques with mental health recovery practices to create a program that can address any and all of your co-occurring disorders at one time.

Four benefits of attending dual diagnosis treatment in Massachusetts are:

1. Uncovering the Root Causes of Your Addiction

In most cases, substance abuse issues are caused by underlying mental health issues and unresolved childhood trauma. According to research posted by the National Library of Medicine, “Early traumatic experience may increase risk of substance use disorders (SUDs) because of attempts to self-medicate or to dampen mood symptoms associated with a dysregulated biological stress response.”[2]

If you are going into a dual diagnosis program, you may not be aware of which mental health conditions or traumatic experiences contributed to the development of your addiction.

A dual diagnosis treatment program will provide you with the therapy you need to unpack the root causes of your addiction. This is an extremely vital aspect of substance abuse recovery, as treating the root cause of your substance abuse issues is the only way to ensure that you will not suffer from a relapse in the future.

2. Integrated Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts use an integrated approach that combines mental health and addiction treatment methodologies. By addressing both your addiction and mental health conditions, you increase your chances of long-term sobriety and recovery. After all, it is very difficult to stay sober if you are still dealing with untreated mental health symptoms.

When you are forced to recover from your addiction before receiving care for your mental health condition, you are denied the chance to truly recover. To explain, it is common for people to abuse substances and develop an addiction as a result of self-medication. As your symptoms of your mental illness arise, you begin to use drugs or alcohol to calm them.

If you do not treat the underlying mental illness, you will continue to feel the need to self-medicate, but dual diagnosis treatment centers address both your addiction and your mental health condition at the same time..

3. Learning New and Effective Coping Skills

Healthy coping strategies help you deal with difficult situations or emotions healthily and productively. When you do not have healthy coping skills, your negative emotions become extremely difficult to navigate. This is often the reason why you begin to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

During a dual diagnosis program in Massachusetts, you will learn new and effective coping skills that work for you. The benefits you will experience by learning these skills include:

  • Lowered levels of anxiety and stress
  • The ability to learn new things and accept change
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Reduced health risks
  • Lowered risk of substance abuse and relapse
  • The ability to effectively deal with and bounce back from negative situations and emotions
  • Being able to let go of your emotions associated with a negative situation

Everyone has their own unique way of coping, but it is important that you use healthy methods rather than harmful ones. Attending a dual diagnosis treatment center will allow you to learn how to identify negative patterns of behavior and employ positive coping mechanisms when needed.

4. Aftercare Services that Increase Your Chances of Long-Term Sobriety

Ordinary mental health treatment facilities or addiction treatment programs usually do some discharge planning to prepare for a client’s last day. However, dual diagnosis programs understand how difficult it is to transition from treatment to everyday life.

Rather than just having you sign some papers and sending you on your way, dual diagnosis treatment centers in Massachusetts provide you with aftercare planning services to increase your chances of long-term recovery.

Common aftercare services include:

  • Identifying triggers and writing a list of coping mechanisms to use in each possible situation
  • Alumni programs you can attend to stay in touch with your treatment program and fellow patients
  • A list of recommended self-help and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
  • Continued therapy and medication management
  • Referrals to sober living programs can help ease the transition from treatment to normal life

Aftercare services are designed to help you cope with your mental health conditions and avoid resorting back to addiction when times get tough. Aftercare can prevent you from experiencing an unnecessary relapse and help you learn how to cope with everyday life after treatment.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in Massachusetts Today

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition, help is available. Going to a dual diagnosis treatment center can allow you to receive the support and treatments you need to recover from both conditions simultaneously.

If you are interested in dual diagnosis treatment, contact Woburn Wellness today. We can help you get back on track to living a happy and healthy life. Call now to get started.



What are the Root Causes of Addiction and Why is it so Important to Treat Them?

treating the root causes of addiction in therapyAddiction is a chronic and progressive disease that wreaks havoc on your life. When you struggle with substance abuse, all of your other responsibilities tend to take the back burner. This condition can cause you to lose your job, your family, and even your life- but what causes addiction in the first place?

When you suffer from a substance use disorder, other aspects of your life have likely been difficult in the past. Whether that means you suffered from childhood trauma, or mental health conditions, have family members who dealt with addiction, or find yourself socially isolated from others, something in your life has gone awry, causing you to seek out forms of coping, which is what led you to pick up the drugs or alcohol.

The exact cause of addiction is different for everyone, but finding the cause of your substance abuse issues is vital to your recovery. In other words, to successfully let go of the drugs and alcohol, you must treat the root causes of your addiction.

What are the Root Causes of Addiction?

The underlying causes of addiction are wide-ranging. One person may find that their childhood trauma is what led them to begin abusing substances, while you may discover that a combination of your genetics and your mental health issues is what sparked your compulsive need to use drugs.

Some of the most common root causes of addiction include:

Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma occurs when you experience a distressing situation as a child. This could include experiencing abuse, neglect, bullying, a natural disaster, poverty, or any event that you found difficult to cope with. When you experience trauma as a child, you may have a hard time dealing with the emotions attached to the event, as children tend to have undeveloped coping mechanisms.

As you grow into adulthood, the untreated trauma you experienced will continue to affect you. Without learning the proper coping mechanisms, this can cause you to seek forms of self-medication. This is how childhood trauma leads to the development of addiction.

According to a study posted by Harvard University, children who experience trauma are 4-12 times more likely to suffer from addiction.[1]

Family and Genetics

Do you have a parent or immediate family member who struggled with addiction? If so, genetics could play a huge role in the development of your substance use disorder. According to the APA, “at least half of a person’s susceptibility to drug or alcohol addiction can be linked to genetic factors.”[2]

In addition to genetics, watching a family member deal with addiction can cause you to develop the same habits. If you grew up seeing your mom or dad cope with their emotions by drinking or using drugs, you will learn to avoid your emotions by using substances. This can cause you to develop a substance use disorder as a teenager or young adult.


Humans are inherently social animals who need connections and support from others to live healthy lives. If you find that you haven’t had many close relationships or shoulders to lean on as you grew up, you may be at a higher risk of developing an addiction.

This theory was proved by a study conducted with rats, known as “rat park”. In this study, some rats were placed in complete isolation, without other rats or activities to partake in. The other rats were placed in an ideal environment, with lots of rats to socialize with and activities to have fun with.

Both environments included an opportunity for the rats to abuse substances. This study found that the rats in complete isolation were more prone to abusing the drugs, while the rats who were socializing largely ignored the substances in their environment.[3] This shows that isolation is a huge trigger for substance abuse and addiction.

Mental Health Conditions

Untreated mental health conditions are a huge trigger for substance abuse. This root cause of addiction is similar to the childhood trauma theory, as both causes lead to self-medication through the use of drugs and alcohol.

If you struggle with an untreated mental health condition, you are dealing with uncomfortable emotions and symptoms daily. Without professional treatment, it is very difficult to adopt healthy coping mechanisms to deal with symptoms. This is what causes you to seek out drugs and alcohol to numb your emotions, thoughts, or feelings.

Up to 50% of people who seek treatment for substance abuse also meet the diagnostic criteria for mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and others.

Why Should You Address the Root Causes of Addiction?

If you have a problem, the best way to solve it is to get to the root cause. Otherwise, you are simply treating the symptoms. The same rule applies to addiction.

If you suffer from addiction and only receive treatment for the substance abuse itself, you still have unresolved issues from your past that will come back to haunt you. For example, if you suffer from untreated mental health conditions or childhood trauma, not addressing these concerns could cause you to relapse in the future. Untreated depression could lead to drug relapse as you try to soothe your symptoms. Unresolved trauma or buried emotions can eat away at you until you confront them. It is difficult to truly recover without addressing why you abuse substances in the first place.

Instead of ignoring the root causes of your addiction, you should address them in therapy. This will prevent you from dealing with an unnecessary relapse after you complete a drug and alcohol recovery program.

Finding Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from the disease of addiction, it’s time to seek help. This condition can cause you to lose everything, including your life. The only way to ensure that you get the help you need to fully recover from a substance use disorder is to attend a professional treatment program where you will receive the services and treatments you need.

Contact Woburn Wellness today for more information on our addiction treatment programs in the Boston area.