Cliffside Malibu - Hazy Beach Cliffs

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

When a person has at least one mental health disorder and is addicted to at least one substance simultaneously, it is known as a co-occurring disorder. In many cases, substance use and mental illness go hand-in-hand, reinforcing or leading into one another. Treating one without treating the other is not only less effective, but it also leaves many individuals unable to make a full recovery from either condition. That’s why in circumstances like these, co-occurring disorder treatment from a professional institution who understands the nuances and complexities of treating both conditions simultaneously is necessary. The process can be difficult to navigate and a challenge for patients, but it is absolutely possible to address a person’s mental illness and substance use in a way that enables them to make a full and lasting recovery.

Help is a phone call away. If you or a loved one is in need of immediate treatment for addictions and other problems associated with a co-occurring disorder, please call Cliffside Malibu today at (424) 320-3061.
Dual Diagnosis Intake Process at Cliffside Malibu, a man seated wearing a blue shirt talking to his therapist.

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorder

Co-occurring disorder refers to any case where a psychiatric, psychological or behavioral disorder coexists with substance use disorder. It’s an umbrella term that covers a variety of disorders such as clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and others. If a person has any of these disorders alongside an addiction to drugs and alcohol, this is a co-occurring disorder. It may be that a person who has a psychological or behavioral disorder turns to addictive substances as a way of self-medicating. People with these types of disorders are known for having a higher risk of substance use disorder, whereas people with substance abuse are also known to develop disorders such as depression or even psychosis.

Getting treatment for one disorder without the other still leaves a person with issues that can be difficult to cope with on their own. This can ultimately result in treatment failure, as the remaining disorder has a chance of causing the treated disorder to reoccur or for the treatment itself to be rendered ineffective. Co-occurring disorder treatment works by addressing the root causes of both disorders and providing people with the tools they need to manage their mental health without substance abuse.

Cliffside Malibu - Beach Yoga

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Because the goal is to treat two disorders simultaneously, co-occurring disorder treatment will have aspects of both kinds of individual treatment for psychological and substance use disorders. Those who are familiar with either of these kinds of treatments will already have some kind of idea of what to expect. There are some changes made to the treatment to make it work within the larger context of co-occurring disorder treatment, but the overall process mostly follows the same general principles.

It begins the way nearly all substance use treatment programs do with detox followed by a period of psychotherapy and other treatments. Detoxing is essential for ridding the body of addictive substances and managing withdrawal symptoms in a safe and secure environment. Following this process, patients will meet one-on-one with a therapist who will take the time to get to know them in-depth, learn how their drug or alcohol addiction developed, discover how it relates to their psychiatric disorder and help them uncover the underlying reasons for their addiction. Because each person is unique, the strategies used to help a person recover and maintain their recovery must be based on that person’s unique circumstances. Using evidence-based therapies from a wide spectrum of healing practices, therapists and patients can create a treatment program tailor-suited to their specific needs, confronting the intertwining issues involving their psychological and substance-use disorder.

The Co-Occurring Disorder Process at Cliffside Malibu

Cliffside Malibu is a licensed and Joint Commission-accredited treatment center where cutting-edge, evidence-based psychotherapy and analysis meet world-class drug and alcohol addiction treatment, medically supervised detoxification and holistic medicine. The individualized and specialized approach each person who walks through our doors receives is what sets our facility apart. We have also built an exceptional team of medical and psychiatric doctors, psychologists, therapists, chemical dependency counselors and personal trainers to address the complex physical, emotional, mental and spiritual components of those with a co-occurring disorder. All this within a safe and secure facility staffed by compassionate professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality of care.

Upon admission for our co-occurring disorder program, there is an extensive intake process where information is gathered and patients are welcomed into the facility. They will then meet with their primary therapist who serves as a primary source of support and guidance throughout the treatment process. Together, the therapist and patient can formulate an extensive clinical assessment based on that person’s history and the clinician’s observation and expertise. The clinical team collaborates throughout the entire process, establishing the most effective and appropriate course of treatment. Once a patient has safely detoxed, they can move on to assessing their psychological condition in a thorough and more precise manner. A variety of therapeutic and holistic options are available to help our patients receive the most meaningful and effective treatment for their unique circumstances.

Dual diagnosis treatment plans at Cliffside Malibu, two women speaking to each other while seated.

Quality Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment and Luxury Accommodation in Malibu, California

In addition to our evidence-based and tailored co-occurring disorder treatment programs, Cliffside Malibu prides itself on providing a safe and comfortable space for our patients to escape to during this challenging period in their lives. While you do the psychological and emotional work that recovery requires, our staff will make certain you have the privacy and security necessary to feel safe. Our facility sits between the mountains and the ocean, providing a picturesque environment along with luxury accommodations. In addition to our wide range of treatment options, we provide a variety of recreational activities and amenities to keep our patients comfortable and engaged as they work on their recovery. These include gourmet meals, ocean access, hiking, yoga and much more.

If you or someone you love is affected by a substance use disorder, with or without a co-occurring disorder, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can contact us at (844) 846-4268 to learn more and begin the process of creating a lasting recovery. It may very well be the best call that you’ve ever made.

Stages of Change for Addiction Recovery

At Cliffside Malibu, we base our individualized luxury treatment plans on the Stages of Change model. The Stages of Change model, created by James O. Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island, illustrated how those seeking to recover from addiction go through a series of “stages” that allowed them ultimately to transcend their addictions and maintain sobriety. This means that we meet you where you are mentally, physically and spiritually, helping you to overcome the deep-rooted issues that have caused your addiction to flourish.
The staff of Cliffside Malibu was personally trained by Prochaska on this powerful treatment model. It is the hallmark of our treatment program. Learn more about the Stages of Change.


Call now to speak confidentially with an admission counselor.

(424) 320-3061