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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Teens

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Teens & Adolescents (12-17)

Dual Diagnosis Adolescent Treatment

When a teen struggles with both a substance use disorder (SUD) and a co-occurring mental health disorder, this is termed “dual diagnosis.” Emphasizing the importance of dual diagnosis treatment for teens becomes crucial because, whether the SUD developed first or the mental health disorder took precedence, both conditions must be addressed together for a successful recovery outcome.

Undoubtedly, a teen with an SUD and a co-existing mood disorder presents a complex treatment landscape. For optimal recovery, dual diagnosis treatment for teens is essential. A skilled psychotherapist can guide the teen towards uncovering underlying emotional pain, shedding light on the contributing factors to both the SUD and the accompanying mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or others. Through this holistic approach, an effective and individualized treatment plan can be developed.

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Parent & Family Support

At our mental health treatment center for teens, we understand how difficult this time is for the parents and families of a struggling teen. Our therapeutic and clinical team will provide therapeutic support and guidance for the family unit during the entire process.

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How Teen Dual Diagnosis Develops

When an adolescent presents with a dual diagnosis, the odds are high that the mental health component likely appeared first.  Often the teen with a dual diagnosis experienced difficulties in childhood—possibly exhibiting impulsive behavior, poor frustration tolerance, aggressive behavior—that may be organic in nature, such as with ADHD or a learning disability, or as the reflection of abuse or neglect, trauma, or dysfunction in the family.

The SUD may have developed as a method of self-medicating internal struggles and turmoil that found no healthy outlet.  By the time the teen has an entrenched drug or alcohol problem, the combined consequences of the psychological issues, related school and social problems, and deteriorating family relationships have taken a significant toll.

On the other hand, a teen from a seemingly healthy family environment may have an unknown genetic propensity for developing addiction.  If the teen engages in enough substance use it can activate changes in the brain that lead to increased tolerance. Increased use of the drug can lead to chemical dependency, which then causes the many negative consequences that can follow.  As these adverse consequences compound and impact the teen’s life, depression or anxiety can result. In this case, the SUD appeared first, with the mental health disorder a result of the negative consequences related to the SUD.

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Treating a Teen Dual Diagnosis

Because each teenager is unique in his or her treatment requirements and needs, a thorough mental and physical evaluation is conducted prior to starting treatment.  Based on this assessment, a customized treatment plan can be created. Adolescent treatment includes:

  1. Detox and Withdrawal.  A medical detox is necessary when the SUD has a lengthy history and dependency has developed.  Through the medical detoxification phase, and under the care of our doctors, the body cleanses itself of the chemical toxins related to the substance of use disorder, providing the teen with a better chance for participating fully in the subsequent treatment for both the SUD and the mental health component.
  2. Active treatment of the dual diagnosis.  The teen will be guided toward the best treatment fit for his or her particular situation.  An inpatient treatment program provides the highest standard of treatment for a dual diagnosis, with in-depth therapeutic interventions and activities integrated for both disorders.  An outpatient treatment program is appropriate for a mild SUD and a mental health disorder that is responsive to medications.

Whichever program is selected to treat the teen’s dual diagnosis, it will encompass individual psychotherapy, assessments and diagnostics, psychiatry, group therapy, medication management, addiction education, relapse prevention, and adjunct experiential therapies, such as meditation, mindfulness training, and art therapy.

  1. Continuing care.  After completion of a dual diagnosis treatment program it is imperative that outpatient therapy be ongoing, albeit to a lesser degree as active treatment.  There is much value in continuing to receiving counseling and participating in group therapy sessions, which will help ensure a successful treatment outcome.

What We Treat

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    We work with most major insurance
    Most major health insurance plans will help cover up to 100% of the cost of treatment at our program. Find out your teen's coverage & treatment options right now.

    We Currently DO NOT Accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, IEHP, Kaiser or Government state/county funded health insurance.

    More About Our Dual Diagnosis Adolescent Treatment Center

    BNI Treatment Centers provides individually tailored safe and effective dual diagnosis teen treatment aged 12-17.  Owned and operated by medical doctors, the team at BNI Treatment Centers has in depth experience with addiction psychiatry and dual diagnosis. BNI Treatment Centers provides a powerful medical and psychological support team to aid teens in early recovery, in addition to developing a long-term treatment plan for them.

    We are located near Los Angeles in Agoura Hills and Calabasas in Southern California. Our dual diagnosis adolescent treatment center offers treatment to clients from all 50 states and from across the world. We are conveniently located near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Get in touch today.

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    Fill in the form below to schedule a free consultation with our admissions team. We work with most major insurance providers to help cover the costs associated with treatment. We do not accept Medi-Cal, Medicaid, or Medicare plans at this time.