Bipolar disorder can be very disruptive to a normal life, and this is especially so when it is coupled with addiction. Wild mood swings can promote instability, and very low depressive episodes can encourage more drug or alcohol use as a coping mechanism. Because of this, it is extremely important for someone suffering from co-occurring addiction and bipolar disorder to receive treatment and care.
What Is Bipolar Disorder Treatment?
Treatment for bipolar disorder aims to reduce the sometimes wild mood swings that are hallmark symptoms of this condition and to reduce the distress these may cause in someone’s life. Medications are usually the first choice, but other treatments such as clinical therapy and some holistic techniques may be beneficial when used in conjunction with medication.
Studies vary with regard to the prevalence of substance use disorder and bipolar disorder, but all available data indicates a strong connection. The only difference between individual studies is the exact degree of this connection. One set of studies, the first two waves of the NESARC study, found that there were differences between bipolar I and II as far as the incidence of a co-occurring substance abuse issue was concerned. In particular, they found that:
- Of those with bipolar I disorder, there was a 58% lifetime co-occurrence of alcohol use disorder and a 38% lifetime co-occurrence of drug use disorder.
While data for the co-occurrence rates from this same set of studies is currently unavailable for bipolar II disorder, the numbers for bipolar I disorder show a shockingly high rate of co-occurrence. 1, 2
Importance of Treatment
When someone has co-occurring bipolar disorder and substance abuse issues, the outlook is quite bleak unless they receive treatment for these conditions. These illnesses can accelerate the progression of one another, leading to more severe bipolar symptoms and episodes as time goes on. This, in turn, can intensify substance abuse behaviors, creating an ever-worsening situation for the individual. Receiving treatment for both conditions is imperative if they want to have the best possible chances of long-term recovery. 3, 4
Our treatment approach at The Summit Wellness Group includes the latest and most effective medications and psychiatric care alongside clinical therapy and holistic treatments. This combined and multifaceted approach is designed to treat the entire person, reducing the impact that the symptoms of bipolar disorder may produce while also encouraging healthy habits and ways of thinking. This comprehensive approach to treatment aims to provide the highest level of care and support, giving an individual the help they need to become well and begin working towards a new, happier life.
Types of Treatment
The framework that we use to deliver treatment is very flexible, with the goal of accommodating any schedule and set of needs. We have several tiers of treatment that span the spectrum of care. These different modes of treatment include:
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Our IOP program is highly customizable and is a total of 9 hours per week. Sessions may be done throughout the day or in the evenings, and the program is tailored to someone’s schedule and responsibilities.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): The PHP program is a more comprehensive and immersive level of care, totaling 30 hours per week. Despite its name, clients are able to live at home while attending the PHP program, receiving the highest level of care while retaining the freedom to sleep in their own beds each night.
- Sober Living: Our sober living facility provides a recovery-oriented, safe and comfortable living space that encourages healthy habits and growth. Clients are able to attend our day programs at the treatment facility and then return home each night to their own private home.
These different treatment models all utilize similar treatment techniques, ranging from brain mapping to art therapy and everything in between. We have seen that the more techniques and methods that are brought to bear on treating co-occurring addiction and bipolar disorder, the better someone’s chances of recovery become. Some of the specific components of our treatment program include:
- Group Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Psychiatric Care
- Adventure and Fitness Therapy
- Chiropractic Care
- Art Therapy
The benefits of dual diagnosis treatment cannot be understated. Mental health conditions and addiction often go hand-in-hand, and they can frequently worsen and complicate each other. This is especially so when it comes to bipolar disorder, as the stress of withdrawal and detox can already be substantial. Adding in the intense mood swings produced by bipolar disorder, and someone is going to face a very difficult time indeed. Finding competent, effective treatment for both conditions simultaneously will provide someone with the best chance of recovering, and living a new, happy life free from addiction. Don’t wait, give us a call, and get help today.
- SAMHSA: An Introduction to Bipolar Disorder and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders
- Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy: The Prevalence and Significance of Substance Use Disorders in Bipolar Type I and II Disorder
- Science and Practice Perspectives: Mood Disorders and Substance Use Disorder – A Complex Comorbidity
- British Journal of Psychiatry: Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse – Pathological and Therapeutic Implications of Their Comorbidity and Cross-Sensitization