Serenity at Summit’s Chief Operating Officer, Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC, explains what dual-diagnosis is and how Serenity approaches the treatment for clients who have it in a recent video on the organization’s website. Serenity’s treatment facilities often see clients suffering from dual-diagnosis (also called co-occurring disorders), which occurs when a person presents with two disorders or conditions at the same time.
Ulmer says that having a dual-diagnosis can make treatment complicated. “In our atmosphere, we are looking at addiction or substance abuse disorders in addition to a mental health disorder. Often this might be depression and anxiety paired up with alcohol use. And when the two come together, it creates a complication, where we now have a layering of symptoms.” She goes on to explain the importance of determining which disorder came first and where the symptoms originated, in order to be able to appropriately address the two disorders simultaneously.
Clients who have a dual-diagnosis may have developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol as a result of an underlying mental health condition. Conversely, they may have first started abusing drugs or alcohol not knowing that “some of the side effects are mental health-like symptoms.” Ulmer explained. Whether the addiction came before the mental health issue or the reverse, it is essential to understand which is the client’s primary diagnosis in order to provide the proper treatment and after-care for long-term recovery.
Understanding dual-diagnosis and tailoring each client’s treatment to his or her specific set of circumstances is what Serenity believes is the key to positive outcomes in rehabilitative treatment. Using a combination of cognitive behavioral and emotion-based therapy, traditional 12-step programs, and relapse prevention techniques, Summit aims to meet their clients where they are and provide the highest level of treatment.
Serenity at Summit offers detox, residential, and outpatient options in three states with six locations. The organization has become one of the country’s must-watch health networks for alcohol, drug, eating disorder, and dual-diagnosis treatment.
Serenity utilizes an individual approach to treatment, knowing that each client is unique, to compassionately guide them through the challenging first days of sobriety through after-care and to long-lasting recovery.
Located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Serenity accepts men and women who are seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction and dual-diagnosis disorders.