Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities

Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities are able to help women who suffer from dual diagnosis.

A dual diagnosis is defined as someone who has a mental disorder and alcohol or drug addiction concurrently. A dual diagnosis is very common. Persons suffering from drug and alcohol problems may also show signs of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, bi-polar disorder, and panic disorder. A person may develop mental health issues first and then progress, in order to cope or feel better, to abusing alcohol or drugs. In other instances, alcohol or drug abuse may lead to emotional and mental health issues.

Are Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities necessary and can they help your loved one? To live a fulfilled and sober life, someone with a dual diagnosis must be treated for both conditions simultaneously.

Healing at Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities for women should include: detoxification from the drugs and/or alcohol, treatment for the substance abuse, a psychiatric assessment for a mental disorder, and treatment for the mental disorder. In the beginning, it may be difficult to tell if a woman suffers from an emotional disorder because many symptoms of severe substance abuse are similar other psychiatric conditions. The benefits of admitting a woman to Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities include: a psychiatric assessment to determine if there is an underlying psychiatric disorder; a long-term nurturing environment can be key in mental stabilization. Due to the side effects of drug and alcohol abuse, it can take several weeks or months for a true accurate assessment to be completed as both problems can be treated concurrently, the client has the time to work through issues, develop coping skills, and stabilize medication that maybe necessary for disorder.

After completion of a medical detoxification from drugs and alcohol, healing at Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities should include: individual and group psychotherapy, education about the disease of addiction, education and practice of healthy live skills, participation in a 12-step recovery, as well as medication management. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women understands and excels at providing such a program at its facilities with trained staff that have a direct understanding of the impact of duel diagnosis treatment for women.

Drug Treatment facilities are only designed for people whose problems are primarily substance abuse and are generally not recommended for people who also have a mental illness. Women suffering from a dual diagnosis need to be placed in an environment that is designed with the appropriate therapies and staff, who have a full understanding of the disorders they are treating. Appropriate Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities for dual diagnosis clients should be staffed with licensed therapists that are educated in a variety of therapeutic approaches. Dual diagnosis clients do not respond well to confrontation and should be approached with more gentle techniques as a common characteristic of dual diagnosis clients is denial. Therapeutic staff must understand that denial is an intrinsic part of the problem and has been used as a coping strategy for most sufferers. Patients often do not have insight as to the seriousness and scope of the problem. Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities are able to integrate treatment modalities that improve the success of clients with a dual diagnosis.


Women often experience anxiety as a reaction to frightening situations as a result of an increase of adrenaline in the nervous system. An anxiety disorder is a disorder where feelings of fear, apprehension, or anxiety are disruptive or cause distortions in behavior and is considered a psychiatric illness that is useful for normal functioning. At times, an underlying illness or disease can cause persistent anxiety. Direct treatment of the illness or disease will stop the anxiety. Anxiety illnesses affect more than 23 million Americans with about 10 million Americans suffering from the most common, general anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can be caused by psychological factors as well. One theory is that there is an unconscious conflict between certain wishes and desires, and guilt associated with these desires. Another theory is that certain fearful childhood situations provoke anxiety later. This later theory has been associated with agoraphobia in that the fear of being abandoned in the past may lead to fear of public places. Panic disorder is treated with drugs, cognitive- behavior therapy and other forms of psychotherapy, and/or a combination of the two.


Relaxation therapy is also used in combination with other treatments for suffering women. Anxiety occurs when the person is in or thinks about being in a place where escape may be difficult or help may not be available. The condition is managed with behavioral techniques such as exposure therapy and it is believed that these techniques may be more effective than drug therapy. Anxiety can occur from exposure to a particular situation or the mere thought of being in the situation. General anxiety disorder (GAD) GAD affects two to five percent of the general population, but it accounts for almost 30 percent of psychiatric consultations in general practice. GAD is chronic or exaggerated worry and tension.

Women suffering from anxiety cannot seem to shake their concerns, seem unable to relax, have trouble falling or staying asleep, or feel lightheaded or out of breath. Some women are startled more easily than other people, and tend to feel tired, have trouble concentrating, and sometimes suffer depression. Anxiey affects people of both sexes and all ages but is diagnosed more frequently in women than in men.

Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities include a mixture of medication and counseling, finding the most useful combination for each patient. Anxiety disorders oftentimes cannot be linked to specific life events and persist for months if not years at a time. Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities use of Behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective for treating several of the anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing specific actions and uses different techniques to alter unwanted behavior. Techniques include special breathing exercises and exposure therapy – gradually exposing women to what frightens them and helps them cope with their fears. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches women to react differently to the situations and bodily sensations that trigger panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms. Patients also learn to understand how to change their thoughts so that symptoms are less likely to occur. These techniques are designed to help people confront their fears.

Without treatment, anxiety disorders can be extremely disabling and disrupt family, work and social relationships. Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facilities offer families a hope in treating their loved one. We at Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women specialize in dual diagnosis and will help guide you through the recovery process. Help is just one phone call away.

Long Term Treatment Centers


When someone you love becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is natural to wish you could make them quit. Unfortunately, as difficult as it is to watch a loved one destroying themselves, the decision to quit using must be made by the addict.

What you can do is prepare yourself for the time when the addict you love has had enough. By researching treatment options and coming to understand the disease of addiction, you can make yourself ready to step in when the time to help arrives.

Choosing a treatment center can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially with the variety of options available. Though some treatment centers may claim that they can “cure” alcoholism or drug addiction in a 30-day period, claims like these are essentially marketing ploys. In order to fully address all aspects of alcohol and drug addiction, time and energy needs to be invested in handling all of the components of addictive thinking and behavior. These include physical addiction, emotional and psychological problems, and misguided life skills. Put bluntly, this multifaceted restructuring of the addict’s life cannot be successful if it isn’t given at least 90 days to develop.

Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in Costa Mesa, California require addicts to put a great deal of time and effort into recovery. By moving addicts into a residential treatment facility for the duration of the program, these long term treatment centers insulate newly sober individuals from situations that might trigger the desire to use or drink.  Residential treatment centers function as therapeutic communities, reducing the stress of day-to-day life to a bare minimum so that recovery and self-discovery can take center stage.

Though residential long term treatment centers generally exist in non-hospital settings, they are staffed 24 hours a day and are always ready to address any medical issue that may arise as a result of the detoxification process.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center offers a 90-day program for women, and a 12-month sober living option to follow up treatment. Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor are realistic about the time involved in the resocialization process. As addicts and alcoholics, the women who come to Safe Harbor have practiced unhealthy living patterns for years, sometimes decades.  They need to spend a significant period of time submersed in a healthy, functional and nurturing community in order to cultivate new patterns.  Like the programs offered at most long term treatment centers, Safe Harbor’s treatment program is a structured curriculum of activities that encourages residents to assess counterproductive beliefs, self-image, and behavioral patterns, and helps them adopt new healthy ideas and strategies for interacting with others.

Safe Harbor separates itself from similar long term treatment centers in the area of community support. The unparalleled strength and cohesiveness of the Safe Harbor community makes it an ideal place for women to embark on the journey of recovery.  All of the staff members are women who have overcome the disease of addiction, making them relatable mentors for freshly sober addicts. After completing the 90-day treatment program, most women choose to move into one of Safe Harbor’s sober living houses for the duration of their first year of sobriety. They remain active members of the community and stay involved by reaching out to women who have just arrived in treatment.  This aspect of Safe Harbor’s community is truly unique and makes Safe Harbor stand out amongst other long term treatment centers for women. The first stage of recovery is an incredibly vulnerable time for an addict, and women who join Safe Harbor’s nurturing recovery community find themselves supported through this difficult period.

One key advantage long term treatment centers have over their 30-day counterparts is that the addict’s stay in treatment will significantly outlast withdrawal from substances and detoxification of the body. In a 30-day program, there is barely enough time for the body to return to a normal balanced state, let alone time for the mind to reorient itself. In a 90-day program like Safe Harbor’s, residents have time to become reacquainted with living sober before they are thrust back into the outside world.

Effective treatment programs accept recovery as an individualized process that differs from person to person. At Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, residents are given the freedom to progress at a rate that is individually appropriate for them. A continuing care program is available for women who complete the 90-day treatment program and move on to sober living, but still require a more intense level of individual attention from counselors and case managers.

Long term treatment centers design their programs with the understanding that recovery is a lifelong commitment. Alcoholism and addiction are chronic diseases which cannot be eradicated. Even when the mind and body have cleansed themselves of outside substances, the psychological factors behind addiction remain. For this reason, depression is not uncommon in the first year of sobriety. With therapy and other resources provided by long term treatment centers, it is possible to process some of these repressed issues, thereby relieving some of the pain, but it will not happen overnight. It crucial that an individual be situated amidst a supportive recovery community for a substantial period of time after getting sober if relapse is to be avoided.

Though 30-day treatment programs have long been the status quo, statistics are causing people to reconsider the effectiveness of the standard 30-day program. Even when two programs offer the same treatment regimen, studies have shown that the longer program will yield better results. Long term treatment centers are often the last house on the block for addicts who have tried to stay sober and failed repeatedly. What did not stick in a short-term rehab program tends to suddenly register when given sufficient time to develop.

Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women are capable of doing much more than simply detoxifying an addict and briefing her with a few lessons about addiction. By welcoming this addict into a functional sober community, Safe Harbor gives her the opportunity and the time to rediscover herself and redesign her life. Recovery is the only option for addicts and alcoholics who want to live again – what is a few months or a year in exchange for life?

Long Term Rehab

Long term rehab programs give addicts the best chance at recovery by sheltering and nurturing them during the vulnerable early stages of sobriety. Unlike 30-day or outpatient treatment programs, long term rehab programs acknowledge that the disease of addiction is a deadly foe that warrants aggressive and thorough opposition.


Those who have not experienced drug addiction firsthand are often perplexed at the behavior of addicts. It is particularly painful for the family and friends of a drug addict to witness the process of self-destruction, and it is difficult for these loved ones to understand that an addict in the midst of his or her disease is incapable of stopping; even for the sake of those they love most dearly.

Addiction is often misconstrued as the simple result of poor decision-making. This is a drastically oversimplified understanding of the condition. For a true addict, the idea of choice is a foreign concept. An addict must use, even when he or she wants desperately to stop. The only way to break this destructive pattern is by means of a complete overhaul of the addict’s life. The reconstruction must be external, changing circumstances and behaviors, but it must also affect the addict’s emotional and mental climates.

Only by treating the disease of addiction from the inside out can true recovery take place. Long term rehab allows addicts the time they need to delve into these deeper psychological aspects of addiction.


For most addicts, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that reaching out for help, or at least accepting help that is offered, is a necessity. For most people who use drugs and alcohol in excess, these substances function as something of a self-prescribed medication for psychological, emotional or physical pain. The addict grows attached to the idea that their use of the substance is saving them; it is helping them survive.

Addicts hold onto this notion of the substance as a solution, even when it becomes blatant to others that the substance is, or has become, the problem. Because addicts tend to have this medication-like relationship with their drugs of choice, it is hard for them to accept that they are powerless over these substances.

When circumstances become dire enough that the addict tries to stop using, only to find it impossible, he or she may come to understand that such a feat cannot be accomplished without help. These moments of despair are valuable windows of opportunity. Even a temporary comprehension of the devastation drugs have wreaked on an individual’s life is enough to inspire this individual to make the decision get help by committing to long term rehab.


Unfortunately, the consumption of drugs and alcohol is not the only issue that needs to be addressed in recovery. While these behaviors (and perhaps other destructive behaviors) are the most obvious problems, there are always other issues under the surface that need just as desperately to be explored.

The root cause of addiction can be described as an inability to cope with life, both externally and internally. People who feel enticed by drugs tend to be people who, for one reason or another, want to escape from themselves. Common causes for this escapist mindset are psychological conditions like chronic depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, as well as traumatic experiences like physical and sexual abuse. If we think of getting high as a means of escaping one’s own mind, where all of this pain is housed, we can understand how other behaviors which provide a similar exit strategy can be equally enticing, and equally dangerous.

The disease of addiction manifests in many ways, and usually in multiple ways. Those who suffer from drug addiction and alcoholism are also likely to engage in eating disorders, sex addiction, codependency, gambling or shopping addictions, and self-mutilation. Because the disease of addiction has such a broad root cause, and such a broad effect, long term rehab is the only way to truly address addiction in its entirety.

In order to stop using drugs, individuals must come to understand what triggers them to use, and develop new coping strategies. Addicts must also abstain completely from any other addictive behaviors that prevent these new healthy coping mechanisms from taking hold. These are no easy tasks. As creatures of habit and comfort, addicts tend to be people who are terrified of change, making the idea of an entirely new life intimidating. Long term rehab takes the process of restructuring an addict’s entire life seriously and allows this process enough time to unfold.


Addiction has a devastating effect on the lives of both men and women, but the specifics of the way it takes hold differ depending on gender. For women suffering from the disease of addiction, the psychological, emotional and situational circumstances surrounding addiction are unique, and need to be acknowledged as such.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in Costa Mesa, California understands that recovery for a woman is different than it is for a man, and that women have the best chance at success when they are able to recover in a protected all-female setting. Through a multilateral treatment program comprised of structured therapeutic groups, individual therapy, 12 step meetings, life skills development and uplifting activities, Safe Harbor optimizes the effectiveness of long term rehab. All aspects of Safe Harbor’s treatment program are tailored to suit a woman’s experience of addiction, allowing female addicts to explore any and all experiences and feelings that relate to their drug use without feeling stifled by the presence of men.

Safe Harbor’s open and loving environment allows profound growth to take place every day within its community. In addition to women enrolled in the 90-day treatment program, Safe Harbor is home to roughly thirty women who reside in its sober living homes, all of whom serve as mentors to women in the treatment program. Safe Harbor is not only a well-regarded long term rehab center, but also a community of women whose unity and will to recover is unparalleled.

Any woman looking to leave drug addiction behind her and commence a new way of living has a home waiting for her at Safe Harbor.

90 Day Treatment Centers


Though 30 day addiction treatment programs have long been the status quo, studies show that 90 day treatment centers offer addicts and alcoholics significantly better odds of maintaining sobriety.


Addiction is often defined incorrectly as a poor behavioral pattern, when in fact it is a chronic disease.  Behavioral patterns are indeed part of the picture, but the psychological root of these patterns and the physical effect they have on the body are of greater concern.  Addiction, to both drugs and alcohol, is a disease that affects its victims twofold – as an allergy of the body as well as an affliction of the mind.

Most people have a fairly accurate conception of the physical aspect of addiction. As the body becomes used to regular intake of a foreign substance, it adjusts its definition of normality to include the presence of this substance.  Therefore, the same quantity of the substance ceases to produce a high, requiring more and more of the drug to obtain the same effect. This phenomenon is usually described as an increase in tolerance. The same principal of the body growing accustomed to a substance’s presence is responsible for the withdrawal symptoms addicts experience upon sobering up. This physical reaction to the absence of a substance ranges from unpleasant to excruciatingly painful and dangerous.  Both 30 day treatment centers and 90 day treatment centers offer intensive medical supervision for addicts undergoing the withdrawal process.

The psychological component of addiction is less widely understood, and is often ignored completely. 90 day treatment centers design their programs to account for the psychological conditions that often precede drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the unhealthy thinking patterns that develop as addiction takes hold. Drugs and alcohol often come into play when individuals suffer from preexisting mental conditions like chronic depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. These substances function as self-prescribed medications, allowing their users to escape temporarily from the condition that plagues them. However, the relief provided by drugs and alcohol is short-lived. The brain adapts to drugs in the same fashion as the body, redefining its normal state to include a foreign substance, thereby increasing tolerance and causing mental collapse upon discontinuation of consumption.


The lack of knowledge about addiction as a mental disease in addiction to a physical one may account in part for the general assumption that the condition can be righted in a mere 30 days. The reality of the situation is that even 90 day treatment centers only see addicts through the very first stage of recovery.  Still, these 90 day treatment centers offer addicts time to grow and mature once they have detoxified their minds and bodies.  A 30 day rehab center can scarcely see addicts through the detoxification process, let alone help them reconstruct their lives and cultivate new healthy coping skills.

90 day treatment centers design their programs with the obvious goal of helping addicts sober up, but they go above and beyond that in attempt to help addicts enrich their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual conditions.

We have already discussed the mental component of alcohol and drug addiction – the use of these substances as medication for psychological unrest.  Unfortunately, the same addictive thinking that makes substance abuse an appealing mode of escape also renders many other indulgent behaviors dangerous for addicts. 90 day treatment centers address not only drug and alcohol abuse, but also other destructive and addictive behaviors like eating disorders, self-harm, codependency and sex and love addiction. These behaviors can provide addicts with the same sense of escape from self that they find in drugs and alcohol, making them particularly tempting in early sobriety when addicts have suddenly lost their preferred method of escape.

The concept of leaving behind any and all unhealthy practices at once seems overwhelming – it is common for addicts to feel that since they are giving up substances, they should be able to hold onto some of their less destructive vices. Cigarette smoking and risky sexual behavior are often identified as lesser evils and therefore continue in sobriety. The problem with this strategy is that while any means of escapism is active, no true progress ca be made.  It is only by removing all distractions and really sitting with the painful emotions that emerge in sobriety that they can be worked through.  90 day treatment centers are aware that neglecting to address these peripheral escapist behaviors is an incredibly common cause for relapse in early sobriety.  The extended treatment program allots enough time to work on not only removing drugs and alcohol, but addressing any other secondary addictions that show their faces when the substances are out of the picture.


Male and female addicts and alcoholics face the same disease, but experience different physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms and consequences of the condition.  For women, addiction to drugs and alcohol is deeply intertwined with issues of self esteem, body distortion, victimization and codependency.  Women alcoholics and addicts all too often enter treatment with a history of physical or sexual abuse, some of which may have predated substance use and some of which may have come along with it.  Exploring these topics is essential to recovery, and is something that must be done in a protected all-female environment.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women is a 90 day treatment program in which women have the opportunity to work through addiction and co-occurring disorders and issues in a safe and comfortable setting. Safe Harbor’s program is designed specifically to meet the needs of female addicts and alcoholics, and is run and staffed exclusively by women who have recovered from addiction and alcoholism.  Through a multilateral program of structured therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step meetings, life skills development and uplifting social activities, Safe Harbor helps women discard their old lives and begin anew.  Any addicted woman who is looking for a better way of living has a place waiting for her in the Safe Harbor family.