At the Cedars we know that treating drug addiction with “legitimate” drugs is not a long term solution. We also know that many addicts are incorrectly diagnosed with psychiatric disorders other than addiction because they are either dishonest about their drug use, or experience similar symptoms to other disorders during active addiction. Many addicts get lost in the system of psychiatric medication and disorders, and are never afforded the opportunity to explore the legitimacy of their diagnoses, or even the possibility of being able to live life successfully without the use of harmful psychiatric medications.
Some treatment approaches are far too quick to diagnose co-occurring disorders, without following the correct procedure for more legitimate diagnosis. Through these additional diagnoses, patients are treated with other mind and mood altering medications that delay and hinder the necessary process of connecting to reality, and learning to cope with life using various coping tools rather than other chemicals. A psychiatric label is in many cases used by the addict as a justification for selfish and defeating behavior, or as a stigma that hinders the addict’s successful return to a healthy self-image.
We do not disregard the possibility that our clients may have legitimate psychiatric disorders, however, many addicts are ‘diagnosed’ whilst using drugs or in detox, when they are most likely to behave as though they have another disorder. We observe the most responsible means of determining the mental health of our clients: we detox patients under the direction of our medical doctor; then they begin the 12 Step program, in conjunction with both group and individual therapy. In the majority of cases we have found that after completing the three month program, there are no remaining symptoms of other disorders.
In cases where a patient continues to display additional symptoms, we refer immediately to psychologists and psychiatrists to assist us in combatting the co-morbidity, to allow the patient the best chance of recovery.
Please see our testimonials for examples of addicts who were once labeled with one or more disorders and prescribed a variety of psychiatric medication, who are now free of both, and have years of successful recovery behind them.