Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction in California - ARISE

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is characterized by unusual changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. People with this condition experience two divergent emotional states: depression and mania. Manic episodes cause individuals to feel excited, energetic, self-confident, and euphoric with a decreased need for sleep.

Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important for people with bipolar disorder, as the condition is associated with a high risk of suicide and severe impairment in everyday functioning. Additionally, bipolar disorder is frequently associated with substance abuse and addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), between 30 and 50% of people with bipolar disorder will develop a substance use disorder during their lifetime.

If you or a loved one suffers from co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction, dual-diagnosis treatment in California can help. Understanding how treatment for these conditions works can make it easier to decide to get the help you need.

How is Bipolar Disorder Connected to Addiction?

Many mental health conditions co-occur with addiction, including anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. According to SAMHSA, “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.”

While a variety of mental illnesses are related to addiction, people with bipolar disorder have a higher co-occurrence with addiction than any other mental health condition.

There are several reasons that individuals with bipolar disorder may develop an addiction. The most popular theory is self-medication, where individuals begin abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of their bipolar disorder. However, some people believe that the symptoms of impulsivity caused by manic episodes cause individuals to begin abusing substances.

Either way, when bipolar disorder and addiction co-occur, integrated treatment is required. These conditions can exacerbate the symptoms of one another, making recovery complicated.

How are Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Treated?

If you or a loved one suffer from bipolar disorder and addiction, a dual-diagnosis treatment program can provide you with the support you need to recover. Dual diagnosis treatment centers offer a wide array of services, from medical detox and medications to behavioral therapy and relapse prevention planning.

Medical Detox

The first step in recovering from addiction is medical detox. When your body is dependent on a substance, stopping the use of it will cause symptoms of withdrawal. Drug and alcohol detox centers will monitor your symptoms, facilitate emotional support, and prescribe medications to soothe symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings.

How long the detox lasts and what medications you are prescribed will depend on the type of drug you were abusing. For example, opioid withdrawal is treated using opioid replacement medications like Suboxone while amphetamine withdrawal is treated with medications that target specific symptoms.

Behavioral Therapy

Once you complete detox you will transition to rehab where the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery are addressed. You will participate in evidence-based behavioral therapies for both your bipolar disorder and addiction. These therapies are intended to teach you how to change negative patterns of thought into positive ones before they turn into actions.

Examples of therapies used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Traditional psychotherapy
  • Family therapy

Evidence-based behavioral therapies used to treat addiction include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • The matrix model
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Family therapy


Medications are often used to manage severe symptoms of bipolar disorder. During dual diagnosis rehab in California, there are several different types of medication you may be given depending on the symptoms you suffer from. These medications include SSRIs, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers.

If you are suffering from severe symptoms of depression or anxiety, you will be prescribed an SSRI. SSRI medications increase the serotonin in your brain to combat depressed moods and symptoms of anxiety.

Antipsychotics are often used to manage symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, or agitation. Sometimes mood stabilizers are used in combination with antipsychotics to stabilize you during manic episodes.

Relapse Prevention

Lastly, before you complete your treatment program you will collaborate with your therapist to create a relapse prevention plan. Relapse prevention plans provide you with a roadmap to maintaining long-term sobriety and recovery. If you are receiving treatment for bipolar and addiction, your relapse prevention plan will include services and tools for both conditions.

Relapse prevention plans for bipolar disorder and addiction include:

  • Continued attendance of individual therapy
  • Continued medication management
  • Access to alumni support groups
  • Referrals to sober living programs
  • A list of triggers that cause you to crave drugs or alcohol
  • A list of coping mechanisms to combat triggers and cravings
  • Recommendations for bipolar and addiction support groups

Find Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction in California Today

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction and bipolar disorder, recovery is possible. Living with these conditions can make it extremely difficult to perform in your everyday life. Leaving your bipolar disorder untreated puts you at an increased risk of experiencing an overdose or suicidal thoughts, and prevents you from living a healthy, fulfilling life.

Attending a dual diagnosis rehab center in California can provide you with the support and tools you need to regain control of your life.

At Arise Treatment Center, we understand that everyone is unique and that recovery is not a one-size-fits-all situation. That’s why we approach treatment with individually-tailored care plans and a comprehensive clinical approach. Throughout your experience with us, we are committed to working alongside you to make sure your needs are met.

Contact Arise Treatment Center today for more information on how to get started.


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