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An individual’s mental health refers to their psychological, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Maintaining a healthy mental state can determine how someone behaves, interacts, and reacts to stress. Just like keeping a healthy body, keeping the mind healthy requires work and self-care.

Individuals with poor mental health may experience symptoms of various mental health disorders. These symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Lack of self-hygiene
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to handle stress

People with underlying mental health issues may turn to substances and alcohol to self-medicate. Without addressing these underlying conditions, self-medicating might develop into worsening mental health conditions, including substance use disorders. 

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental health disorder that affects a person’s mind, behavior, relationships, and livelihood. This disorder can cause individuals to lose control over their substance use, leaving them unable to stop despite the adverse effects it has on their lives. Substance use disorder refers to various substances that can be misused, such as prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, methamphetamines, and many others. 

SUD is a disorder that can cause severe mental and physical damage through short- and long-term use. When unaddressed and untreated, substance use disorders can lead to fatal overdose, health complications, or physical dependency, which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. 

Statistically, substance use disorder is a significant social and financial challenge in the United States. Providing education and treatment for this disorder can help those who are suffering as well as their families. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2017 reports that:

  • 19.7 million Americans over the age of 12 battle substance abuse disorder
  • Almost 74% of those adults battled alcohol use disorder
  • About 38% of those adults battled illicit drug use disorder
  • 8.5 adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder

Risk Factors for developing substance use disorder include genetics, family history of substance use, and the presence of other mental illnesses. Environmental risk factors could consist of an unstable or toxic home life where drugs or alcohol are used, influences of friends and the community, and poor education.


Is Substance Use Disorder a Mental Health Issue?

What may have begun as experimentation or recreational substance use can quickly become an addiction as drugs and alcohol cause significant changes to the chemical balances in the brain. These changes can impact memory, impair judgment, negatively affect coping mechanisms, and make the pleasure centers in the brain less sensitive to other stimuli. After long-term substance abuse, individuals may not find pleasure in their life without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These changes in the brain can influence addiction to continue, which makes SUD a form of mental health disorder.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders

While mental health disorders are a risk factor for developing substance use disorders, the opposite is also true. Many people may begin using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of a mental health disorder, which can lead to substance use disorder and worsen any co-occurring mental health disorders. Prolonged and consistent drug or alcohol abuse also has a high probability of causing mental health disorders in the long term. 

From the NSDUH report above, about 43% of people suffering from substance use disorders in America also suffer from mental health disorders. When mental health disorders occur alongside substance use disorders, they are referred to as co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis or comorbidity. Treating co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders simultaneously or in tandem through treatment and therapy is essential to improve outcomes and maintain a lasting recovery. Crescent Moon Recovery offers treatment programs that can address both SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-Deficient/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder

While these may be the most common co-occurring disorders, the term can refer to the presence of any two or more mental health disorders in an individual. Genetics and environmental factors like traumatic upbringings with drugs or alcohol present are influential in the development of both SUDs and other mental health disorders, which could play into why they so commonly occur together.


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Treatments and Therapies Offered 

When an individual tries to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol, they are attempting to manage the symptoms of their mental health disorder, causing them significant distress. Self-medicating can be due to an undiagnosed mental health issue or a lack of positive coping mechanisms to deal with problems. For instance, an individual may drink to try and ease their symptoms of anxiety and help them sleep at night. The adverse effects of this are that alcohol can actually make symptoms of anxiety worse and even cause paranoia in the long run and during periods of sobriety. 

Individuals attempting to manage their mental health symptoms with drugs or alcohol could benefit from the “whole person” approach to recovery that Crescent Moon Recovery provides. We can provide participants with the care and tools they need to aid in their recovery from addiction and co-occurring disorders. 

Treatment Programs at Crescent Moon Recovery:

  • Residential treatment: This kind of treatment is the most immersive because it requires participants to admit themselves to a facility that provides 24/7 medical and psychiatric assistance and support. Residential treatment can be beneficial for those who do not have a stable home environment where they can receive treatment or who need fewer distractions from work or school to reach recovery.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): In the partial hospitalization programs at Crescent Moon Recovery, participants will receive 20-30 hours of treatment per week. A PHP usually lasts around 30 days, but the duration depends on the participant’s specific needs. Activities included in a typical day of PHP at Crescent Moon includes activities like individual and group therapy, family therapy, mindfulness exercises, addiction education, 12-Step groups, nutritious meals, and physical fitness.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): An IOP is designed to provide participants with the same treatment therapies and activities as a PHP, but it gives them the ability to stay at home or in Crescent Moon Recovery’s sober living homes. These programs are usually 12-13 weeks in length and require participants to be at the facility three to five days a week. An IOP can teach participants healthy coping mechanisms and relapse prevention techniques.
  • Outpatient Rehab: Outpatient treatment allows participants to continue with their daily lives while simultaneously receiving treatment for SUDs and co-occurring disorders. This is the least intensive treatment program but still provides the same therapies and treatments as the previous programs. The only difference in these programs is the duration, intensity, and topics of discussion.

Integrated dual-diagnosis treatment involves an initial assessment to evaluate participants and determine the severity of a substance use disorder and any co-occurring disorders. Treating these two disorders together and in conjunction with one another will help teach participants ways to manage the symptoms of their mental health disorder without using drugs or alcohol. This is an effective approach to substance use disorder because it addresses multiple issues and helps reduce the likelihood of relapse. 

Within integrated dual diagnosis treatment lies many different therapeutic approaches. Everyone’s experience with addiction and mental health is different. By offering a variety of these approaches, participants can make the most out of their recovery treatment. 

Therapy Modalities offered in our programs at Crescent Moon Recovery include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Behavior Modification
  • Anger Management
  • Activity Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • 12-Step Programs
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga

The Open-Door Policy at Crescent Moon Recovery

Our overall goal is to incorporate evidence-based treatments and therapies with holistic activities to address all areas of substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. With our open-door policy, participants will have access to treatment or assistance whenever they need it. Crescent Moon Recovery believes in the importance of strong community support throughout recovery treatment and our staff is welcoming and more than willing to help all participants.

Additional Services for Substance Abuse & Mental Disorders 

While the treatment of SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders through intensive therapy and peer support is a priority at Crescent Moon Recovery, many other services are proven to be beneficial during the recovery process as well. 

Aftercare can positively influence the continued sobriety by assisting participants during the transition from completing treatment and returning to the “real world.” Aftercare includes a range of services, such as referrals to doctors or therapists, 12-Step programs or other peer support groups, and other federal, state, or community resources. Aftercare services provide participants with the resources and help they need to ensure that participants are equipped for a successful and lasting recovery.

Case management is incredibly beneficial to participants in addiction treatment as it ensures that they receive the help they need to address their unique challenges in recovery. Case managers work with participants by listening to their goals for recovery and assessing their progress to help provide the best outcomes for each individual. Case managers will also play a significant role in aftercare by keeping in contact with participants to ensure they take care of themselves and their mental health in recovery. 

Alumni services will continue to provide participants with support for the years to come following graduation from one of Crescent Moon Recovery’s programs. Both SUD and mental health disorders may seem like they are solved by treatment, but the truth is that they often require long-term assistance. Even after completing detox and treatment, many of the psychological effects of SUD can remain for a long time afterward and need to be regularly addressed in order to maintain one’s recovery.  As such, participants must stay active and keep moving forward in their recovery. Alumni services will allow participants to become involved in events hosted by Crescent Moon Recovery and continue to receive guidance or support from our staff. This way, participants will always have a stable support system that advocates for their continuing success. 

Crescent Moon Recovery Can Help 

At Crescent Moon Recovery, we understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all approach” to recovery from SUD and mental health disorders. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and outpatient programs all adopt the “whole person approach” that works to heal participants’ minds, bodies, and spirits. At our facility in Fountain Valley, California, we utilize all of the evidence-based therapeutic modalities listed above to ensure a lasting recovery from SUD and mental health disorders.

Many participants see the benefit in working with our medical professionals and case managers in developing a treatment plan that will work to address their particular needs and accomplish their goals for recovery. This allows them to get the most out of our services, activities, and therapeutic modalities. Participating in any recovery treatment program is a substantial investment, and Crescent Moon Recovery will make sure that it is an investment well spent because we believe in the abilities and success of our participants.

While our staff makes sure to offer a warm, welcoming environment for treatment, we also hold our participants accountable and offer the structure they need to develop the knowledge and skills they need for a lasting recovery. Through our treatment programs, they will learn the necessary tools for coping with triggers and symptoms of mental health disorders. Crescent Moon Recovery will teach our participants how to enjoy life outside of active addiction and provide them with the confidence that they will achieve lasting recovery. 


Mental health disorders are a significant risk factor for substance use disorders — and vice versa — so it is essential to treat both disorders using evidence-based treatments and therapies. At Crescent Moon Recovery, we stand behind our individualized treatment approaches meant to heal the mind, body, and spirit from the effects of substance use disorder. To learn more about our beautiful facilities and wide range of services, call us at (714) 464-8474.

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