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Intensive Outpatient Program for Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

UC San Diego Health’s dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program provides comprehensive care for people with a substance use disorder and another mental health condition, such as ADHD, PTSD, or a mood or anxiety disorder. The intensive program is an alternative to residential or inpatient treatment. You don't have to be an existing UC San Diego Health patient to receive treatment through it.

Individuals in our intensive program receive treatment three hours a day, three days a week for three to six weeks. The program is based around group therapy sessions, but each patient also has a dedicated therapist who guides them through the program.

Who Can Benefit from the Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program?

The dual diagnosis program is suited to people who want to stay connected to their support network while undergoing intensive treatment. It can be used as:

  • "Step-down" treatment for people discharged from a detox, rehab or residential living center
  • "Step-up" treatment for people who need more support and structure than individual therapy sessions or outpatient care

Alcohol and Drug Addictions Treated

We treat all types of substance use disorders, including those associated with:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids
  • Methamphetamine, cocaine and hallucinogens
  • Nicotine
  • Prescription drugs

Treating Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

We provide therapy to improve day-to-day living skills, problem-solving, interpersonal functioning and coping skills.

We also manage any co-occurring conditions, such as PTSD and anxiety. Your treatment may also include:
  • Recovery strategies
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Mindfulness therapy
  • Weekly life-skills group therapy sessions for family and friends 
  • Family and couples therapy as needed. Family and significant others are encouraged to participate in the treatment process.

Pharmacologic Treatments and Medication Management

Patients in the program may meet regularly with a psychiatrist to discuss progress and manage medications for:

  • Substance use disorders, such as long-acting injectable and oral or sublingual buprenorphine and naltrexone for opioid or alcohol use disorder 
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety-related disorders and mood disorders

Long-Term Recovery and Aftercare

Before leaving the program, patients set goals for lasting recovery. A long-term recovery plan may include:

  • Follow-up care
  • Connections with mutual-aid groups
  • Weekly aftercare group sessions to reinforce therapy