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Diagnosis & Treatment of Mental Health Disorders

While substance abuse does have physical effects on the body, it is first and foremost a mental health disorder. Misusing drugs or alcohol creates chemical imbalances in the brain, as the pathways responsible for mood, reward, empathy and more become artificially under – or overstimulated. As a result, the brain becomes accustomed to unnatural levels of activity, and sobriety begins to feel uncomfortable — often including symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders.

Coping With Untreated Mental Health Disorders

Substances like drugs and alcohol are frequently misused as a means of coping with existing mental health disorders. Some individuals may live with an undiagnosed mental health condition that causes them to turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms. Others have identified their disorder but cannot access the treatment they need, and misuse drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Still others take prescription medications for their mental health disorder, but do so in a way that becomes habit-forming (e.g., taking higher doses without the guidance of their doctor).

More Than Half

of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million U.S. adults.
Peter Piraino, LMSW, LCDC, LISAC
"Our priority is to get people well by developing ethical treatments rooted in science."
~ Peter Piraino, LMSW, LCDC, CEO
Co-Occurring Disorder and Mental Health

Occurring Together: Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders

Between the multiple ways that substance abuse and mental health can interact, it comes as no surprise that these conditions frequently occur together. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 45% of adults who are living with addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The NSDUH also notes that this number only includes those adults who met the diagnostic criteria for mental illness — there could be many more individuals who struggle with addiction and mental health but lack a proper diagnosis.

Holistic Healing: Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual

At Renewal Lodge, we believe in a holistic recovery: one in which individuals not only break their substance abuse habit, but also find healing from the deeper emotional and psychological effects of addiction. We know that addressing mental health and substance abuse within the same treatment episode provides our clients a better chance for a more complete healing.

Our short-term residential program in Austin, Texas, provides immersive, individualized treatment for adult men and women struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Contact us today to find out if our program is right for you, your loved one or your patient.

Joshua New, LCSW, Clinical Director
"Renewal Lodge charts a distinctive course in mental health treatment, blending innovation with deep compassion. Our approach transcends the ordinary, providing a sanctuary where minds heal and spirits renew."
~ Joshua New, LCSW, EMDR-Trained, Clinical Director
Co-Occurring Infographic

Understanding Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders, sometimes called dual diagnosis, are defined as more than one mental health disorder that occur simultaneously in the same patient. In the context of substance abuse treatment, the co-occurring disorder label typically applies to a patient with a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder and a secondary diagnosis of an attending (or alternate) mental health disorder. This means that the patient is seeking treatment primarily for their substance abuse, but has accompanying mental health concerns that also require personalized attention.
Cynthia Singer, MS, LCDC

Your Mental Health in a Toxic Work Environment

Cynthia E. Singer MS, LCDC, LMFT-Associate, licensed chemical dependency counselor and primary therapist at Renewal Lodge in Elgin, TX, shared her tips on how to look after your mental health in a toxic work environment.

The Importance of Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Simultaneously

Studies consistently demonstrate the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders, and the importance of treating co-occurring disorders simultaneously.

Research indicates that unaddressed mental health symptoms are a key risk factor for relapse. Not surprisingly, programs offering combined substance abuse and mental health treatment report better, longer-lasting outcomes. Despite this evidence, the majority of addiction rehabilitation centers have not yet adopted a treatment model that effectively addresses both concerns. This specialized approach requires careful planning, unique expertise and resources dedicated to mental healthcare — items that not every treatment center is able to integrate. Fortunately, Renewal Lodge combines Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment together under one roof.

We do this because it works!

Diagnosing Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

Renewal Lodge is proud to provide dedicated mental health services for clients with co-occurring disorders. Our substance abuse treatment is deeply informed by evidence-based practices that address both mental health and addiction. We know that many of our clients present symptoms of common mental health disorders even when they do not meet specific diagnostic criteria. Our goal is to identify the core, underlying causes of substance abuse, and provide tangible solutions for sustainable, life-long recovery.

More Than Addiction

Renewal Lodge understands that addiction is not a simple, standalone condition. In fact, there are multiple factors that contribute to the misuse of drugs and alcohol. Our comprehensive approach to treating mental health and addiction is rooted in the belief that substance abuse affects the whole person. Beyond the emotional and psychological disturbances that grow out of prolonged substance abuse, there are the physical and spiritual consequences as well. Our goal is to help each client identify the core elements contributing to substance abuse while providing clinical solutions to help overcome them.

Holistic Mental Health Treatment

At Renewal Lodge, our clients participate in an immersive, short-term residential treatment program designed to support sustainable recovery. Our unique model is based on the traditional 30- to 90-day schedule while placing a specific focus on the whole person health: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Utilizing highly personalized treatment plans, our clients achieve exceptional outcomes within a shorter-term time frame.

Mindfulness helps our clients awaken to their mental, emotional, and physical potential.
Inspiring. Life-Changing. Meaningful. These are some of the words our family member’s use to describe the Renewal Lodge Family Program.
We create discharge and aftercare plans that promote individualized attention to the unique needs of every client.


Renewal Lodge specializes in adult, co-educational, short-term residential treatment programming on a 30- to 90-day schedule. Located just outside of Austin, Texas, we offer a welcoming and peaceful environment where clients can immerse themselves in recovery. Our highly trained team is licensed and qualified to provide a range of therapeutic modalities.

We treat a multitude co-occurring mental health disorders, including:

We also design personalized discharge plans for every client. This service connects our clients with appropriate clinical and supportive resources following treatment.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental health, please contact Renewal Lodge today!

Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness