Dual diagnosis is when an individual has both a mental health condition and a substance abuse disorder occurring simultaneously. Individually, each of these conditions has its treatment challenges, and when they occur simultaneously, treatment becomes even more complicated. Nevertheless, dual mental health diagnosis is very treatable.
Dual diagnosis treatment (or dual diagnosis therapy) refers to the use of a specialized treatment approach designed to allow for effective treatment of mental health disorders and substance use disorders simultaneously. Due to its complexity, dual diagnosis recovery treatment usually involves a collaborative effort of different medical specialists. This ensures that specialists can develop an effective dual diagnosis recovery treatment plan that fully considers the patient’s treatment needs and any underlying medical conditions.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers offer many ways for patients to get the care and support they need to heal from their dual diagnoses, no matter what those might be. Dual diagnoses can involve anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions along with alcohol or substance abuse.
Treatment or rehab centers for dual diagnosis are usually tailored toward each patient’s specific needs. However, they typically involve the combination of the following treatment approaches:
Any dual diagnosis treatment usually starts with detox. In detox, the concentrations of toxic drugs or substances in the body are gradually reduced until the patient is finally drug-free. Detox must be carried out in dual diagnosis mental health and addiction treatment centers because this stage is usually accompanied by several drug withdrawal effects, some of which can be very severe and even life-threatening.
Undergoing detox for dual diagnosis mental health and substance abuse in treatment centers means patients will be under constant supervision by treatment specialists, allowing for immediate medical intervention and management of withdrawal manifestations.
Medications are often employed in dual diagnosis treatment to take care of adverse effects resulting from drug withdrawal and drug use. These medications also effectively treat and manage many substance use and mental disorders. Examples of drugs used in dual diagnosis treatment include antidepressants, anxiolytics, and pain relievers.
Treatment centers for dual diagnosis also employ the use of therapy to ensure that patients can stay substance free after treatment. These therapy approaches help patients identify drug use risks and develop effective coping mechanisms for dealing with them.
Behavioral therapy is one particular type of therapy used in drug rehab dual diagnosis treatment centers. Numerous behavioral therapies have been identified by research as promising for treating people with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. Behavioral therapy may be advised by medical professionals either alone or in conjunction with medicines. Some examples of behavioral therapies used in dual diagnosis mental health and rehab centers include:
Some treatment centers also offer dual diagnosis group therapy to help dual diagnosis patients so that they can grow more confident and provide them with the supportive environment they need for recovery.
You may be wondering why a specialized dual diagnosis program for treating dual diagnosis in a dual diagnosis treatment facility is necessary. After all, there are successful therapy approaches for treating both substance use disorder and mental health disorders. However, a specialized integrated treatment for dual diagnosis is needed because patients stand a better chance of full recovery when both conditions are treated together instead of separately.
Another reason one should pursue dual diagnosis rehab is that most treatment approaches today usually focus on only treating one of the conditions while doing nothing for the co-occurring medical condition. This is generally because substance use and mental health disorders often have overlapping symptoms, making them challenging to detect and treat.
This means that most “regular” treatment approaches just attribute the symptoms to only one disorder while being unaware that there is another condition contributing to the symptoms being felt. This is why treating both often has better results than just treating one condition at a time.4
As earlier mentioned, treatment centers that offer dual diagnosis services provide patients with the unique and quality treatment they need. A treatment center that offers dual diagnosis services usually has teams of substance use disorder and mental health disorder specialists that work together to develop effective, individualized treatment plans for patients, fully taking into account patient peculiarities and the treatment requirements and complications of both conditions.
In a dual diagnosis treatment center, you will meet with a medical health professional to assess your physical condition, taking notes of possible dual diagnosis symptoms. Your treatment specialist may then recommend a full physical examination and several other tests to enable them to identify the conditions responsible for the symptoms you’re feeling. You may be asked questions addressing your medical history as well. You should notify your treatment specialist of all symptoms you’ve been experiencing. This crucial information will guide them in developing the best possible dual diagnosis treatment plan for you.
If your dual diagnosis condition has been present for a while, your treatment specialist will likely recommend you opt for dual diagnosis inpatient treatment. You will be referred to an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center if the one you’re currently receiving treatment at doesn’t offer dual diagnosis residential treatment. This is because withdrawal effects and other side effects that may accompany dual diagnosis get more severe the longer the condition has persisted.
However, these symptoms are easier to take care of in an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center. Inpatient dual diagnosis treatment centers are also usually long-term dual diagnosis treatment centers. Dual diagnosis treatment in a treatment center may also include individual and group therapy sessions where patients are taught to identify risks and develop much-needed coping skills.
Someone who needs dual diagnosis treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment center may exhibit the following symptoms of mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorder. Some of these symptoms include:
Dual diagnosis treatment centers are necessary for addiction and mental health disorder recovery because they offer the specialized treatment necessary for effective dual diagnosis treatment and recovery.
Most people with dual diagnoses are often afraid to open up to people, even their medical health providers, about what they’re going through. This makes sense, considering there often is a significant stigma associated with substance use disorder and mental health disorders. If you are currently suffering from a dual diagnosis condition, it is important you know that you need treatment at a dual diagnosis rehab center if you are to improve your condition. Dual diagnosis stigma is unpleasant, but it is more important to get the help you or a loved one may need.5
Inpatient and outpatient programs for co-occurring disorders are usually recommended depending on the severity and duration of the condition. Outpatient programs are recommended for those with relatively “new” dual diagnosis conditions whose symptoms are not expected to be severe and are easily managed with medications and therapy.
Inpatient treatment programs, on the other hand, are recommended for those whose dual diagnosis conditions have persisted for a while and are expected to exhibit severe adverse or side effects during drug withdrawal and treatment. This inpatient treatment allows for proper monitoring and effective medical intervention.
Looking for a dual diagnosis treatment center but don’t know where to find one? Below are some places you can get recommendations from:
Some benefits of dual diagnosis treatment include the following:
Finding a dual diagnosis treatment center that offers excellent and effective treatment results can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some tips on what separates the best dual diagnosis treatment centers from the rest:
Are you looking for effective dual diagnosis treatment help for yourself or your loved ones? If you are, then Genesis Recovery is the perfect place for you. At Genesis Recovery, we employ a holistic treatment approach found to be essential for effecting sobriety in patients, so you can be sure you’ll get the best dual diagnosis treatment modern medicine offers.
Reach out to learn more and get started with dual diagnosis treatment today.