What Are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs?
For those who are struggling with a mental illness and a substance abuse problem, dual diagnosis treatment is the best option. This form of treatment helps the patient make sense of both the addiction and their mental health problem. Often times people do not see how the two work hand-in-hand. For example, someone who has anxiety could start off taking a medication like Xanax and wind up addicted to the drugs powerful effects. In other cases, someone who struggles with depression could drink alcohol to get rid of the symptoms of depression, but they are making the depression worse.
Dual diagnosis treatment is a form of addiction treatment that also assess patients for any underlying mental health problems they could possibly have. Dual diagnosis treatment centers help provide a lasting solution to both problems. This is a vital form of addiction treatment because mental health problems can lead to addiction and/or drug or alcohol abuse can cause mental illnesses that were never there before the substance abuse. For example, a person suffering from mental illness can use drugs for self-medication. On the other hand, a drug abuser can develop mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety as a result of long-term drug and alcohol abuse. Therefore, any treatment that leaves out one of these issues could be ineffective.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, there is a relationship between mental illnesses and drug abuse. The problem is quite widespread, and according to findings from a 2010 survey on drug use and health, about 20% (9.2 million) of adults who were treated for addiction also suffered from a mental illness. As a result, when dealing with both of these disorders there is a need for more advanced treatment options. This is where dual diagnosis treatment centers shine.
Seeking out dual diagnosis treatment is a great first step towards overcoming or helping a loved one overcome addiction. However, if you or your loved one are to fully recover, it is vital that you find the right dual diagnosis rehab center for your situation. This will ensure that you get the best care and treatment possible.
Below are a few tips on how you can choose the right treatment center for co-occurring disorders:
- Choose a center that is certified and accredited
- Low patient to therapist ration for maximum care and therapy
- Does the dual diagnosis rehab staff qualified psych doctors
- Consider the treatment options and care offered
- Choose a location that fits
- Demographics of patients treated (some centers are dual diagnosis only, others are separated by gender etc)
Because of legal reasons some facilities can not take people with certain mental disabilities. Primarily dual diagnosis patients may suffer from one of the following mental health conditions:
- Eating Disorders
Many people who suffer from co-occurring disorders don’t receive proper treatment. This is because their mental illnesses often go undetected when they are seeking treatment for their addiction. Unfortunately, when this happens, the recovery process becomes much harder, and it is very easy for the addicts to relapse.
Therefore, it is important to identify signs of co-occurring disorders in your loved one to ensure that they receive the proper treatment. Below is a look at some of these signs and symptoms:
NOTE: the signs of co-occurring disorders can vary from one person to another, depending on the mental illness a person is suffering from and the drug(s) they are abusing. However, there are common problems (warning signs) that affect people suffering from co-occurring disorders, which are listed below.
Reliance on drugs and alcohol in order to feel “better”
Is your loved one using drugs and alcohol to deal with difficult situations? If this is the case, then there is a high chance that they might be suffering from co-occurrence disorders. More often than not, people who abuse alcohol and drugs in order to feel “better” have underlying mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and others.
Mental illness symptoms become worse
Another warning sign of co-occurrence disorders is when symptoms of mental health illness worsen all of a sudden. For example, a person who was suffering from mild depression starts having major depressive episodes. This can be as a result of drug abuse, which could be causing the mental illness to worsen or making the treatment ineffective. The worsening symptoms can also be caused by the withdrawal of the drug a person is addicted to.
Isolation from friends, family, and other support networks
Drug abuse and addiction leads to a number of problems such as poor decision-making skills, reliance on the drugs, financial problems, promiscuous behaviors and infidelity, and others. However, when the addict is suffering from a mental illness, these problems can become too much to an extent that they isolate themselves or strain their relationships with friends, family, and other people in their support network. This is one of the warning signs of co-occurring disorders.
A traumatic event in the past
A person who has suffered a traumatic event in the past (sexual assault, an accident, witnessing death, etc.) is vulnerable to mental health disorders. As such, they are at a high risk of abusing and becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs.
A history of mental illness in the family
If there is a history of mental illness in the family of your loved one, there is also a chance that they might be suffering from a mental disorder. It is thus a good idea seek out dual diagnosis treatment when dealing with addiction problems
The type of drug addiction treatment offered at a rehab center differs from one patient to another. It is even more varied when it comes to co-occurring disorders. However, dual treatment rehab facilities have a structured rehab process that is quite universal. Below is a look at what to expect when seeking treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment center:
Intake is the first process of any dual diagnosis treatment program. Simply speaking, it is an interview process that aims to make sure that you or your loved one is fit for the rehab facility. Likewise, it also gives you and your loved one aht chance to decide fully whether the facility is the rig fit for you
As stated, dual diagnosis treatment centers aim to treat both drug addiction and mental illnesses. Therefore, before treatment can start, a mental evaluation will be carried out to detect and identify mental illnesses and disorders.
However, you should note that these facilities do not actually treat mental disorders and illnesses. Instead, they usually recommend patients to psychiatrists who can offer them the proper treatment once the addiction disorder has been treated.
During the course of addiction treatment, dual diagnosis rehab centers can also discuss with the patient (and/or their loved ones) how the mental disorder(s) they suffer from affects their addiction. This gives them a better chance of overcoming their addiction fully.
Detoxification, or detox, is the next stage of treatment in a dual diagnosis rehab center. It involves removing all traces of alcohol and drugs from the body of the patient. The process starts with an evaluation of the patient (body composition, types of drugs abused, length of abuse, etc.) in order to identify the right course of detox treatment.
Once the detox starts, the patient is monitored for withdrawal symptoms. If the symptoms are severe (which they usually are), medication is prescribed to help with stabilization. During detox patients are not required to participate in group activities or treatment, the main goal is to rest and allow the drugs and alcohol to be removed from the body.
Once a mental evaluation has been conducted and detox is complete, the patient can participate in treatment. The treatment process varies depending on the facility, as well as the patient. The best rehab centers offer flexible treatment styles to meet the needs of their patients. The following are primary addiction treatments offered at our centers.
- Holistic Addiction Treatment
- Faith-Based Addiction Treatment
- 12 Step Addiction Treatment
- SMART Recovery Program
- Non 12 Step Addiction Treatment
Aside from treatment style options there are many therapies that help addicts address underlying issues. One-one counseling, group therapy, life skills lessons, family therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and much more. The treatment you choose is important and can make or break your ability to stay sober after therapy. For more information on which options are best available for your situation you can call us at any time.
Recovering from drug addiction is a long process, and it does not end with rehabilitation. Once a patient has undergone treatment in a dual diagnosis rehab center, they return to their normal lives. However, doing so also increases the risks of relapse. It is thus important to offer aftercare treatment options to reduce the risk of relapsing.
Rehab facilities that treat co-occurring disorders offer various aftercare treatments aimed towards this end. These include:
- Placing the patient in a nurturing home after their treatment ends – this can be in their actual homes or in a sober living home
- Therapy and counseling to identify and treat the underlying factors that trigger alcohol and drug abuse. This can also include family therapy and group therapy with other recovering addicts
- Psychiatry treatment to treat the identified mental disorder(s)
- Providing the patient with a caregiver or caseworker so as to offer a good support system
- Helping the patient engage in meaningful and productive activities – a job, volunteer work, etc.
Sometimes traveling to the right treatment centers is worth the extra effort. Local facilities may not offer the particular treatment that you need. There are, of course, pros and cons when deciding on traveling for treatment or staying near your home town. It is important to note that those who travel to our treatment centers will receive aftercare that is localized. Our counselors will do all of the leg work to find outpatient programs support groups and therapists in your community you are returning home to that you can continue to receive proper support with maintaining your sobriety.
Paying for dual diagnosis rehab does not cost more than standard addiction treatment. Many people avoid going to rehab because they believe the costs associated with quality treatment are too high. At Sunshine, we employ a team of dedicated insurance experts who can help you maximize your healthcare benefits for rehab. Our experts know exactly what to say to insurance companies who are reluctant to pay out what you need and deserve for your rehab stay. Our goal is to get you the highest quality care with the smallest out of pocket expense. Some insurance providers will cover 100% of your dual diagnosis rehab stay. Our insurance verification is completely free and there is never any obligation. We want to help you recover from you addiction and are available to start the conversation any time of the day.