Substance abuse is common among individuals with mental health issues. Many a time, you’ll find that a person struggling with a drug addiction will be dealing with a co-occurring mental health condition.
Fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment has been proven to help those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness. Treatment professionals work with the individual to reduce their reliance on drugs and alcohol and deal with underlying mental health conditions.
It’s important for people struggling with both illnesses to receive assistance for all of their symptoms rather than just focusing on one area of concern.
This article will explain
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
A dual diagnosis is when someone simultaneously deals with mental illness and substance abuse. It can be difficult to treat because mental health professionals are not addiction experts, and addiction therapists are not knowledgeable about psychological disorders.
That’s why some rehabs offer dual diagnosis treatment, medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence with buprenorphine or methadone, and psychotherapy. This makes the treatment a lot more effective since the programs do much more than just help the patient detox. They provide care for the patient’s entire needs while they recover by providing therapeutic services that address all aspects of addiction – physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Helps With Substance Abuse
There are many reasons why dual diagnosis treatments are so effective in treating substance abuse. They include:
It Offers Psychiatric Health Assessment
When patients diagnosed with both an addiction and a psychiatric disorder enter treatment, they are often administered an evaluation to determine the extent of their psychiatric problem. Then, if necessary, they may be treated on an outpatient basis before discharge from the facility.
In other cases, intensive inpatient treatment programs may be more appropriate. In either case, care providers work with individuals to design a plan for aftercare that provides continuous monitoring and support services.
Once the detox phase is done, the patient will then undergo counseling focusing on co-occurring psychiatric conditions, such as depression or anxiety. They will also receive counseling that deals with addictive behavior issues like coping skills training, relapse prevention strategies, stress management, and identifying triggers for drug use.
Other behavioral therapies include motivational interviewing to enhance compliance with recovery regimens and contingency management to reward abstinence from substances of abuse. These interventions can also help people handle stress without resorting to drug use.
Many addicts with mental health disorders do not seek addiction treatment because they fear society’s stigmatization. They feel like their problems are too severe to be treated by an addiction therapist and that an individual who does not know how to deal with psychological disorders will not be able to treat them effectively.
If that’s the case with you or a loved one, then you’ll be glad to know that a dual diagnosis treatment program addresses these concerns. These facilities are staffed with highly trained and professional addiction counselors and mental health professionals with experience dealing with such issues.
They fully understand mental health’s role in substance abuse and how to treat it effectively.
Another benefit of dual diagnosis treatment is that both disorders are addressed simultaneously. Since there is no time limit on how long an individual can stay in rehab, it makes sense to take full advantage of that extended time and treat both addiction and mental health problems simultaneously rather than just focusing on one problem.
There are several other benefits as well, such as:
- Avoiding common challenges faced by those with just one diagnosis, like mood swings and poor judgment when coming off drugs
- Minimizing self-destructive behavior patterns
- Understanding the need for psychiatric follow-up care after rehabilitation ends
- Learning new ways to cope with different feelings
- Recognizing inappropriate behaviors so they can avoid harm to themselves or others.
- Working on employment prospects before leaving rehab.
Most people with co-occurring psychiatric disorders do not seek treatment on their own or will either simply go for substance abuse treatment without acknowledging how their mental health triggers their drug use. If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction or mental health issue, schedule an appointment with a professional today to see if dual diagnosis treatment might be right for you. The earlier a dual diagnosis is detected, evaluated, and treated, the better.