What do you think of when you hear the term dual diagnosis? Do you think that it’s something rare and might not apply to most people with substance abuse problems?
If so, you could not be more wrong.
The prevalence of co-occurring disorders (also known as dual diagnoses) continues to rise among people seeking treatment for chemical dependency. In fact, some studies reveal that this population has higher rates of concurrent disorders than those seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction alone.
A dual diagnosis is also something that can be very difficult to treat without the right kind of programs and services in place. However, dual diagnosis treatment is often thought of as the secret weapon in the fight against substance abuse.
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis treatment is the process of identifying and treating an individual with a substance use disorder and a concurrent mental health disorder. Instead of focusing on one or the other, dual diagnosis treatment takes into account the interconnected nature of these two factors in recovery from substance abuse.
You’ll find that dual diagnosis treatment centers near me use a combination of two or more approaches to help resolve an individual’s substance abuse issues.
This can include a combination of therapy techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, relapse prevention, and others. It can also include psychiatric medications, integration of medical care, and/or medical treatment for co-occurring conditions.
Whereas a standalone program for alcohol abuse or for drug addiction will only address one of the issues, a dual diagnosis treatment plan will address both.
Reasons Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Near Me Are So Effective
1. Better Understanding of the Root Problems
The first step in dual diagnosis treatment is to identify the root problem. This is the core mental health disorder that is fueling the individual’s substance use issues.
Common examples of mental health issues that lead to substance abuse include anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder. Other issues that may come into play include eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trauma, and others.
The therapist assesses the individual to try and identify the root problem by taking them through a mental health evaluation and/or diagnostic test. This allows the therapist to assess the nature and extent of the individual’s mental health issues.
2. Better Chance of Long-Term Recovery
Statistics show that those who receive dual diagnosis treatment are more likely to stay in treatment longer and experience a higher rate of recovery than those who receive treatment for just one disorder.
3. Better Chance of Reuniting With Loved Ones
A person’s substance abuse often causes conflict with family, friends, and loved ones. A co-occurring disorder, meanwhile, can cause additional issues in the relationship. By treating both disorders together, the individual is more likely to achieve a reduced level of symptoms and, therefore, better relationships with those around them.
Substance abuse disorders and mental health conditions often go hand-in-hand. However, dual diagnosis treatment provides a holistic approach to recovery that helps individuals work through multiple issues at once. After all, treating one disorder without addressing the other can fail because one of the disorders is what’s actually fueling the other.