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A Beginner’s Guide to Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Everything to Know

A Beginner’s Guide to Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Everything to Know

Dual diagnosis treatment is changing everything in the world of addiction recovery. The recognition of the importance of this specialized treatment is helping many people and is saving many lives.

Recovery centers for people struggling with substance use disorders have been operating for decades. They have always been helpful for people who wish to break free from dependencies on drugs or alcohol. The people who work in this field are highly dedicated to helping people overcome their addictions. They want their clients to go on to live long, happy, healthy, and productive lives. 

However, in the past, these facilities focused on ending these addictions and on that alone. As a result, successes were limited. Many people returned to drug and alcohol use after their release. Often, people entered a drug rehab center many times before achieving any sort of lasting sobriety.

Drug and alcohol recovery professionals now understand that often, individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol dependencies have more than one issue to overcome. It’s very common for people who suffer from substance use disorder to simultaneously suffer from a mental health issue as well.

Dual diagnosis treatment aims to help people with these issues concurrently. To learn more about it, read on.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly half of the people in the United States who were experiencing a substance use disorder at the time of the survey also struggled with a mental health issue of some kind. 9.2 million Americans suffered from these two conditions simultaneously, or 3.7% of the United States population.

Even people who are fortunate enough to have never experienced either one of these challenges can tell you that even one at a time, they are very difficult to overcome. When paired, the obstacles these people face may seem insurmountable.

Fortunately, more and more addiction recovery centers are recognizing that these two issues must be treated as one at the same time. In the past, many addiction treatment professionals believed that the drug or alcohol dependency must be overcome first. Then, the mental health issues can be treated afterward.

Today we know that these two problems are intertwined. As a result, the treatment for both must be integrated in every day if an individual wishes to see his or her most desired results. 

Addiction and Mental Health

Mental health is the term for a wide range of diagnosable mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. These disorders can limit or interfere with an individual’s ability to take part in normal life activities. They may struggle with things like relationships and employment. 

The umbrella of mental health issues covers a vast number of different diangnoses. Some of the most common are anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Personality disorders, PTSD, psychotic disorders, and others are also in this realm.

In some cases, the effects of these mental health diagnoses are mild, but they can still influence someone’s life.

Often, mental health issues lead to drug or alcohol abuse for a number of reasons. In some cases, people with mental health disorders begin drinking and using drugs to help them cope with their mental health challenges. In time, this can lead to dependencies and addictions. Unfortuantely, drug and alcohol abuse often results in magnification of mental health issues.

Sometimes, people who struggle with either mental health issues or addictions are victims or trauma or other adverse physical and emotional childhood experiences. Others have suffered from massive stress later in life. Still others are turn to drugs or alcohol as a result of environmental influences in their lives. For many substance abuse, mental health issues, or both run in their families; many researchers believe that these issues are, to some degree, hereditary.

No matter what the cause, when a substance use disorder is paired the a mental health issue, overcoming both problems is challenging. Without help, it can seem impossible. But with dual diagnosis treatment, there is hope.

How Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Work?

Dual diagnosis treatment keeps both the substance use disorder and the individual’s mental health in mind at all times. The same addiction recovery professionals work with the client throughout his or her treatment to deliver an integrated plan that treats both issues at once. 

Individuals who participate in dual diagnosis treatment are encouraged to be engaged with their very individualized and personalized treatment plans. As a result, they build relationships with the professionals on their treatment team. Therefore, they are more inclined to stick with the program long term. 

These men and women may be at different stages of recovery for different components of their recovery, and that’s okay. Just because someone is progressing well on overcoming their substance use disorder may not imply that they are progressing at the same rate on their mental health issue. Dual diagnosis facilities recognize that every individual’s journey is different. They know that that progress may not always be linear. The pace of treatment can be adjusted as time goes on.

Any individual in treatment for a dual diagnosis will participate in individual and group counseling sessions. He or she will develop skills to combat triggers and possible relapses. Clients will also learn life skills to help him or her stay on a clean, sober, and healthy path moving forward.

In the long run, most people diagnosed with a dual diagnosis will need to participate in ongoing, long-term, recovery maintenance. Things like group meetings and further individual therapy will be a part of their lives moving forward. These will serve to support and fortify the progress they made in the recovery center.

With the right mindset and proper guidance, people with dual diagnoses can overcome their obstacles. They can integrate well into normal society for a happy and balanced life. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Works

Dual diagnosis treatment makes sense. We now know that much progress can be made when addiction recovery centers treat the whole person, rather than just one specific challenge that that person faces. Thanks to this advancement in treatment, many more people than ever before are finding that they are able to break free from addiction. And, they are discovering that with a good plan in place, they can overcome their mental health challenges, too.

If you’re looking for a friendly, effective, inpatient rehabilitation center that offers dual diagnosis treatment, please contact us today. We can’t wait to meet you!