What is Dual Diagnosis?
When a person suffers from at least one addiction along with at least one mental health disorder, it is called dual diagnosis. It is also often referred to as co-occurring disorders. There are many forms of dual diagnosis but essentially dual diagnosis is any combination of mental illness and addiction. This could be alcohol and/or drug addiction PLUS depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, etc.
Dual diagnosis can lead to the greater impairment of life skills, it has more overall health risks, including physical safety, and the chances for successful treatment are often significantly lower, especially if treatment is solely for one disorder.
How Does Dual Diagnosis Happen?
Sometimes the mental disorder starts first and the person will turn to drugs or alcohol for self-medication. This may temporarily alleviate their symptoms by numbing the pain or fear. This can happen either WITH proper medical treatment or INSTEAD of. Of course, drugs and alcohol don’t treat the underlying condition and turning to them actually make things worse the majority of the time. In other cases the addiction starts first and a person’s drug abuse produces the onset of symptoms of a mental illness. In either instance, while it’s not impossible, a person suffering from dual diagnosis has a difficult road to recovery.
Why Treatment for Dual Diagnosis?
Unfortunately, it is very common that a person suffering from addiction also exhibits symptoms of a mental health issue. Research continues to show that people with co-occurring disorders need specialized treatment – referred to as dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses the addiction AND the mental health disorder at the same time. It’s important to realize that even though dual diagnosis is becoming increasingly more common, not all drug treatment facilities are equipped or trained to treat co-occurring disorders. Programs that treat brain disorders do not have the capacity to treat active substance abuse problems and vice versa. This is where finding treatment for dual diagnosis is so important.
Dual diagnosis patients are also considered high-risk. They often need very individualized treatment, which requires the rehab facility to have psychiatric staff and the resources for longer treatment. There is no quick fix for addiction recovery by itself, let alone adding in a mental illness with addiction. Not all facilities are set up for the longer treatments that are necessary for the effective treatment of dual diagnosis patients.
How to Find the Best Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Treatment for dual diagnosis through a capable drug rehab facility reduces the risk for relapse, cost of services and duplication of services. Ocean Hills Recovery, a California drug rehab facility that offers treatment for dual diagnosis, calls their dual diagnosis program ‘collaborative recovery’ because they believe it is vital to involve therapists, physicians, family members, to basically form a community (or village) of support while on the road to recovery.
Many families of addicts look for a facility that offers a variety of options during dual diagnosis treatment. While many rehabs like to feature these holistic options or opportunities for mental and emotional peace, they are not the only aspect of treatment that needs to be considered. While activities such as yoga, holistic therapy, or massage can certainly contribute to physical wellness, addiction recovery with mental health disorder treatment involves more than a peaceful environment. It is crucial for the facility to have experienced and well-educated staff for the best treatment opportunities.
Where Can I Get More Info on Treatment for Dual Diagnosis?
Contact a counselor at Ocean Hills Recovery today for information on our dual diagnosis treatment program. We are trained for the very specialized treatment for dual diagnosis and can help you or your loved one on their road to addiction recovery.share