In the substance abuse field, Dual Diagnosis is a relatively new concept. Many times people who were being treated for individualstal health issues were treated in a different capacity than those who were getting treated for substance abuse. Since many places did not treat both mental health and substance abuse together, so many people had to wait until they were sober to get the mental health help. A person that had both a substance abuse and mental health issue did not get the help they needed since they were treated as separate issues.
How to treat dual diagnosis and addiction
Both substance abuse and mood disorders are able to be treated. They affect people of all different backgrounds, ages, and ethnicity. It has been shown that more than half of the people suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mood disorders use drugs and alcohol.
You may need to go to more than one doctor and attend more than one support group. All of your treatment providers should be aware that you have a dual diagnosis.
Now, what are main points to look for in a treatment program that is able to treat dual diagnosis?
• Pharmacological therapy is a key component of treatment when it comes to Dual Diagnosis rehabilitation. Medications are often prescribed to stabilize moods, reduce anxiety and agitation, prevent flashbacks to traumatic events or prevent hallucinations.
• Although psychiatric medication was once discouraged in substance abuse treatment programs, Dual Diagnosis care providers understand the importance of continuing pharmacotherapy throughout drug or alcohol rehab.
• Another intrinsic part that makes up a great dual diagnosis program is the educative part of it. Educating spouses, partners, children and siblings about addiction and mental health is another important part of your recovery. The more informed your loved ones are about the nature of your condition, the more likely they are to support you in your recovery journey.
• Family counseling, 12-step meetings and peer support groups are available for friends and loved ones who want to help you meet your recovery goals.
What is dual diagnosis treatment like?
Here at Bright Futures Treatment Center we are aware that there is not one treatment option that works for all. There are many different mental health disorders, and substance abuse issues vary. People who seek treatment for both substance abuse and mental health may also be diagnosed with:
- A mood disorder, such as major depression or bipolar disorder.
- An anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- A personality disorder, such as borderline personality disorder or antisocial disorder.
- An eating disorder, such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or anorexia.
For treatment to be effective, the treatment plan must address not only substance abuse but also any mental health issues or mood disorders. The goals from the treatment plan will be base on the extent of your substance abuse as well as your mental health condition. Individuals who recently used drugs or alcohol and have been exhibiting signs of mental illness may benefit more from a treatment program.