Dual Diagnosis

For many people who suffer from addiction, entering into an effective addiction treatment program isn’t enough. A dual diagnosis rehab is needed. A dual diagnosis program offers treatment for both mental illness as well as drug addiction. Dual diagnosis therapy combines treatment options that work by addressing the symptoms of both issues while helping the patient re-establish healthy lifestyle patterns and behaviors.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis involves both drug addiction and mental illness and the health problems that accompany both. Dual diagnosis rehab includes alternative treatment options that are designed to work together to help the patient work past the specific issues that accompany both mental illness and addiction. While both conditions are serious on their own, the repercussions of experiencing both at the same often lead to additional complications that create unique difficulties for individuals entering into a dual diagnosis recovery program. Dual diagnosis rehab centers specializing in dealing with those circumstances and are able to help patients work through the issues they may face during the progress.

Treating the Addiction First

For a dual diagnosis program to be effective, the patient’s drug addiction must be brought under control first. By eliminating the effects of the drugs and alcohol, staff members can begin to identify the traits of the mental illness. Dual diagnosis residential treatment programs provide the patient the care they need while entering into a sometimes difficult period. As the drugs begin to wear off and the symptoms of mental illness begin to present themselves, the patient may go through various types of withdrawal. Withdrawal can actually make the symptoms of mental illness worse making it difficult for the patient to properly care for themselves. Dual diagnosis rehab centers are designed so the patient has the proper care and attention they need at all times.

Combined Treatment Options

Treatment options for drug addiction and mental illness differ greatly. Many people who suffer from mental illness self-medicate as a way of making themselves feel “normal”. The more they self-medicated, the more drugs they consume to maintain some sort of normalcy. The key to treating a dual diagnosis is to treat both the addiction and the mental illness at the same time without creating additional health problems. Drug diagnosis rehab centers can create individualized treatment plans that allow for a healthier, longer-lasting recovery.

An Effective Dual Diagnosis Program

An effective dual diagnosis recovery program must first treat the addiction and then evaluate and treat the mental illness as the addiction begins to clear. While the treatment plans for both are different, they can be effectively combined, As the addiction begins to fade, the signs of the mental illness will become more prevalent, allowing the staff to create an effective treatment plan that addresses latter. As the patient transitions from one phase of the dual diagnosis recovery plan to another, they are closely monitored to ensure no other health problems are present. It’s important to remember that if a mental illness is involved, the recovery plan may include treatment options that span the life of the patient.

Maintaining Sobriety After A Dual Diagnosis

After the drug addiction has been treated and the mental illness evaluated and accurately diagnosed, the next step is maintaining sobriety. The recovery period for a dual diagnosis patient may never end. Changes in their mental health can cause relapses or changes in the way the medications affect them. Closely monitoring these changes are vital if the patient plans on maintaining their sobriety. Even after years of being sober and free from the effects of their drug addiction, the patient may still move backward or suffer a relapse. This is part of the reason why making positive lifestyle changes is so important. Positive behaviors and healthy lifestyle habits can prevent the relapse from causing long-term damage. Regaining their forward momentum takes place when they, once again, take that first step back to good health with a dual diagnosis treatment plan.

Dual diagnosis treatment plans are needed when a patient begins to exhibit signs of mental illness. Signs of the mental illness may not appear while the patient is using drugs, so eliminating the addiction is always the first priority. Addiction recovery plans take into account many different health conditions, but addressing mental illness requires specific medications. Eliminating the effects of the drugs allows the doctor to accurately diagnose the mental illness and treat it appropriately. This paves the way for a full and complete recovery on all levels. A dual diagnosis is not the end of the world. Instead, it’s a doorway to a future that is bright and clear.