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Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab Centers

Trying to overcome a substance use disorder might seem like an unmanageable and insurmountable task. Unfortunately, so many people struggling with alcohol or drug abuse often find that they also have to contend with a mental health disorder - hence the need for dual diagnosis drug rehab centers.

According to recent research, more than 80% of all American adults with mental health disorders also have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Also known as dual diagnosis, this medical problem requires specialized treatment.

This is primarily because most people have a hard time recovering from addiction when they also have to deal with a mental health problem. Luckily, there is help in the form of dual diagnosis drug rehab centers - which provide treatment for both conditions.

Understanding Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis, which is sometimes referred to as co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems, is a condition where two conditions occur at the same time. If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, it is also highly likely that you will also have a co-occurring mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression. However, you might even find that you are struggling with more severe psychological conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Today, SAMHSA (or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) reports that more than 7.9 million Americans struggle with these co-occurring conditions, showing that there is an inherent need for dual diagnosis drug rehab centers.

If you have a mental disorder, it is highly likely that you might start abusing drugs and alcohol. Conversely, those with substance use disorders may also find that they have a mental health problem.

In fact, if you leave your mental health disorder untreated, it is highly likely that you might relapse to drug abuse even after undergoing intensive and long-term treatment for your condition. This is because both of these disorders have a tendency of exacerbating each other.

Since it is so difficult to separate these conditions, the best solution would be to get help from dual diagnosis drug rehab centers. This way, you will receive the proper treatment that you require.

Diagnosis For Substance Use And/Or Mental Health Disorders

It is sometimes difficult to properly diagnose co-occurring disorders. This is particularly on account of the complexity of the symptoms you are likely to display when you are battling addiction and another mental health condition.

To this end, there are many potential combinations of co-occurring problems - meaning that the symptoms that are likely to arise will also come in different combinations.

Only through dual diagnosis drug rehab centers will you will get proper screening through the standard intake procedure. These centers are also well equipped to provide the right course of treatment and care to ensure that both conditions are controlled.

Integrated Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis drug rehab centers are relatively new in the addiction treatment sphere. Until about the 1990s, mental health disorders and substance abuse were treated separately. As a result, patients with overlapping issues often found themselves being denied treatment for their poor mental health until they achieved sobriety. This led to many people with co-occurring disorders to not receive the treatment they needed to deal with their problems properly.

In recent years, dual diagnosis drug rehab centers have become more widespread. This is mostly due to the fact that psychiatric health and addiction are widely considered to be part of the same continuum. Today, you can even find clinicians with special training and licensing to help patients with co-occurring disorders.

To this end, you will usually find that dual diagnosis drug rehab centers treat substance abuse, addiction, and co-occurring mental health issues through highly intensive and comprehensive rehabilitation programs.

In many cases, these centers also use evidence-based best practices and approaches to addiction treatment while simultaneously providing therapy and counseling for mental illnesses.

The centers also assess and reassess their treatment modalities to ensure that they are effective, while simultaneously strengthening them with integrated rehabilitation for every patient with a co-occurring disorder.

Since there are many different combinations of dual diagnosis, the treatment plans provided at dual diagnosis drug rehab centers also tend to be highly structured and individualized.

This means that the treatment you will receive will not be the same as that provided to another patient. The centers will also have professional staff on call to provide individualized treatments for co-occurring problems. Therefore, you may even find that the rehabilitation you receive can more effectively help you get your life back on track.

Although the treatment plans provided at dual diagnosis drug rehab centers will vary based on your individual needs and requirements, background, and history of substance abuse and poor mental health, they will usually include and encompass the following:

  • Diagnosis
  • Detox
  • Group, individual, and family therapy and counseling
  • Plans for aftercare

If you succeed at treatment, the dual diagnosis drug rehab centers might also provide ongoing care in the form of outpatient rehabilitation. This will create a more flexible approach, which the center can be highly customized around your work, school, and family schedule. However, this might only happen after you check out of an inpatient program.

The Importance Of Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab Centers

Dual diagnoses for people struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety and depression often require comprehensive and integrated care. Only through such treatment will you be in the right space to adequately address, correct, rectify, and deal with both conditions. In fact, if the center focuses on treating one issue, you might have a high risk of relapse after completing the rehabilitation program.

In many cases, dual diagnosis drug rehab centers are essential because one condition - either addiction or poor mental health - might worsen or contribute to the other.

For instance, if you have a mental illness, you might start using alcohol or drugs to cope with your adverse psychological symptoms. Alternatively, ongoing substance abuse might cause you to develop poor mental health, or exacerbate the related symptoms.

SAMHSA reports that co-occurring disorders are so widespread that more than 8 million American adults struggled with these problems in 2014. Unfortunately, only a fraction of these people seek treatment from dual diagnosis drug rehab centers - although they urgently need it.

That said, there is no logical or universal explanation for why alcohol and drug addiction and mental illness tend to co-occur so frequently. However, if you suffer from both a mental illness and a substance use disorder, it is highly likely that you will exhibit adverse symptoms that are more persistent and resistant to rehabilitation than if you only had one disorder or the other. Luckily, there is hope in the form of dual diagnosis drug rehab centers.

Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

When you check into dual diagnosis drug rehab centers, you will undergo thorough clinical assessment, testing, and examination for a dual diagnosis. During this stage, you will work with health professionals, who will consider a number factors. In particular, they will check if you:

  • Are motivated to undergo rehab
  • Have a history of aggressiveness and violence
  • Have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse that has negatively affect your leisure activities, work, relationships, and psychiatric health
  • Have experienced suicidal ideation or attempted suicide
  • Have resources and a support system to back you up
  • Have the level of social support you need for your treatment to prove successful
  • Meet the criteria for psychiatric disorders
  • Might endanger yourself or others

Signs And Symptoms Of Dual Diagnosis

As we mentioned above, dual diagnosis drug rehab centers are essential because substance use disorders and mental health conditions often tend to occur together. That said, most of the symptoms of these problems are usually highly distinctive.

a) Signs of Poor Mental Health

Even though the symptoms will vary widely based on the particular mental health condition you are suffering as well as on the substances you have been abusing, some signs and symptoms typically point to a severe mental health problem.

These include but are not always limited:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Engaging in increasingly risky behavior
  • Fear
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of interest in your daily endeavors
  • Panic
  • Racing thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weight fluctuations

b) Signs of Substance Abuse and Addiction

When you check into dual diagnosis drug rehab centers, the experts working there will often check if you display any of the behaviors that are characteristic of substance use disorders. These signs and symptoms might include:

  • Continued substance abuse in spite of the adverse effects that it causes to your safety, health, relationships, productivity, and performance
  • Developing tolerance to drugs/alcohol, meaning that you need to take more of it to be intoxicated or to achieve its desirable effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you discontinue or reduce your use of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to meet your responsibilities and obligations at school, work, and home due to your ongoing substance abuse
  • Finding that you are unable to control your substance abuse
  • Intense cravings for your substance of choice
  • Spending more significant portions of your time, energy, and finances increasingly to acquire, use, and recover from using drugs and alcohol
  • Using more of your preferred drugs than you had originally planned

How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Works

But what exactly goes on in dual diagnosis drug rehab centers? Essentially, evidence points to the fact that people with dual diagnoses can stabilize, recover, and find relief through the right kind of help.

To this end, a large segment of dual diagnosis treatment will often require behavioral interventions - most of which are evidence-based. This means that most dual diagnosis drug rehab centers rely on the following behavioral therapy modalities:

a) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT)

CBT works to minimize the problematic behaviors and beliefs that might be causing you to continue abusing drugs and alcohol. In the process, it can help you develop healthier patterns of behavior and thinking, thereby sustaining your ongoing sobriety.

b) Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (or DBT)

DBT, on the other hand, comes with the goal of helping you reduce or eliminate every self-harming behavior - behaviors that tend to accompany substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

c) Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy is provided at most dual diagnosis drug rehab centers. It is useful in the treatment of all unhealthy behaviors linked to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as particular mental health and behavioral problems.

d) Integrated Group Therapy

Through integrated group therapy, dual diagnosis drug rehab centers can effectively treat the adverse symptoms of mental health illnesses and substance use disorders at the same time.

At times, the dual diagnosis treatment you will provide might encompass a combination of medications with the behavior therapies we've listed above. The medicines that the center will use will vary from one person to another - depending on your particular diagnosis.

However, these medications tend to include anticonvulsants and lithium, as well as SSRIs (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications like BuSpar (buspirone).

As we mentioned earlier, dual diagnosis drug rehab centers can provide treatment on both an inpatient or an outpatient basis - or a combination of both depending on the severity of your co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Inpatient treatment will often involve you staying at the drug rehab center on a residential basis. As such, you might find that you will be better suited to benefit from the onsite professionals with different multidisciplinary training and backgrounds as well as ongoing support.

In many cases, inpatient dual diagnosis drug rehab centers are often preferred because you will:

  • Get the chance to attend support group meetings and participate in the ongoing discussions
  • Immerse yourself in a supportive community of other recovering patients learning to overcome their substance abuse and mental health disorders
  • Receive education and training about your mental health issues and the substance use disorders you are trying to overcome
  • Receive therapy and counseling on a daily basis

After that, you can opt to continue with treatment on an outpatient basis - an option offered by many dual diagnosis drug rehab centers. This way, you will be able to keep meeting your daily responsibilities at work, school, and home while also receiving the therapy and counseling you need to achieve full sobriety and overcome your poor mental health condition.

Find Resources

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.

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