Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

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Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Dual-diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorder, refers to the co-existence of a substance use disorder and a separate and distinct mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. These issues are commonly linked, whether through physiology, lifestyle or any other factors, and it is critical that patients who are struggling get separate yet simultaneous help to address the symptoms and consequences of each disorder. It is often these issues that lead to exacerbation of substance use in the first place.

As with general substance abuse treatment, overcoming dual-diagnosis treatment requires in-depth psychotherapy and targeted counseling.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 17 million Americans suffer from what are called “co-occurring disorders” (simultaneous addiction and mental illness). More than 50 percent of those living with a dual diagnosis do not receive any treatment or psychotherapeutic intervention to help them progress in their recovery.

Dual-diagnosis treatment addresses the unique and specific nature of both conditions by treating them simultaneously by therapists trained and experienced in understanding mental health and substance use disorders (SUD). Patients receive a variety of care services that help them move toward recovery and lasting independence from SUD and mental disorder.

Patients in dual-diagnosis treatment work with one or several experienced and qualified mental health professionals to help them untangle the interwoven conditions, determine which caused the other, identify the root causes of substance use and develop behavioral coping mechanisms to avoid relapse. The process also provides informed guidance and logistical support to help patients successfully manage their mental illness independently. This includes providing aftercare plans that offer behavior modification techniques and contact information for post-treatment resources in their area. Dual- diagnosis treatment may also help patients gain access to medication-assisted resources and provide them with a game plan for staying on track with their meds.

Dual-diagnosis treatments are often administered in an outpatient setting; however, patients with more severe histories of substance use, or conditions like severe personality disorder, may need more in- depth care. As the link between the disease of addiction and separate mental illness has become more and more apparent, more and more treatment organizations have been offering dual-diagnosis care. Prospective patients are encouraged to involve their loved ones in helping with the search for a program, as many fail to follow up with accessing the care they so desperately need.

The emotionally traumatic nature of substance abuse can make it hard to identify a dual-diagnosis issue. The lines can often get blurred between cause and effect. It is important that clinicians address each issue to provide customized care. If it is determined that patients may need to be medically stabilized through medical detox and withdrawal management a referral will be made to help the individual get the care needed to safely proceed with therapeutic services. Thereafter, patients work with their therapists to address the root causes of substance abuse issues. This helps our mental health professionals get a clearer idea of the relationship between their addiction and corresponding mental health issues.

Perhaps nowhere is the application of personalized, holistic treatment more crucial than in co-occurring (dual- diagnosis) care. Each patient faces their own physical, emotional and lifestyle struggles in the wake of these conditions, and it is critical that they get personalized and intuitive help that speaks to their needs. iRecovery offers comprehensive, supportive and compassionate co-occurring treatment provided by our experienced and qualified team of behavioral health professionals. Our therapeutic services are specially designed for each individual patient. If you or someone you care about needs help, call us at 855-770-0581 to begin the healing process.

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