Dual Diagnosis Programs | Dual Diagnosis Rehabs | Substance Abuse Addiction
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Dual Diagnosis Programs

Dual Diagnosis Programs

Dual diagnosis rehabs are for those with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. Perhaps you have a substance abuse addiction and you are also bipolar or suffer from PTSD. Maybe your anxiety or depression contributes to your drinking or smoking marijuana. Dual diagnosis treatment programs treat the mental health and substance abuse disorders simultaneously. It is imperative to find the best dual diagnosis program suited to your specific needs.

Understanding dual diagnosis

Before embarking on entering a treatment program or researching dual diagnosis rehabs for a loved one, you should understand what dual diagnosis is and the full scope of a co-occurring disorders diagnosis. Medline Plus, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that a person with dual diagnosis has “both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem.” Symptoms of the co-existing disorders may occur at the same time. For instance, an alcoholic often suffers from anxiety or depression. Someone suffering from PTSD may also have a substance abuse addiction, turning to drugs to cope with the symptoms of the PTSD or other mental health disorder.

Does one disorder come before the other in co-occurring disorders?

Substance abuse and mental health problems often occur at the same time but one does not directly cause the other. Both the mental health issue that you are diagnosed with and the substance abuse addiction have similar symptoms; they also have their own unique symptoms, so one does not necessarily come before the other.

Dual diagnosis disorders are very common. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that compared with the general population, people addicted to drugs are roughly twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, with the reverse also true. While both can get in your way of everyday functioning, they can each get worse if left untreated. That is just one of many reasons why both of the co-occurring disorders must be treated simultaneously in a dual diagnosis program. Dual diagnosis rehabs are staffed with specialists with the knowledge, education, experience and other expertise to help people who are suffering from dual diagnosis disorders.

Dual diagnosis screening and assessment

Perhaps you are already diagnosed with co-occurring disorders or maybe you are wondering if your issues are dual diagnosis-related. Undergoing a thorough screening and assessment for dual diagnosis disorders is the first step. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains the different assessment procedures utilized when trying to confirm or rule out whether a person is suffering from dual diagnosis disorders. Your honesty is very important during the screening and assessment process so that a proper and complete diagnosis can be determined. This will help you in treatment, as well.

Integrated screening is screening for both mental health and substance abuse disorders. This is a rather brief assessment process that occurs before you enter a treatment program, after you enter a dual diagnosis rehab or in both situations. If the results of the integrated screening or other screening tools indicate that you have co-occurring disorders, a more in-depth assessment will occur. In an integrated assessment, the mental health and substance abuse disorders are assessed “in the context of each other,” according to SAMHSA. During this assessment process, the therapist or other practitioner will confirm or rule out the dual diagnosis disorders and determine other factors such as your readiness for change. Potential issues related to treatment are also identified.

Dual diagnosis treatment

With the number of different mental health and substance abuse issues that can occur together, a comprehensive treatment program is crucial. Dual diagnosis treatment is similar to treatment programs for substance abuse addiction alone or for mental health disorders alone in many ways, yet there are aspects that are very different in dual diagnosis rehabs. Your treatment will involve group and individual sessions, may involve case managers, therapists, psychiatrists, medical doctors and other specialists experienced in treating people suffering from co-occurring disorders. Although you will have contact with others in treatment, treatment program staff develops each person’s treatment plan on a case-by-case basis, addressing the overall, as well as the individual treatment needs of each client. In addition to behavioral therapy, counseling and other forms of treatment to address both your substance abuse and mental health needs, you may also be prescribed one or more medications while in dual diagnosis rehab. Several medications help treat both mental health and substance abuse disorders, but which one you are prescribed or even if you are prescribed medications may depend on the treatment facility you are in.

Dual diagnosis treatment sometimes involves outpatient treatment, but often involves treatment at a residential rehab facility. The length of an inpatient program will vary and the length of time you spend in a dual diagnosis rehab may differ from that of another person at the same treatment facility. Some treatment facilities have treatment programs that last for a period of 60, 90, 120 days or longer. After a person successfully completes a residential dual diagnosis program, follow-up or aftercare may take place on an outpatient basis. Many people continue their dual diagnosis treatment on an on-going basis, to help ensure they get the best care and to avoid relapse.

Getting treatment nearby

There are many dual diagnosis programs that tailor treatment plans to your needs and that are likely available near your home. Therefore, it is not difficult to find a dual diagnosis rehab program that will best suit your needs. We have the largest virtual directory of alcohol and addiction treatment resources available to help you find a comprehensive dual diagnosis program that will meet your needs. You do not have to worry about spending a great deal of time trying to get a real person on the phone at your insurance company to determine if your insurance company will pay for part of your treatment or perhaps even all of it. We offer you a free and confidential insurance benefits check that will help you get the highest level of dual diagnosis treatment and care with the insurance that you have.

[Source: NIH, Drugabuse.gov, SAMHSA]