Sometimes the worst happens. You never thought it would be you, but here you are. You feel defeated, lonely, and *gasp* addicted to something you never thought was possible.
Maybe you felt you could never be addicted to alcohol or drugs. You tried to be careful. It ran rampant in your family and you knew better.
You berate yourself. You should have handled your emotions better. You should have picked yourself up and dusted yourself off. You heard people say, “Put your grown-up pants on and get it together.”
Ultimately, your depression and anxiety disorder got the best of you. You found a substance to help you calm down. But now you can’t stop.
Someone mentioned dual diagnosis treatment as an option. You remembered those words and wondered about this type of treatment. What exactly is dual diagnosis treatment?
You’ve heard about dual diagnosis treatment centers. Keep reading to find out more information on dual diagnosis treatment and why these are the best options for those seeking help with a substance abuse problem.
What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
First, it is important to understand what dual diagnosis treatment does. Then you will see why it’s the best choice.
Previously, substance abuse and mental health were two separate disciplines. These two areas of study were specialized. Either you were mentally ill or you were addicted. However, in recent years it has been found that dual diagnosis treatment is more effective for those seeking substance abuse help.
Co-occurring disorders are another common way to describe those with dual diagnosis disorders. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a recent survey found that nearly 8 million people in the United States experienced both a mental illness diagnosis and an addiction.
This whopping number shows the importance of dual diagnosis treatment centers. At a dual diagnosis treatment center, patients will experience treatment in both areas of need. Professionals are trained and specialize in both substance abuse issues and mental health problems.
What are mental health disorders?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a mental health disorder is considered “a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”
What is a substance abuse disorder?
Similarly, SAMHSA defines a substance abuse disorder as one that occurs “when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”
Great Reasons to Seek Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Treating both of these challenges simultaneously is important for several reasons. First, it helps to truly individualize a person’s treatment. Treatment plans can be made based on the specific nature of a person’s illness instead of treating a person in a general way for substance abuse addiction.
Second, a person who suffers from addiction or chronic substance abuse more than likely suffers from some type of mental health issue. The mental illness could be simply depression or anxiety or could be as severe as schizophrenia, PTSD, or bipolar disorder.
Another reason that dual diagnosis treatment is a better choice is that there are a wider variety of therapeutic options available to patients for treatment.
One size does not fit all when it comes to substance abuse treatment.
Some dual diagnosis treatment programs provide a wide variety of groups, treatment types, and activities. Some patients respond well to physical activity and outdoor/nature programs. Others may love yoga and meditation.
The more holistic the approach, the better the treatment can work. This is because there are various combinations of treatment that work uniquely for each individual person. Dual diagnosis programs typically take the time to get to know the individual fully, along with his or her family.
Each person and family has individual circumstances and needs that have to be addressed. Involving the family is something that dual diagnosis programs incorporate into treatment.
Another important thing to remember is that sometimes a person may not have already been diagnosed with a mental health disorder at the time they enter treatment for substance abuse.
In cases like this, it can only benefit the person to receive dual diagnosis treatment. This can be the lifesaving measure needed to teach someone about a new mental illness diagnosis. It can help a person make sense of their struggles and ensure that he or she is properly diagnosed.