A dual diagnosis is made when a patient admitted to an addiction treatment program is found to have a mental illness in addition to a substance addiction. A dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, requires that each illness be treated separately, but treatments must be integrated so that the patient has a better chance at a full recovery.
Dual diagnosis is more prevalent than previously believed. Recent research found that half of all people with a drug addiction and one-third of those with an alcohol addiction also have a mental illness. Additionally, one-third of people who have any type of mental illness and half of those with a severe mental illness also have an addiction to a psychoactive substance.
Experts point to two facts to explain the high incidence of dual diagnosis:
The most common mental illnesses that accompany an addiction are clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder, but any number of mental illnesses can co-occur with substance dependence.
Eating disorders are sometimes associated with stimulant addiction and are characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise, stemming from low self-esteem and a skewed body image.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by being the victim of or witness to a traumatic event and results in nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, emotional instability, and anxiety. PTSD is often associated with alcohol abuse.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive or ritualistic behaviors that help ward off intrusive thoughts. Sedative abuse is sometimes related to OCD.
Treatments for a co-occurring disorder need to be separate since each illness has its own treatment needs, but they must also be integrated due to the link between the illnesses.
Pharmacotherapy is the administration of drugs to treat the mental health disorder.
Psychotherapy is “talk therapy” and helps patients learn about both illnesses as well as identify unhealthy patterns of thought and replace them with healthy ways of thinking.
Behavioral therapy helps patients become aware of self-destructive behaviors and replace them with healthy ways of acting.
A dual diagnosis treatment program at Lansdale Drug Rehab Centers is the best treatment option for co-occurring disorders. Because these programs specialize in treating both mental illnesses and addictions, they ensure full integration of treatment through a collaborative effort across treatment teams.
Treatment for co-occurring disorders starts with medical detox. Drugs will be administered to help relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and treat or prevent dangerous medical conditions that may accompany withdrawal from alcohol or central nervous system sedatives.
After detox, a number of addiction treatment therapies will be used to address the complex psychological issues, including the mental illness that has contributed to the addiction.
Once treatment has been successfully completed, an individualized aftercare program provides ongoing support to help ensure long-term recovery. The aftercare program will address both the addiction and the mental illness and will include ongoing therapy and evaluation of the mental illness and the medications used to treat it as well as participation in at least one recovery group. Depending on the individual’s needs, it may also include vocational rehab or a stay in a sober living facility to ease the transition back into everyday life.
Give Drug Treatment Centers Lansdale a call today at 215-383-2672, and speak to an addiction specialist. Let them help you find rehab facilities that fit your needs.