Dual Diagnosis is the term used to describe someone who has been diagnosed with both alcohol or drug addiction
and a mental health condition like depression, eating disorders, PTSD, bipolar disorder, or other conditions. It’s a fairly common diagnosis, as mental conditions and addiction often go hand in hand. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association,
more than half of the people in rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction are also struggling
with a mental health disorder.
Detoxing and Dual Diagnosis
Believe it or not, mental health issues that are brought on by drugs and pre-existing mental health disorders can both create problems during detox. In fact, physicians working in rehab facilities
commonly prescribe anti-anxiety medications or forms of sedation to patients upon admission or before beginning the detox process due to the effects of psychosis, paranoia, and other mental health problems. Once sedated, physicians can make sure these patients don’t hurt themselves or others.
Despite the need for medication, patients who are struggling with a Dual Diagnosis must work doubly hard. The main objective is to ensure they receive adequate treatment and therapy for both the drug or alcohol addiction
and the mental health disorder at the same time. Essentially, you can’t tackle one without taking on the other.
How Does it Work?
Only a Dual Diagnosis rehab program can provide the level of therapeutic care that’s needed for true recovery. In addition to the medical support
provided during detoxification, psychiatric treatment will also play a large role in the process. Even after completing the detox phase of treatment, ongoing therapy will be necessary. This is to make sure that both the mental health condition and the addiction are being equally addressed. In the grand scheme of things, both conditions must receive equal amounts of attention and treatment. Without this unique plan of care, a relapse is highly likely.
Detox is Only the First Step
When struggling with a drug or alcohol dependence on top of a mental health condition, detox
is a first step in the journey back to health. For those with a Dual Diagnosis, rehab programs must also address:
Learn more about choosing the right detox facility for your needs.
- Personal Needs
- Therapy and Counseling
- Family Issues
- Aftercare Plans (ongoing therapy and support systems)
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