Dual diagnosis combines mental health and substance abuse treatment. Modern psychology understands that these two struggles overlap and that treating one isolated from the other doesn’t work.

For these patients, substance abuse manifests out of psychiatric disorder, meaning that until these individuals receive the help that they need in regard to their mental health challenges.

The real and lasting recovery from substance abuse that they are looking for is not a strong possibility.

Here is a brief overview explaining what dual diagnosis is and how it is treated:

Defining Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis explicitly regards the combination of mental illness and addiction.

People with more than one mental health challenges who do not have an addiction are said to have comorbid or co-occurring mental health challenges.

The distinction matters because it defines the course of treatment and the patients’ understanding of how relapse occurs.

Meeting Diagnostic Criteria

Meeting diagnostic criteria for certain mental health disorders poses a greater likelihood of substance abuse development.

On both the genetic and environmental level, these specific disorders are frequently entangled with addiction challenges.

Mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders, all lend themselves toward addictive vulnerabilities.

However, every case is different, and it is not necessarily true that a person diagnosed with one of these conditions will develop an addiction.

A dual diagnosis treatment center will carefully consider your situation to create a treatment plan that is unique to you.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Treatment options for dual diagnosis include a combination of in-patient and outpatient therapy based on severity, with the goal of transitioning entirely to outpatient therapy as recovery solidifies.

Treatment may also include medication and psychiatric follow-up to assist with challenges related to the diagnosis.

Programs will prioritize detoxing as the first step in recovery when addiction is severe.

Detox can take place with medication assistance or through total abstinence in a safe and medically staffed environment.

Dual diagnosis is recognized more often today than it was even a decade ago, spurring rehab facilities to open up everywhere. These facilities offer treatment protocols with respect to the dynamic between mental illness and substance abuse.

Although resources are increasing, improvements still need to be made in program design, as some prioritize substance abuse more than mental health, and others, vice versa.

Finding a balance between both is crucial to an individual’s recovery: they are two sides of the same coin.

The need for detoxification will vary depending on the severity of the addiction.

If the addiction is not as pressing as mental health challenges, emphasis on crisis management and proper counseling may come before detox measures.

Trained professionals will know the best protocol to follow for each patient.

So long as the patient finds dual diagnosis treatment centers that specialize in dual diagnosis, they will be provided with what they need to juggle addiction and mental illness.

Dual diagnosis treatment has its own unique protocols for recovery. The biggest thing to remember is that treatment for these conditions requires the management of issues that encourage each other.

Be mindful of this dynamic so you can find a center that has included this relationship in their process.

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