About Rehabilitation of Dual Diagnosis Patients

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    About Rehabilitation of Dual Diagnosis Patients
    About Rehabilitation of Dual Diagnosis Patients
    Addiction and mental illness often run hand-and-hand. Fortunately, mental health and addiction treatment professionals are catching on and treating both conditions together.
  • Rehab for Dual Diagnosis Patients

    Few people who know an addict or have struggled with addiction themselves would argue that addicts are sane people. They often do things to accommodate their disease that make them cringe in horror during fleeting moments of lucidity, only to return to the same behavior over and over again. Whether or not all addicts are struggling with mental disorders in addition to their addictions, however, is up for debate. Some people, when drugs are eliminated completely, seem to get into the flow of life, while others do not. Those others might very well have a compound problem that is best addressed in a treatment program that specializes in treating people with dual diagnosis.
  • What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

    A dual diagnosis occurs when someone has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. Historically, addiction and mental disorders have been treated separately, but more and more substance abuse and mental health professionals are finding that treating both simultaneously is most effective. The most common mental disorders that are linked to alcohol and drug addicts are depression, anxiety, personality disorders and schizophrenia.


  • Mental Disorders and Addiction

    Struggling with anxiety or crippling depression, a woman cracks open a six-pack or a bottle of pills to drown out the demons and never stops until life becomes absolutely unbearable; that's exactly how it happens much of the time. The person with a mental disorder often turns to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with her condition and compounds her problem in the process. Other times she begins as a relatively healthy person whose experimentation with illicit substances gets beyond her control and a mental condition is born from a lifetime of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Either way, using alcohol or illegal drugs as a means of coping with everyday problems often leads to compound problems that are best addressed by stopping the drug or alcohol use as soon as possible.
  • Identifying Dual Diagnosis

    Though dual diagnosis drug treatment centers are abound, the process of discovering which addicts belong there is difficult. The problem often begins with the fact that the symptoms of mental disorders and addiction are often the same, as are the effects. Being able to tell whether or not an addict will be one of those people who get better simply by removing drugs is often a matter of waiting to see the outcome. If an addict suspects he may have a mental disorder it is probably his best bet to look into a dual diagnosis treatment center. There are mental health professionals there that are adept at both treating and diagnosing both conditions.
  • Rehabilitation

    Like traditional drug treatment, dual diagnosis programs last for at least 3 months and include detoxification followed by therapy. The primary difference between the two is the comprehensive approach that counselors take in treating patients. The addicts in a dual diagnosis program are taught to deal with two illnesses that feed off of one another, as opposed to one or the other separately. Rather than addressing addiction in one room and depression in the other, mental illnesses and addiction are addressed under the same umbrella as two parts of one big problem.
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