A dual diagnosis rehab center treats people who have both drug addiction and mental illness. These two conditions are often coexistent in people that regularly seek help for drug addiction and then relapse. Conventional substance abuse treatment does not work for people who have an underlying psychiatric condition that is left untreated.
Psychiatric problems often go undiagnosed at traditional drug rehabs because the symptoms of addiction and certain mental disorders are very similar. Many drugs also cause psychiatric symptoms, making it hard for addiction professionals not trained in dual diagnosis to recognize mental illness in a person actively abusing drugs or alcohol.
Dual diagnosis rehabs provide specialized diagnosis and rehab programs. An integrated treatment approach to addiction and mental disorders is a relatively new approach, only a few substance abuse rehabs offer dual diagnosis treatment. Many traditional drug addiction rehab centers do not treat individuals with psychiatric conditions and psychiatric facilities rarely have experience in addiction treatment.
Some substance abuse rehabilitation centers take an anti-medication stance that prohibits the treatment of mental health disorders with psychiatric medications. At facilities with this philosophy, persons with co-existing conditions are insufficiently treated and often made to feel that being dependent on any type of medication is wrong.
Substance abuse is frequently seen in people with undiagnosed mental illnesses who are self-medicating themselves. For example, a person suffering from depression may subconsciously turn to a drug that makes them feel happier, at least temporarily. If only the drug addiction is treated, the person is more likely to relapse when the next episode of depression occurs.
Dual addiction rehabilitation takes longer than traditional addiction rehab since both conditions need treatment. There is a wide range of mental illnesses including personality disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders and each requires a customized treatment plan. Nearly all rehabs offering dual diagnosis drug rehab are inpatient facilities in order to provide integrated care.
While people with a psychiatric condition and a substance abuse problem have historically been under-served, dual diagnosis treatment is proving effective in treating individuals who relapsed after conventional addiction treatment programs. With more providers of dual diagnosis care, the under-served population of persons suffering from two separate diseases can receive the help they need to recover and go on to lead productive lives.
How to tell if you have a Dual Diagnosis
A dual diagnosis is when you have another mental health problem alongside substance abuse. It can sometimes be difficult to spot the other mental health problem if you are in the midst of an addiction. Many of the symptoms of emotional/psychiatric disorders are similar to those experienced by people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. The dual diagnosis often becomes more apparent once a person is free of their addiction. It is important that you can learn how to identify some of the symptoms of dual diagnosis so as failure to do so could have serious consequences for your recovery from substance abuse.
There are a number of emotional/psychiatric problems that have been associated with a dual diagnosis. The most common include; depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. All of these have specific symptoms that signal their presence. During the first few weeks of withdrawal from addiction, it is normal to feel emotionally delicate, and during the early stages, withdrawal symptoms may involve anxiety, hallucinations, and depression If symptoms continue after the first few weeks then it is a signal that something is not right and help should be sought.
It is vital to identify any other mental health problems you might have because failure to do so could put you onto a path to relapse. It is unlikely that much enjoyment will be found in sobriety if you have to deal with these emotional/mental health difficulties. Recovery from addiction should be about happiness and release and you don’t get sober or clean to continue feeling miserable. The reality is that you don’t have to; if you seek help for any other problems you might have then a rewarding recovery is all the more likely to happen.
There is often a habit in the recovery movement to dismiss any symptoms that you might experience in recovery as being part of the recovery process. Well, meaning people might wrongly advise you to just stick with it and that you will soon begin to find happier times in recovery. If you are suffering from a dual diagnosis then this is unlikely to happen. Just waiting for things to get better might, in fact, be a dangerous move that will lead you back to addiction or even suicide. When it comes to mental health problems that you may be experiencing it is wise to seek professional help. Friends and other people in recovery from addiction can be a great resource but they should not have the final word when it comes to your mental health.
You will have a far better idea of what you are feeling is a normal part of recovery; if in the slightest doubt you should seek medical help. It really could make all the difference to a happy and fruitful recovery and a sober but miserable existence which is likely to end in relapse. You owe it to yourself to seek help if you have suspicions or if your loved ones begin to suspect that you have other unresolved problems that are making you hard to be around.