Are you or a loved one suffering from both a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental illness? This is often known as a dual diagnosis. In order to treat both conditions, you need to start an integrated treatment plan. When choosing a treatment center, you also need to know whether it has both recovery experts and mental health specialists on staff who work together to treat people with a dual diagnosis.
Common Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders
The causal relationship between substance addiction and mental health issues may go both ways. People with mental health needs are at a higher risk of using substances to self-medicate. Those who use substances for a long time are more likely to develop mental illnesses.
In the latter scenario, some common co-occurring mental health conditions include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, personality disorders, depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. On a behavioral level, people with these conditions may self-isolate, neglect hygiene, and fail to manage work.
Common Treatment for People With A Dual Diagnosis
When substance addiction and mental health problems overlap, they can create very challenging situations to treat. For a dual diagnosis, each condition should be considered primary and receive intervention simultaneously. Inpatient rehabilitation is often the best way, and it takes longer for people with a dual diagnosis to heal and stabilize. Treatment will typically begin with detox.
Common treatment methods for individuals with a dual diagnosis include medically-assisted detox, medications, psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, individual or group counseling, supportive housing, and other support groups such as 12-step programs. In a word, it takes a full team of health experts to provide this specialized level of care that integrates both medical and mental health support.
Choosing the Right Treatment Program
Because of the dual expertise required to treat a dual diagnosis, not every addiction recovery center is adequately equipped to provide this level of specialized care. Only those with in-house psychiatric staff and mental health experts are able to help people with a dual diagnosis.
During clinical evaluation for a dual diagnosis, health professionals consider a wide range of factors. They will examine whether the person has a background marked by substance use that negatively affects their recreational exercises, work, and mental well-being and connections. In trying to tease out the layers of substance use-related symptoms and mental health symptoms, they offer a more comprehensive assessment.
There are a few practical tips for choosing the right dual diagnosis treatment program. First of all, you need to make sure that the program offers a long enough stay to fully address the complicated nature of your co-occurring conditions. Traditionally, addiction recovery programs last from 30 to 60 days. Trauma-informed programs may offer 90 days of programming to effectively stabilize recovering individuals before transitioning to normal life.
You also need to check if a treatment facility has state licensing from the appropriate regulatory bodies in both fields. Check the staff biographies and ask if both their recovery specialists and mental health professionals are licensed. Programs with specialized care also need to offer a full continuum of care. Ask alumni who completed the treatment program if the staff there integrates dual diagnosis treatment at every level of care.
Relapse Prevention and Aftercare
People who are recovering from dual diagnosis conditions still face the risk of relapse. Your treatment program should design and customize relapse prevention plans before you leave. Part of this plan may include aftercare which provides an additional level of transparency to ensure continued recovery. These aftercare programs may consist of medications, counseling, and support groups.
Family support is especially critical for recovering individuals with a dual diagnosis. Some aftercare services involve family members for continued education and support coaching. Because these people need a higher level of care even in the transition phase, there are many sober living homes designed to help. You can focus on your continued recovery in a well-supported environment.
Relying on a Strong Recovery Community
Although people recovering from a dual diagnosis may be more vulnerable, they can also depend more on their recovery community. If the opposite of addiction is a connection, then these people need the most out of positive connections. Being part of a recovery community can also help you develop healthy lifestyle changes. For example, support groups help individuals feel connected and are also powerful enforcement mechanisms for positive examples and role models.
A support network can help to hold individuals accountable for their recovery goals. Such accountability goes hand in hand with motivation in a strong recovery community. By regularly spending time with supportive people, you will regain a positive outlook on life. Addiction is treatable, and so is a dual diagnosis.
Do you know where to look for a treatment center that offers a specialized level of care for people with a dual diagnosis? You need to find one that has a full medical staff composed of both recovery experts and mental health professionals. You do not need to look beyond Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA. Our team has in-house psychiatric staff and licensed therapists. We take pride in our unique holistic methods, which are incremental to your sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on every stage of recovery, from both the physical to the mental. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer custom benefits. We provide luxurious comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, sleeping arrangements, and our organic garden. Our experienced recovery experts can be your support system by coaching you to cope with upcoming challenges. Call us at (800) 804-8714.