Dual diagnosis programs help patients that have both an addiction and a diagnosable mental health condition. While all drug and alcohol treatment focuses on mental health recovery in some way, dual diagnosis addresses the more severe issues and the connection between mental health and substance abuse. The belief that dual diagnosis programs work on is that neither addiction nor mental health can be treated individually, or the addict will simply relapse as they are highly connected.
What Conditions can Dual Diagnosis Enhanced Treat
According to the National Institute of Health, dual diagnosis is most effective for the treatment of conditions such as
- Personality disorders
When entering into a dual diagnosis treatment program, addicts will first be evaluated to determine if the mental health condition came first, leading to the addiction; or if the addiction was responsible for the development of a mental health condition
Detox must occur as the first component of a dual diagnosis program. Before extensive mental health treatment can take place, the drugs must be allowed to leave the patient’s system. This process can be medicated or unmedicated, but health monitoring is offered to ensure that patients remain healthy
Following the detox process, the extensive part of the dual diagnosis program can take place. The course of treatment depends entirely upon the type of addiction, and the specific mental health condition. In many cases, where a patient may be at risk for suicidal or volatile behaviors, medication is used as appropriate.
The most effective dual diagnosis programs are inpatient treatment, as this offers more security, and allows for a more intensive program.
What Happens After Dual Diagnosis?
Individuals being treated for mental health conditions and addiction or alcoholism need ongoing care following their release from a treatment program. Ongoing therapy, medication use, and follow up to ensure that the mental health issue is kept under control is essential or the cycle can simply begin all over again.
A patient’s options following a dual diagnosis program include:
- Ongoing outpatient care from a rehab facility
- Psychiatric treatment from a private psychologist
- Treatment from a family doctor
If you know someone that has a mental health condition and an addiction, urge them to get treatment, as they fall into a high-risk category for many complications, including self-harm. Relapse rates are already very high for those that just suffer from addiction alone, and that increases even further when mental health comes into the equation. Fortunately, there are recovery options at Fort Lauderdale Addiction Treatment Center.