What is a Dual Diagnosis Rehab?
As the name implies, dual diagnosis rehabilitation is a form of addiction treatment geared toward those who suffer from an additional illness aside from their substance use disorder. These are known as co-occurring disorders. Since various mental and emotional disorders such as manic depression or bipolar disorder often exacerbate the sufferer’s addiction (and vice versa), each condition must be treated in order to secure a full recovery.
Who Needs a Dual Diagnosis Rehab?
A large number of co-occurring disorders may complicate a person’s addiction. These include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, manic depression, PTSD, ADHD, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia and more. Many addicts begin using drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating. The effects of the drugs make them feel as if they have overcome the symptoms of their co-occurring disorder. Sometimes, the co-occurring disorder can remain undiagnosed for quite some time as a result. However, despite the appearance that substance abuse is making things better, it often makes things worse. Not only might the disorder remain undiagnosed, but the symptoms may appear much stronger once the drugs wear off. As tolerance to the drugs goes up, the symptoms of the addict’s co-occurring disorders may remain while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This can be a very dangerous mixture.
General Components of Treatment
Due to the relationship between the addiction and the co-occurring disorder, both must receive simultaneous treatment. Methods of care such as cognitive behavioral therapy allow the patient to work through both disorders simultaneously, while holistic methods such as meditation may help them to manage their thoughts and emotions with greater ease. Many co-occurring disorders will also require the prescription of a non-addictive medication, especially if the patient’s symptoms have previously remained unmedicated. Meanwhile, addiction education and support group meetings can help fight the urge to use. This combination of treatment approaches allows the addict to manage their recovery while also ensuring they feel no need to self-medicate any other disorders from which they might suffer.
Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Given the wide array of co-occurring disorders that may arise, dual diagnosis rehabilitation is a highly individualized form of treatment. Every patient receives the specific tools they need to overcome the unique set of obstacles that stands before them. If they still struggle with depression, it might not be a problem with their addiction recovery but rather a sign that they require different medication for their mood disorder. Compartmentalizing each disorder while treating them simultaneously allows the treatment team to account for such variables and test them individually. It is a very thorough form of treatment, and dual diagnosis patients often return higher success rates as a result.