A Snapshot of Rehab

A Snapshot of Rehab

Getting the right diagnosis at the beginning of drug rehab can increase the likelihood of treatment success

When a person enters a drug treatment program, getting a proper diagnosis can greatly increase the likelihood of treatment success. Dual Diagnosis treatment centers offer diagnosis and treatment of both mental illness and addiction. These disorders are often co-occurring. Without proper treatment for both, the chances of relapse are much higher. The right diagnosis can mean the difference between a life free from the control of drugs and an uncertain future dictated by addiction.

Mental Illness

If is often difficult to determine whether mental illness is causing addiction or addiction is causing the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental illness to surface. The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines the condition as one that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood, affecting his or her ability to carry out daily activities or to relate to others. People with the same mental illness diagnosis often have different symptoms or manifestations of the disease. Getting a proper mental illness diagnosis allows doctors and therapists to design the right rehab program for the person struggling with addiction.

A mental illness is never the result of one event in a person’s life. Mental illness can be genetic or be brought on by lifestyle, chemical imbalances and environment. People with a family history of mental illness are at an increased risk of developing the disease. Traumatic life events, a stressful home or work environment and the structure of the brain can also increase a person’s risk of developing mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis

A Dual Diagnosis describes a person with the co-occurring disorders of mental illness and addiction of some kind. A person struggling with drug addiction can also have a mood disorder, or someone with a social anxiety disorder may also struggle with drug addiction. Treating one condition without addressing the other creates a program that is out of balance and incomplete. When a person struggles with mental illness, he or she may reach for a drug to deal with the symptoms of that mental illness. Medicating the problem in this way does not get to the root cause, nor does it address the underlying issues causing the addictive behaviors. For example, the Mayo Clinic reports that up to half of the people who suffer from bipolar disorder also struggle with alcoholism. They cite inherited traits, depression, anxiety and mania as some of the symptoms of the disorder that contribute to alcoholism.

Dual Diagnosis treatment programs specialize in the simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of addiction and mental illness. According to Psychology Today, addiction is often inextricably linked with trauma, anxiety, depression and chemical imbalance. As the addict attempts to regulate and relieve the pain associated with the mental illness, he finds he has created a new problem that makes the other more complex. By discovering and treating the mental illness, the addiction can be appropriately addressed and a proper treatment plan implemented.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis is a relatively new approach to the treatment of mental illness and addiction in the medical and mental health communities. Prior to the 1990’s, people with addiction were treated separately from those struggling with mental illness. Patients were often denied treatment for their mental illness until they were clean and sober. The mental health community began to realize the important correlation between addiction and mental illness. Studies showed that treating one without the other increased the incidence of addiction relapse. Dual Diagnosis treatment now offers hope to those who struggle in both areas.

When a person enters a Dual Diagnosis treatment center, treatment is balanced between the mental illness and the addiction. A combination of psychotherapy, group therapy, medication and holistic options are used to treat the entire person. No area of a person’s life goes untouched by addiction and mental illness, so no treatment option is left unexplored when it comes to healing both the body and the mind. Individual counseling sessions, family counseling, nutrition education, exercise, meditation and spirituality are all part of a comprehensive program of treatment at Dual Diagnosis facilities. With the right combination of medication, psychotherapy and other therapies, the persons struggling with co-occurring disorders can learn to live an addiction-free life.

Addiction and mental illness go hand-in-hand. It is often difficult for therapists and physicians to determine whether the addiction is being caused by the mental illness or vice versa. Dual Diagnosis treatment centers specialize in meeting the unique needs of those who struggle with both addiction and a mental illness such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia. With the proper diagnosis, people with these co-occurring disorders can get the help they need. If you or a loved one struggles with mental illness and addiction, we are here for you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.