Dealing with dual diagnosis can seem to be quite an uphill battle. Dual diagnosis refers to a situation whereby the patient has drug addiction or alcoholism coupled up with mental illness. However, integration of proper approaches in the treatment process can help the individual recover. It is worth noting that alcohol or drug dependencies and mental disorders have their own symptoms which can affect an individual both physically and psychologically. In addition to that, these symptoms interfere with an individual’s social and family life, and many of those with dual diagnosis find it difficult to interact socially with others.
Although alcohol or drug dependencies and mental disorders are linked to each other, it is worth noting that one does not cause the other. For starters, alcohol and drugs are used in many instances to treat mental disorders e.g. depression and anxiety. However this relief is only short term.
In the long run, alcohol and drug dependencies worsen the symptoms that they were initially treating. Secondly, it is worth noting that alcohol and drug abuse increase the risk of an individual having mental disorders. Although mental disorders can be attributed to other factors which include the environment or genetics, the use of alcohol and drugs may worsen the situation and cause the mental illness to be more pronounced.
Thirdly it is worth noting that substance abuse can worsen mental health problems. Substance abuse increases signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and may bring about new symptoms. In many instances, alcohol and drugs interfere with other medications e.g. mood stabilizers, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills, thus rendering them less effective and potentially even harmful. An important step that an individual with dual diagnosis can take is admitting that he or she has a substance abuse problem and a mental disorder.
It is worth noting that the recovery of an individual with dual diagnosis is dependent upon the successful, properly integrated treatment of both diseases. It follows that the dual diagnosis patient should seek treatment 800-235-1832 in a treatment facility offering a full spectrum of treatment, since combined treatment is the most effective for dual diagnosis cases. There are a number of factors that an individual should consider when seeking treatment for dual diagnosis. For starters, the individual should ensure that the treatment facility is licensed and accredited.
Secondly, the individual should ensure that the treatment programs offered in the treatment facilities are research-based treatment programs. Moreover, it is prudent for the individual to ensure that the treatment facility offers after-care programs. After-care addiction programs are instrumental in preventing relapse occurrences in individuals with dual diagnosis.
An individual should also enroll in a treatment program which includes basic education about substance abuse and mental disorders in its treatment programs. Information about dual diagnosis treatment centers can be retrieved from the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHA) which provides a listing of dual diagnosis treatment facilities.