Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When people think of addiction treatment, they may imagine an inpatient drug rehab program that features addiction counseling and support groups. Although this may be true, a treatment option gaining popularity for substance abuse is dual diagnosis services. If you or a loved one is living with an addiction, it is helpful to know what dual diagnosis treatment is, so you have an understanding of whether this form of treatment may be warranted in your situation.

What is Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment?

To understand the meaning of dual diagnosis addiction treatment, it is first important to recognize the overlap between mental health conditions and addictions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about half of people who have a mental illness will also live with a substance use disorder, which is the clinical term for an addiction, at some point during their lives. The reverse is also true, meaning that around half of people with addictions will also experience a mental health disorder during their lifetimes.

In some cases, a mental illness may occur first, and a person may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, which can lead to addiction. In other instances, drug abuse may alter the brain and lead to the development of a mental health disorder. Additionally, sometimes, both addiction and mental illness can develop in response to genetics or environmental stressors like trauma.

Regardless of whether the addiction or the mental illness comes first, the reality is that it is necessary to treat both conditions. If an addiction goes untreated, it is difficult to recover from a mental illness. Similarly, if a person receives treatment for an addiction but not for a co-occurring mental health disorder, they may return to drug use when mental health symptoms worsen.

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment is any program that takes into consideration both mental illness and addiction. A provider who offers dual diagnosis services will ensure that patients receive treatment for both mental health and substance abuse, so they can fully recover. The term “dual diagnosis” refers to a person who has both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. In some cases, they may be called co-morbid conditions or co-occurring disorders.

How is a Dual Diagnosis Treated?

While each person’s treatment plan will vary based upon their individual needs, what is known is that individuals with a co-occurring disorders need treatment for both mental illness and addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is therefore comprehensive and evaluates symptoms related to mental illness and addiction. Typically, treatment will involve behavioral approaches like counseling, paired with medications. For example, a person may participate in medication-assisted treatment for addiction, and/or take medications to address mental health conditions like depression, while also working with a therapist for individual counseling sessions.

Some counseling approaches have been found to be particularly effective for dual diagnosis treatment, according to NIDA. These approaches include:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy, often abbreviated as CBT, helps people to replace unhelpful thoughts and behaviors with healthier ways of thinking and behaving. It is often used in dual diagnosis treatment.
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Also called DBT, this therapy modality is useful in dual diagnosis addiction treatment, because it was developed to address drug use, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and self-harm.
    • Assertive Community Treatment: This is a general treatment approach that provides individualized services to people within their communities. Under his approach, a person receives case management services and is linked to a variety of resources that can help them overcome both mental health issues and addictions.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment

While receiving dual diagnosis treatment is critical for those who live with both a mental illness and addiction, the reality is that many people do not get the services they need. According to recent data, 52.5% of those with a dual diagnosis get no treatment, whereas 34.5% receive mental health services only. Just 9.1% receive both mental health and substance abuse services.

Some reasons for not getting adequate dual diagnosis addiction treatment are as follows:

  • Not knowing where to go for treatment
  • Being unable to afford services
  • Belief that treatment will not help or is not needed
  • Lack of time
  • Concerns about confidentiality or being judged negatively by others

Despite some barriers to treatment, there are quality, affordable dual diagnosis services available, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength. For those seeking dual diagnosis treatment in the Palm Beach area, Comprehensive Wellness Centers is located in Lantana, Florida, and we offer multiple levels of care, including residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient services. We also offer a mental health program, which includes psychiatric care, pharmacogenetic testing, and individual and group counseling, making us an ideal fit for those with a dual diagnosis. Contact us today to learn more about our dual diagnosis addiction treatment services. If you’re concerned about cost, rest assured that we do accept insurance, in addition to offering affordable payment plans. Our admissions team is happy to speak with you about finances.

What Makes Us Unique?

If you’re considering treatment at Comprehensive Wellness Centers, you may be interested in what sets us apart from other dual diagnosis addiction treatment centers. In addition to offering a mental health program, we provide unique therapeutic interventions that ensure you receive the best care possible. For example, we utilize pharmacogenetic testing, which allows us to assess your genetic variations in order to provide you with medications that are most likely to be effective for you. We also use brain mapping, which allows us to track impulses and patterns in the brain and align mental health treatment to each patient’s specific needs. Representatives are available now if you have more questions about our unique approach.

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