8 Things You Should Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment
by John Gary
Dual diagnosis is a condition involving mental health issues and substance abuse problems affecting an individual. The truth is that most of the time, those that are affected by a dual diagnosis actually are able to function quite normally and to the outside world, they seem perfectly fine. However, in order to help those that might be affected by this condition, you must first know the various combinations. No matter what though, there is always treatment with dual diagnosis available. Here are 8 things that you need to know about dual diagnosis treatment.
1. First of all, this is not a rare condition. In fact, there are some studies that reveal that up to 50 percent of those struggling with drugs/alcohol are also dealing with some sort of mental illness as well.
2. A dual diagnosis takes on many different forms. There can be any combo of addiction and mental illness that can qualify a person for a dual diagnosis. There are so many different options- the possibilities are nearly endless.
3. While there are treatment options available, you must understand that treating a dual diagnosis patient is very difficult. One of the reasons is because it’s difficult to know where the symptoms are coming from. For example, if you have a person that is addicted to drugs and is also suffering from depression, it’s hard to know which one of the two came first. After all, depression can be indicative of many different things, so it can be challenging for a medical professional to figure out the cause and treat it.
4. A dual diagnosis patient is also a high-risk patient. This is because dealing with a mental illness is a big enough challenge. However, when you also bring in the addiction factor and all the complications that entails, it’s pretty easy to see that those with dual diagnosis have high tendencies towards violence and suicide.
5. Unfortunately, since they are so difficult to treat, it’s very common for a dual diagnosis patient to only receive treatment for one of their issues. Statistics show that only about 12% of dual diagnosis patients are properly treated. However, when a patient is only treated for one issue, while improvement may be seen- it will be short-lived. This is why dual treatment is critical for a dual diagnosis patient so they are given a chance to recover.
6. Treatment for a dual diagnosis must focus on educating the patient about their disorders. Education may include both individual and group sessions as well as lectures on their particular situation. In order for a patient to properly manage their situation, it’s critical that they have a clearer understanding of it.
7. Simply putting a patient through detox is not going to cure their problem. There must be proper steps taken beyond the detox phase. They must be taught how to manage their problem and what steps to take when they feel like they’re getting out of control.
8. Of course, the best treatment will involve relapse prevention steps. After all, since both disorders must be treated properly in order to reach recovery- there must also be a relapse program available to guide patients on how to know if they are about to relapse and what to do.
You must understand that treating a dual diagnosis may take longer because there really is no “quick fix” available. A good program will work at the pace that is most comfortable for the patient.