It was once believed that mood disorders and other mental conditions were a separate ailment than substance abuse. But, with time and research, it has been discovered that there is a close tie between the two psychological phenomena. And, it has also been discovered that combining therapy that addresses the causes of both mental issues and addiction can be beneficial to those seeking recovery from both issues. This type of therapy is called dual diagnosis.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Anyone diagnosed with both substance abuse disorder and a concurring mental health ailment will be determined as dual diagnosis. According to research provided from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the year 2014, 7.9 million Americans are classified as dual diagnosis. And, sadly, most of these individuals don’t get the help they need. Without combined treatment, those struggling with both addiction and mental ailments may not get the medication, coping skills, and education they need to prevent relapse.
What Differs with a Dual Diagnosis Program?
Instead of simply addressing addiction, dual diagnosis programs work on addressing both addiction and mental ailments as they may play hand in hand. Mental illness can develop as a result of drug abuse. Or, drug abuse can be the result of self-medicating the symptoms of a mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, or other mental/mood disorders. Either way, by addressing both ailments simultaneously, individuals can come to reality about why they have developed addiction and how to effectively develop the skills needed to stay sober and get the best treatment for mental conditions.
What Does a Dual Diagnosis Program Include?
A dual diagnosis program has to address mental ailments while concurrently preparing individuals to live outside treatment walls without the use addictive substances. To do so, dual diagnosis programs may include:
- Specialized counselors, medical professionals, and caseworkers which have experience and training dealing with how addiction and mental illness affect individuals concurrently.
- Simultaneous treatment of both mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
- Education on the importance, psychological necessity, and management of medical treatments such as antidepressants.
- Addressing and confrontation of both mental ailments and addictive behaviors in a supportive, compassionate environment so that true healing may be obtained.
- The inclusion of loved ones with education, coping mechanisms, and relationship boundaries so that all support may be involved in obtaining lasting healing once treatment concludes.
Getting Help with the Dual Diagnosis Program at Simple Path Recovery
Unless you’ve been diagnosed with a mental ailment in the past, you won’t know if you’ll be able to benefit from a dual diagnosis program until you are assessed. Upon your enrollment into treatment, you’ll be given an assessment to determine the programs you can best benefit from. During this assessment, you’ll be examined by both medical and psychological professionals to determine your needs during treatment.
If you’re ready to live free from addiction and address your inner demons brought on by mental ailments, the dual diagnosis program at Simple Path Recovery may be able to help you. To speak about your initial assessment and where your recovery journey begins, contact us today!