Dual Diagnosis: Mental Illness and Addiction

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 45 percent of people struggling with an addiction also have co-occurring emotional pain or some type of mental illness. Therapists refer to this combination of problems as a dual diagnosis. If not properly diagnosed and treated, you have a greater likelihood of slipping into a relapsed condition. Mental health clinics and conventional rehab facilities have long separated the types of care provided. Even today, few are experienced to admit clients with co-occurring conditions. The separatist ideology keeps many from receiving adequate care. The discovery that numerous addicts suffer from underlying emotional or psychological conditions has only come to light in recent years.

Dual Diagnosis Conditions

In the addiction treatment centers that offer care for co-occurring diagnosis, staff members receive special training and the necessary qualifications. Counselors, therapists and other employees understand the challenges that clients with these problems face. In addition to suffering from a chemical dependency, you might also battle:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit problems
  • Depression
  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress

Integrated Therapy

Upon admittance into a qualified dual diagnosis residential facility, every client undergoes an extensive physical and psychiatric evaluation that provides staff with the necessary information to begin a care plan. As a client, you are treated with dignity and respect, whether experiencing an emotional issue or walking in while under the influence of a chemical substance. After an initial orientation of your room, the facility and the grounds, you will meet with staff members and discuss the proposed treatment and recovery program. If battling a chemical dependency, individuals begin detoxification while under the supervised care of medical personnel. Following this process, customized care begins in the form of one-on-one and group sessions guided by a licensed practitioner.

Combining addiction treatment with emotional disorder or mental illness therapy requires integrated care. Depending on the specific mental health issue, clients may need psychotherapeutic medications in conjunction with counseling and therapy. Treating co-occurring problems simultaneously helps clients better understand why the dependency started. While at a facility, you also learn how to deal with anxiety attacks, depression or mood swings along with the environmental triggers that often instigate problems. Participating in aftercare programs increases the chances of not giving into relapse episodes. If you or a loved one are in need of treatment, stop self-medicating and get the help you need. Talk to a trained counselor from Alcohol Treatment Centers Washington DC today at (202) 747-0540

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