Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
The vast array of conditions and symptoms from the mental conditions and substance abuse make diagnosing the presence of both difficult. However, once the two conditions have been diagnosed, treatment is possible.
Treating co-existing disorders must be different from treating substance abuse alone or the person is likely to relapse. Treatment often comes in one of two forms. First, it may be treated separately but at the same time. One doctor treats the mental illness while the other treats the substance abuse. Each person creates their own plan for treatment with the hope of not making the other condition worse. This is not a very effective method of treatment.
The second is treatment in sequence, which means the two conditions are treated one after the other. Substance abuse is treated first with the underlying mental condition treated next. Unfortunately, the person often relapses after addiction treatment before getting the help they need for the mental illness.
The most effective method of treatment is when the person is treated for both conditions at the same time at the same treatment center. While more than one doctor may be on the case, they share information and work together on a comprehensive treatment plan. Because of the complexity of the two conditions, many people attend inpatient rehabilitation programs to give them the support they need for success.
An assessment of the person’s psychiatric health will be conducted for an accurate diagnosis of the mental condition. The person will begin treatment for the drug addiction, taking into consideration how it will impact the mental illness. Detoxification or removing the substance from the person’s system may move at a slower pace to avoid triggering symptoms of the mental condition.
Once initial detoxification from drugs or alcohol has been completed, a plan will be put into action to treat the mental condition and the triggers which cause drug use. Medication is often prescribed to control the symptoms of the mental condition while behavioral modification therapy is used to avoid substance abuse in the future. The person may attend support groups and participate in individual counseling. Alternative therapies, such as yoga, massage therapy, music therapy, nutritional counseling and more are commonly used in a dual diagnosis treatment plan.
A key component of treatment in this situation is relapse prevention. The person will often stay in therapy sessions long after they have been released from the rehab program. They will need continual support to help them avoid relapse and to ensure they continue the prescribed medication for their mental illness.
Treating two conditions in a dual diagnosis can be a complicated and lengthy process. However, if you find the right program that understands this situation, recovery is possible. If you or someone you love is struggling with dual diagnosis issues, please call Lighthouse Treatment Center today for help. Our caring team is highly specialized in dealing with dual diagnosis treatment. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. You don’t have to fight this alone, we can help.