Understanding the Importance of Integrated Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Psychiatric health and addiction used to be considered separate entities. Today, addiction specialists understand the importance of integrated treatment for dual diagnosis, creating an all-inclusive recovery plan for the client.

Anxiety attacks, depressive episodes, mood swings, and psychotic breaks are all symptoms of underlying psychological issues that may exacerbate an already-existing addiction to food, drugs, alcohol, or sex.

Integrated Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

The importance of integrated treatment for dual diagnosis exists in a treatment plan that simultaneously addresses parallel co-occurring issues, which mutually affect a client’s recovery process. While it may be helpful to attend 12-step meetings on a regular basis and achieve total abstinence from all addictive substances, it is absolutely vital to assess, evaluate, and treat additional mental health issues, which may challenge a client’s commitment to ongoing recovery.

In a startling statistic from 2002, The Office of Applied Studies, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that only 12% of the 4 million American adults who suffered from a dual diagnosis actually received treatment for both conditions. Fortunately, there are treatment centers that understand the importance of treating dual diagnosis clients properly, to encourage successful recovery from both addiction and suffering from negative mental health setbacks.

By offering parallel treatment for both addiction and a diagnosis, the client can address the symptoms of each disorder successfully, achieving an overall well-balanced lifestyle. Meeting with a specialist who can appropriately diagnose a client who also suffers from mental health challenges is a vital tool in the ongoing recovery process. By addressing and acknowledging the existence of a co-occurring mental health issue, the client is then able to begin a treatment plan that encourages his or her comfort and safety.

Eating disorders, mood disorders, social phobias, and PTSD are among the additional challenges participants in recovery must face as they embark on the courageous journey of recovery. By addressing these additional issues in the hands of a compassionate clinical physician, the success rate of the client increases exponentially. Mental health professionals understand the importance of addressing both challenges to create a complete picture of recovery for the client.

Alternative treatments are available to address the specific symptoms of depression, anxiety, and mood and personality disorders. Singularly, these diagnoses can pose a serious threat to an individual if they go untreated; simultaneously, they can be deadly. The treatment of dual diagnosis patients and both of their diagnoses can dramatically increase the odds of a successful and happy road to mental health and recovery from addiction.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

When someone you know suffers from both an addiction and a mental health disorder, that condition is known as dual diagnosis. Many times those afflicted with a mental health issue will use drugs and alcohol to treat the symptoms of a mental health condition, whether it is depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder. Conversely, years of drug and alcohol abuse can contribute to the symptoms of a mental health disorder. These are two separate illnesses, which deserve individual treatment plans to create an integrated treatment plan for one person.

Fortunately, there is help. In today’s field of advanced psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment, the client has a much greater chance of achieving a holistically happy and healthy lifestyle, in the care of experienced health professionals.

Common Dual Diagnosis Conditions

Common co-occurring mental health conditions seen in clients today are: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These disorders can be debilitating, preventing addicts and alcoholics from wishing to seek outside help and escalating the effects of a co-occurring mental condition. Such conditions require specialized treatment in addition to recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Behavioral therapy, integrated group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and medication therapy are all ways in which wellness practitioners may aid the client on his or her road to recovery. Licensed therapists and treatment specialists are trained to identify the key indicators of each condition in order to treat the complete picture of the individual. Furthermore, if a client is displeased with the side effects of certain medications, a trained psychiatrist is able to identify imbalances and assess which changes should be made to create the ideal conditions for the client.

Dual diagnosis deals with a special kind of client: one who requires additional attention to parts of the mind, body, and spirit afflicted with both addiction and mental health condition symptoms. In creating a safe, protected environment for the client, where he or she can experience the consistency and calm required to address such issues and challenges, recovery is possible.

Detox from all drugs and alcohol and continued attendance of regular group therapy meetings specifically geared to treat addiction, along with individualized therapy and possible medication or alternative therapies, will aid in the long-term recovery of the client. Trained professionals understand that it is absolutely vital to address and treat underlying mental health conditions for a client with dual diagnosis. In the care of expert professionals in the field of recovery, the possibility of a happy, fulfilled life is greater than ever before.