Addiction is a disease that is closely connected to a person's mental health and their psychological state. Nearly half of all people in the U.S. with substance abuse problems are also dealing with symptoms of a mental health disorder.Since the advent of integrated treatment centers, rehabilitation has become more effective for anyone dealing with a dual diagnosis.
People suffering from co-occurring disorders can benefit from treatment that addresses their unique needs and provides them with tools to reduce both the symptoms of their addiction and the issues associated with their mental illness. Specialized dual diagnosis is necessary because people with co-occurring disorders have a higher risk of relapse than people who are suffering only from addiction.
The Development of Integrated Treatment
Mental illness has always been an issue for some people in recovery but in the past, the traditional method for treating patients was not integrated with mental health. Patients once had to use a parallel treatment program which meant that they received mental health services from one clinician while getting help for their substance abuse through a separate clinician.
After some time researchers discovered that this type of program was ineffective at helping patients recover that the treatment needed to be integrated to successfully rehabilitate people with a dual diagnosis. Initiatives began in the mid-1980s to combine mental health services and substance abuse treatment into one program.
In the process of this transition, treatment for substance abuse shifted from a confrontational approach to a more supportive one to meet the needs of people with serious mental health issues. New methods were developed to help motivate clients to succeed in their treatment and develop long-term goals for continuing their care. With the rise of integrated dual-diagnosis treatment, substance abuse services began to improve overall and patients increased their success in recovery.
The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Programs
With the advent of integrated treatment, patients in recovery have been able to experience the benefits of dual diagnosis programs. Treating both problems simultaneously results in the best outcome for each patient hoping to rid themselves of addiction.
This type of treatment provides counseling and therapy services with psychiatrists that handle mental illnesses and understand how it affects substance abuse. Patients can also receive special counseling for their addiction and begin to understand how the two problems are related and recognize the way they influence each other.
People in treatment can receive education about how their mental illness and addiction intersect while learning the best methods of dealing with these problems. Without this kind of knowledge and understanding of their problems they could end up back in the cycle of addiction. Relapse is a major risk for people with a dual diagnosis especially if they are not given the right kind of integrated treatment that will help them succeed.
Therapists that are trained to treat dual diagnosis patients provide special support in helping people recover from addiction and learn the skills to manage their mental health issues. Suffering from an addiction is already a difficult experience for anyone, but coping with the symptoms of a mental illness can make it so much harder to focus on recovery.
Dual diagnosis programs can treat each patient for whatever specific problem they are dealing with whether it is depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or personality disorders. These kinds of programs can also offer help for any type of drug addiction.
Since each mental illness interacts differently with certain kinds of drug use it is important for patients to get the individual help that they need to understand their own issues with addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is a tool that can lead people to more success in their recovery.