There’s more to addiction than meets the eye. Science understands it to be a chronic disease of the brain. But therapists also note that sometimes it’s not the only disease on board. Here’s what you need to know about a dual diagnosis treatment program today.

Who Falls Victim to Addiction?

Counselor talking with patient about her dual diagnosis treatment programSome believe that genetics play a role in addiction. Others also consider the environment as a contributing factor. It’s not surprising to see that substance abuse runs in families. You also notice it in settings where peer groups approve of the practice.

There’s a third component–mental illness. Examples include anxiety, PTSD, and depression. When you seek help for a substance abuse problem, a counselor should administrator a dual diagnosis assessment. If you present with a co-occurring mental health disorder, there’s a whole spectrum of treatments available.

To be clear, having a background of drug abuse in your family doesn’t predestine you to follow suit. It does, however, increase the likelihood that you might struggle with the condition. The same goes for living in an accepting environment or dealing with a mental health disorder.

What Does a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Mean?

In simplest terms, a dual diagnosis treatment program refers to the presence of addiction along with a mental health challenge. You may be experiencing intrusive thoughts. Quieting them is possible with alcohol or opioids. However, when the effects of the drugs wear off, the disorder remains.

Maybe you feel nervous about being among people. You drink to loosen up a little. You become more talkative than usual. Now, you can’t leave the house without fortifying yourself with a few drinks.

People dealing with depression frequently suffer from a lack of energy. You may try using a stimulant drug to help you get out of bed. At first, it worked. Then, the drug took over.

It’s impossible to treat one condition without also addressing the other one. In the past, doing so was standard protocol. You might leave a facility after overcoming your physiological dependency, but the disorder was still there. It frequently resulted in relapse.

Therapists learned that co-occurring conditions feed off one another. Addiction makes a mental health disorder worse. Conversely, a psychiatric illness can cause a substance abuse problem to be more challenging to overcome. By paying attention to dealing with both, it’s possible to manage the conditions.

How Treatment Works

A dual diagnosis benefits from a multidisciplinary approach. It must start at detox. During this process, you withdraw from using a drug. Withdrawal symptoms can be physical and psychological.

Checking into a facility that specializes in the medical care aspect is vital. It ensures that you undergo safe monitoring during the process. Moreover, medical experts provide pharmacological support to make it a pain-free experience. As your body regains equilibrium, you also undergo psychotherapy.

Therapies usually include:

  • Behavioral therapy, which helps you replace dysfunctional patterns with healthy ones
  • Talk therapy as a means of talking through your plans for sobriety
  • Group therapy that introduces you to accountability for relapse prevention
  • Medication management for the co-occurring mental health condition
  • Goal-setting that enables you to continue treatment after discharge

Detox happens quickly. It takes about five to seven days to break a physiological addiction. You’ll still be dealing with cravings, but your body won’t believe it’s dying without the drug. Because you underwent a dual diagnosis assessment and began treatment, you’re ready to continue.

Work with Experts in the Field Who Understand Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

Although there’s plenty of science to back up the importance of treatment for both conditions, not every facility offers it. Look for one that routinely assesses clients for co-occurring conditions. Next, look for a whole-person approach to care. Examples include holistic treatment, gender-specific care, and one-on-one counseling.

When you’re ready to quit using drugs, our caring therapists want to help you with detox and dual diagnosis treatment program. You don’t have to keep living in the vicious cycle of drug abuse. Call Serenity House Detox at 866-516-8356 for immediate assistance.