The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Rehab: Dual Diagnosis Treatment Arizona
Decades ago, treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol was considered a completely separate issue from mental health treatment. If you or a loved one needed dual diagnosis treatment Arizona, there were few options. If a person was diagnosed with a mental health disorder in addition to substance addiction, these were treated at two different places, and in some cases, the mental health disorder would be disregarded altogether.
Modern treatment modalities recognize that mental disorders and substance use are often intertwined and aim to treat these disorders simultaneously. Treatment programs that specialize in dual diagnosis focus on identifying all factors that contributed to their substance addiction, including mental disorders that may have gone undiagnosed for years.
What Is A Dual Diagnosis?
You may have heard the term dual diagnosis, but what is exactly is it? Dual diagnosis (sometimes referred to as a co-occurring disorder)is when a person is diagnosed with a mental disorder while also battling drug or alcohol addiction. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 7.9 million people in the United States are dealing with substance addiction along with a mental health disorder.
Research has not been able to determine whether the addiction or a mental health disorder comes first. In some instances, people may experience mental health symptoms first and turn to drugs or alcohol to cope, though this often makes mental health symptoms worse. In other cases, it is theorized that the effects of prolonged drug or alcohol abuse can trigger mental health disorders.
In dual diagnosis individuals, symptoms of mental illness and substance addiction are often similar, making it harder to distinguish the two. From mood swings to depression to delusional thoughts, the substance abuse and mental disorders are very similar and present unique challenges in the treatment environment.
Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important?
Treating a person with a dual diagnosis is somewhat different from treating substance addiction on its own and requires specialized programming that increases the chances of success. By choosing a treatment plan that addresses them both, providers can better identify root causes of the substance addiction, understand the connection between the two disorders, and help the person develop the skill necessary to navigate both the mental illness and the substance use disorder.
Trained clinicians work with dual diagnosis individuals to address psychological issues like trauma, depression, PTSD, and anxiety while giving them the tools they need to achieve and maintain recovery. Individual and family counseling, support groups, inpatient or outpatient treatment, medication, and education have proven to be effective for treating co-occurring disorders.
When treating a person with a dual diagnosis, it’s imperative to give equal attention to both the mental disorder and the substance abuse. This is called an integrated treatment approach and it’s critical for recovery and aftercare. Dual diagnosis treatment is designed to help the person progress toward recovery by learning about underlying issues like past trauma, recognize and combat and dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors, as well as identify triggers. Strategies are then provided coping with life’s challenges without turning to drugs or alcohol and learning to navigate life as a sober person.
Finding the Right Treatment Program
Choosing a treatment program that addresses both the mental disorder and the substance abuse addiction is a decision that should be made carefully. Rehab programs specializing in co-occurring disorders provide a comprehensive approach to recovery that is most effective for those with a dual diagnosis.
As with any quality substance abuse treatment program, dual diagnosis programs also provide medically supervised 24-hour detox services staffed by trained personnel that ensure that the withdrawal process is safe and physical symptoms are effectively managed.
Ongoing Support After Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Receiving quality dual diagnosis treatment is extremely important in the recovery process but aftercare plays a major role in long-term sobriety. A strong support system has been proven to be a major factor in preventing relapse. After successfully completing a dual diagnosis treatment program, the focus shifts to maintaining sobriety and stabilizing co-occurring mental disorders. Aftercare gives the person the support needed to reintegrate into society and makes the transition as smooth as possible.
Many individuals who struggle with co-occurring disorders have strained relationships with their families and friends, typically resulting after years of substance abuse. Treatment works to acknowledge and repair these relationships because a strong support system is vital to recovery. Aftercare programs build on the skills learned in recovery and stress the importance of nurturing positive relationships.
For someone in recovery, going back to normal daily activities can be overwhelming, which is why a complete aftercare plan is vital. Aside from building on the coping skills learned in treatment, aftercare can connect the recovering person with resources like transitional housing, transportation, and ongoing individual and group counseling. Aftercare programs also emphasize strengthening relationships with supportive friends and family.
If you or a loved one are searching for dual diagnosis treatment Arizona, SpringBoard Recovery’s team of trained professionals provide a range of treatment options ranging from medically-supervised detox to aftercare services. We focus on conquering addiction and preventing relapse through an evidence-based treatment approach.