Last Updated on January 22, 2021 by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
If you’re living as an addict, you know better than anyone just how much your overall mental health influences you to drink or use.
Maybe you’ve tried to get sober in the past, but feel like your mental health makes true, lasting recovery impossible.
You’re looking for a better alternative.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dual diagnosis treatment.
Remember, neither an addiction nor a mental health issue is your fault — and you don’t have to live with either option for the rest of your life.
Read on to understand how the right treatment for co-occurring disorders can help you to live a sober, peaceful, and happier life.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
First, let’s make sure you understand what to expect from a dual diagnosis treatment center.
People who have some sort of mental health problem are two times more likely to struggle with addiction. Now more than ever before, addiction treatment centers are exploring the link between mental health and addiction.
Someone who has both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue has what is professionally referred to as “co-occurring disorders.” This means that, in many cases, traditional detox and rehabilitation programs may not always work for them.
That’s because they’re only actually treating one facet of their illness. Those with a dual diagnosis may also struggle to follow the rules and structure of a traditional treatment program or even the 12 Steps created by Alcoholics Anonymous.
When you check into a dual diagnosis treatment facility, you’ll likely participate in both individual and group therapy sessions. You may also receive nutritional counseling, family therapy, pharmacological support, and even benefit from a smaller staff to patient ratio.
So, why should you consider dual diagnosis treatment?
1. You’ll Get an Accurate Mental Health Assessment
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis happens in the mental health world just as it can in the medical world.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed with a mental illness — or likewise, never diagnosed in the first place — it can be hard to develop an effective and lasting treatment plan when it comes to addiction.
When you enter into a dual diagnosis treatment facility, you’ll get the best possible psychological assessment.
You’ll then work with your counselors to decide which kind of therapy is likely to be the most effective for treating your disorder and your addiction.
2. You’ll Better Understand What Triggers Your Addiction
A huge part of dual diagnosis treatment is understanding how your mental health triggers your addiction.
You’ll learn to identify these triggers as early as possible. If you have family members living with you, your team may also help them to understand how to recognize and help you to avoid or cope with your potential triggers.
3. You Can Find the Right Medication
For years, alcohol, drugs, and even destructive behavior were all your means of self-medicating.
Perhaps you were afraid of pharmaceutical medications. Maybe you thought they’d never be able to work for you. In some cases, these pharmaceutical medications may have been a part of your addiction as a whole.
It’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious and unsure about taking medication to help you with your mental illness.
That’s why you need the support, expertise, and medical monitoring that a dual diagnosis treatment center can provide.
The staff will constantly ensure that you’re taking your medication the right way. They’ll give you small dosages at first, monitor your physical and mental reaction to them, and make adjustments accordingly.
When taken correctly, you’ll be amazed by how much of a difference these medications can make in your life.
4. You Can Develop Effective Coping Mechanisms
We know that you likely used drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain of living with a mental illness.
This means that you never actually learned how to develop effective coping mechanisms when it comes to your mental health. You used your addiction to numb the pain because you felt as though having to live a sober life with your mental health conditions was impossible.
You may have even thought that suicide was your only option.
In a dual diagnosis treatment center, you’ll learn the best ways to live with your mental health issues. You’ll understand the scientific and personal reasons behind your mental health, understand what helps you to cope, break damaging thought patterns and end destructive behavior cycles.
Most importantly, you’ll learn how to ask for help.
5. It’s Simply a More Comprehensive Recovery Plan
Above all, dual diagnosis treatment is just a more comprehensive recovery plan than some traditional facilities.
It’s not just about treating the addiction itself.
It’s about looking at you as a whole person. This means your physical and mental health, how your addiction and mental illness influence each other, and the changes you can make to get your life back.
Are you considering entering into a facility that specializes in helping those with co-occurring disorders? Let’s talk about how you can get help now.
Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Right for You?
If you’re even thinking about entering into dual diagnosis treatment, you’ve already taken an incredible first step on your journey to recovery.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in treatment before, or if this is your first time considering rehabilitation. You’re already taking back control over your life, and you deserve a second chance.
We can help you to get it.
Whether you’re interested in private detox, are interested in alternatives to a traditional 12-step program, or need medically assisted treatment, we’re here for you.
Reach out to us to get started.