When someone with a drug or alcohol addiction is also diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s known as a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis, also known as a co-occurring disorder, requires separate treatments for the addiction and the mental condition, but the treatments should ideally be integrated for the best possible chances of long-term recovery.
Dual diagnosis treatment is complex and requires professional help in a drug treatment center. To learn more about the therapy options available, call Union Drug Rehab at (908) 329-2286.
Dual diagnosis is far more common than once thought. Recent studies have found that around half of those who have a serious mental illness are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, and half of those who have a drug addiction and a third of those with an addiction to alcohol also have a mental illness.
The reasons for this high prevalence of co-occurring disorders include the fact that many people with a mental illness use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, and on top of that, drugs and alcohol almost always make a mental illness worse. Additionally, drugs and alcohol can cause the onset of a mental illness that didn’t previously exist.
While any type of mental illness can accompany a drug or alcohol addiction, some are more commonly associated with substance abuse and dependence than others.
Seeking treatment for co-occurring disorders through a dual diagnosis treatment center is critical for getting the best possible treatment for each illness. Centers that specialize in this type of diagnosis are highly experienced and knowledgeable concerning best practices for treating each condition.
Treating each illness is a meaningful collaboration among physicians and mental health professionals on both treatment teams, and the treatment for one illness is administered with the other illness in mind.
Three types of therapy are used to treat each illness in a co-occurring disorder:
Once treatment is complete, patients are provided with an individualized aftercare plan that eases the transition from rehab back home and helps prevent lapses, which can lead to a relapse of the addiction.
The typical aftercare plan will include continued individual, group, and family therapy, participation in community recovery groups, ongoing evaluations of the mental illness and assessments of the medications used to treat them, and regular check-ins with a case worker who monitors the plan and revises it according to new or changing needs.
Other components of the aftercare plan may include vocational rehab, help with finding safe housing, or a short-term or long-term stay at a sober living facility.
Learn about the newest dual diagnosis treatment and aftercare plans when you call Union Drug Rehab at (908) 329-2286.
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