What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis occurs when a patient struggles with both a mental health disorder and an alcohol or drug addiction. Addicted individuals may also struggle with disorders that include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or personality disorders without their knowledge. Over time, the lack of treatment for one condition can exacerbate the other.
Mental health disorders have symptoms that are unpleasant, and addicts use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate the disorder. Drug and alcohol use offer temporary relief from psychological symptoms. However, it will make the mental health issue worse in the long run. Significant distress in an occupation, relationships, finances and physical health are common in those who have a dual diagnosis. The lack of stability in mood combined with substance abuse makes it almost impossible to gain control of his or her life. This is why a dual diagnosis patient must be treated at an inpatient detox and residential rehab for both the mental health issue and addiction.
To accurately diagnose and help a dual diagnosis patient, substance abuse must be eliminated for a period of time. This allows true psychological symptoms to surface without being tainted by drugs and alcohol. Detoxification in such situations should be monitored and take place within a licensed dual diagnosis facility, enabling doctors, nurses and therapists carefully to monitor and assist with physical withdrawal and psychiatric symptoms. Continuing with residential treatment after inpatient detox gives the patient time to stabilize mood and learn how to manage symptoms produced by the mental health disorder without using drugs or alcohol.
Dual Diagnosis Inpatient Detoxification
Our hospital has a state-of-the-art detoxification facility, and Lakeview Health’s staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We closely monitor the progress of patients detoxing in our drug and alcohol medical facility. Physical and psychological assessments are made daily, and each member of our multidisciplinary team participates in the treatment plan for the addict. Lakeview Health’s doctors make every attempt to use medications for mental health symptoms that will not be addictive. When the dual diagnosis patient is properly medicated for mental health symptoms, the risk of relapse decreases.
Patients with a dual diagnosis are advised to attend both inpatient medical detox and residential drug rehab to stabilize their mental health. Doctors in an inpatient detox can alleviate mental health symptoms and help decrease substance abuse cravings, giving the patient a chance to gain control over the mental health disorder and behaviors related to substance abuse.
Dual Diagnosis Program
Lakeview Health’s multidisciplinary treatment team offers programs that are customized to fit individual patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Lakeview Health’s Dual Diagnosis Program Offers:
- Medication management
- Mood stabilization and continued monitoring by doctors
- Relapse prevention techniques for addiction
- Education on coping skills for managing mental health disorders
- Resolution of underlying issues contributing to dual diagnosis
- Counseling with family or significant others to increase awareness about dual diagnosis
Doctors, therapists and nurses will work with the patient, from initial admission to discharge, on an aftercare plan to reduce the risk of re-hospitalizations, additional legal and financial problems, homelessness, suicide, violence, sexual and physical victimization, incarceration or the development or worsening of serious illness.
Everyone dealing with dual diagnosis-both patients and loved ones-should realize the importance of mental health medications. Even if you feel better and symptoms have decreased, you cannot stop taking your mental health medications. This increases the risk of relapsing on substance abuse. If you feel like you want to stop your medication, make sure to consult your psychiatrist first.
What are the Benefits of a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?
Dealing with an addiction is always difficult, but those who struggle with more than one issue may find themselves in a uniquely challenging situation. Rehabilitation and recovery from two or more factors, whether that includes drugs, alcohol, prescription medications or a mental illness, requires a custom program. A dual-diagnosis treatment program helps high-risk patients achieve sobriety and break free from their addictions. To better understand a dual-diagnosis treatment program, learn more about its many benefits.
Addresses the Role of Mental Illness in Addiction
A substantial number of patients who opt to enroll in a dual-diagnosis treatment program struggle with both an addiction and a mental illness or disorder. All too often, treatment programs overlook the psychological aspects of addiction, focusing instead on the physiological side. However, that is a mistake. A dual diagnosis treatment plan takes mental illness into account. It is widely recognized that mood disorders and mental illnesses increase a person’s vulnerability to addiction. In some cases, drugs may be used as a way to self-medicate. Therefore, it is vital that patients struggling with these issues are able to participate in a dual diagnosis treatment program that identifies, recognizes and appreciates the role of mental illness in addiction.
Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Programs Look at Recovery Comprehensively
Some recovery or rehabilitation centers that don’t acknowledge dual-diagnosis do their patients a disservice. Client, on the other hand, looks at recovery comprehensively. Full recovery means not just the cessation of drugs or alcohol for a specific period, but a lifestyle where drug use is not a temptation as a result of undiagnosed or misidentified mental illnesses.
A thorough dual-diagnosis treatment program is beneficial because it gives patients the tools they need to have a lasting recovery. For instance, when depression, anxiety or panic attacks hit, patients will know what they are dealing with. Counselors or therapists may equip patients with techniques and tips to handle these psychological side effects, which in turn can reduce the need and desire for drug or alcohol use.
Medications are Prescribed with Addictive Behavior in Mind
Another reason that a dual-diagnosis treatment program is so vital for some patients has to do with prescription medications. Depending on the addiction or addictions in each case, prescription medications can be a major concern and a potential hurdle toward sobriety. In a dual diagnosis program, however, medical professionals are aware of the risks and concerns of prescription medications in the treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. They will understand which medications are risky for those addicted to drugs or alcohol, and they will cognizant of dosage, increased reliance and signs of a potential relapse.
Whether patients are battling two addictions or struggling with both addiction and mental illness, dual-diagnosis treatment programs are a necessity. Call Lakeview Health today at 866-265-2778 to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and recovery in Jacksonville, Florida.