How To Determine Dual Diagnosis Treatment Is Necessary

A number of people who are abusing drugs also suffer from a mental health issue. This mental health problem could result from drug usage, or could have been the factor which led to it. Either way, those who are seeking help and their caretakers must recognize when dual diagnosis is necessary.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis care is a treatment program which is well rounded and provides a group of services which are selected based on the specific needs of a patient. It is specifically geared towards individuals that have a combination of drug abuse and mental disorder. These disorders could range from depression to anxiety attacks or even schizophrenia.

There are two prevalent theories on how dual diagnosis originates, and these are self-medication and past exposure theory. The self-medication theory means that those who have been diagnosed with a mental health issue likely begin using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism to relieve the symptoms of the disorder or the negative effects of medication. Past exposure means that past usage of a drug which was not prescribed by a doctor actually led to the mental disorder, and that the user has higher sensitivity to the effects of controlled substances in general.

What Are Some Indications That A Patient Needs Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

A patient, who exhibits mood swings, hears voices or has thoughts of suicide: Even if someone has not been officially diagnosed with a mental health problem, there are some symptoms which can indicate that a mental health disorder is present. Anytime someone has spoken about suicide, has attempted to kill themselves, or is experiencing hallucinations or claims of hearing voices, this is a sign that they need help. Some people experience these things even before using drugs, but after becoming addicted the symptoms will worsen.

You’ve received diagnosis for a mental health problem:  Those who have been officially diagnosed with having a mental health issue by a doctor are prime candidates for dual diagnosis treatment. However, they must mention this when entering rehab; otherwise the staff members won’t be aware or able to provide assistance. Drug abuse and mental health should never be seen as separate entities, as they are often interrelated, and any treatment for one should include treatment for the other.

Traditional rehab doesn’t work:  Those who enter rehab, complete the program and return home, only to resume using drugs and alcohol typically have an underlying issue that is beyond the scope of mere addiction. Oftentimes such people will be suffering from trauma which has caused a mental health disorder which has boosted their craving for drugs, largely because when under the influence the pain is alleviated, at least temporarily. Standard rehab primarily addresses addiction itself, so if an underlying mental disorder is present, in most cases it will not be addressed and dual diagnosis will be needed.

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