Sobriety is for many addicts an ever-elusive goal. This is because, as is the case with many recurrent health conditions, the root cause of addiction has neither been identified nor addressed. The emergence of dual diagnosis rehab facilities has sought to bridge this gap and help drug users break free of their addiction once and for all.
In the past, substance addiction and mental health disorders were treated as two completely separate problems. However, comparative statistical studies on different drug users showed that substance abuse was higher in persons with psychiatric disorders than in those without. They might have turned to drug and/or alcohol abuse in order to try and suppress various emotional or mental challenges.
Dual diagnosis treatment is targeted at addressingboth issues to ensure that a relapse does not happen as soon as one gets out of rehab and back into the real world. How is this achieved?
The first step is to ascertain that there is an actual overlap between the patient’s abuse problem and some underlying mental issue. This screening is done by a certified psychiatrist by checking the patient for signs of depression, mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders etc. and confirming the reported substance abuse.
In the past, the two problems would be addressed sequentially. The subjects would have to undergo full treatment for one of the issues until it was fully resolved and only then would they move to the second one. This type of treatment was later discontinued as studies showed very high rates of failure.It was replaced by a more holistic approach that follows the steps below:
There is the need to prescribe specific medication suited to the mental illness in question as well as to the individual. The patient is consistently monitored to ensure they actually use the medication properly and to assess their progress.
A trained therapist is assigned to each patient. They carry out the multi-faceted role of encouraging the patient, motivating them to take a more positive approach to life while at the same time giving them a hearing ear. Patients are offered private counseling to help out with personal issues and group counseling, offering them the opportunity to learn from other persons sailing in the same boat.Counseling sessions with close family or friends are also offered to ensure the patient will get adequate support on the outside.
The road to sober living is littered with numerous challenges. However, dual diagnosis rehab has seen a much higher rate of success for substance abuse patients than has any other method prior.It has assisted many across the board to tackle the core cause for their drug use and once this one is settled then cases of relapse are few and far between.
The logic behind it is fool proof and as such, more and more patients have been helped to get their lives back on track. There is of course no magic formula to long-term sobriety and it will still take a lot of dedication, willpower and support to prevent a relapse. But knowing you have a caring, listening partner to help you along the way sure counts for something.