Dual Diagnosis: Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

When someone experiences mental illness coexisting with substance abuse, it is a case of dual diagnosis. Since it’s a combination of two or more disorders occurring simultaneously, symptoms can greatly vary from person to person. Dual diagnosis is a broad category wherein patients seek out substance abuse in order to cope with life stressors such as mental health disorder.

A dual diagnosis patient experiences a range of symptoms, including anxiety, indifference, impulsiveness, recurring thoughts and other psychotic disorders. Although both personality disorder and alcohol/drug problem are treatable illnesses, many people don’t know how to handle the issue. For this reason, one needs to choose a good rehab center equipped with various treatment options that can help him come out of this debilitating condition. It is imperative to cure both the conditions. By doing this, a person increases his chances of complete recovery and return to the normal productive life.

Treatment of the mental condition

If someone is struggling with substance abuse problem and the underlying mental condition, integrated intervention is the best treatment option. In this, the patient receives care for both substance abuse and mental disorder. The treatment for dual diagnosis may be time consuming and has higher chances of addiction relapse as compared to the treatment for a single disorder. These patients generally have a poor prognosis and overall health due to the presence of two chronic conditions.

A study published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International by Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank and colleagues tried to investigate if the treatment of mental disorder can motivate patients to reduce substance abuse. They studied 100 dual diagnosis patients who voluntarily participated in the trial. Most patients were given a standard treatment with various therapeutic sessions and cognitive training. A few of them were offered a specific disorder treatment program and were told to remain abstinent. The latter group was also given cognitive behavioral therapy, along with psychoeducational training.

After the year-long study, the researchers concluded that patients receiving the disorder-specific treatment were also motivated to abstain from substance abuse unlike conventional

treatment. This method cannot provide a complete treatment for dual diagnosis; therefore, the above hypothesis needs to be further tested on a larger sample to realize its potential.

Effectiveness of inpatient rehab program

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 7.4 percent of all Americans were reported to struggle with co-occurring disorders in 2014. Patients diagnosed with dual diagnosis need a special kind of treatment, and inpatient rehab programs is the best option. In such programs the patients are kept away from distractions, and specialists assist them with behavioral therapies to ensure positive outcomes.

Regular care from trained physicians and customized therapies may largely help a residential patient to cope with the stress. A rehabilitation center offers inpatient program which requires participants to live at the facility for the duration of the treatment. These programs are specifically designed to help addicts recover from the dual conditions through integrated interventions. In many instances, healthcare practitioners may stick to only behavioral therapy for patients who are uncomfortable taking medications, given their history of substance abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with dual diagnosis and seeking professional help, inpatient dual diagnosis treatment centers in California can offer you an effective treatment. The California Dual Diagnosis Helpline can guide you to the best inpatient dual diagnosis recovery centers in California. For more information call 855–980–1736.