There are a number of important factors that have to be examined with any dual diagnosis. This type of diagnosis is used if you have some form of mental illness along with some type of substance abuse. This can be someone who is bipolar and who abuses alcohol to try and manage their mental illness. It is very common to find substance abuse and mental illness in the same patient, and these two conditions often go together. The first factor that needs to be looked at is what the specific symptoms are. This will help diagnose the mental illness component so that both issues can be effectively treated. If only half of the problem is resolved you will eventually end up right back where you started and suffer a relapse.
Once the proper dual diagnosis has been made, one that identifies both the substance abuse and the mental illness, then the next factor is the right treatment program for your specific treatment needs. There are great programs that specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, but there are also some which do not have the knowledge and resources available to treat these types of cases. Do you have health insurance? If so will it cover the program that you have chosen? If not can you afford to pay the cost? These are important questions to ask. Some of the most effective treatment programs can run tens of thousands of dollars a month. On the other hand just because a program costs this much that does not make it the most effective.
dual diagnosis, dual diagnosis treatment
A dual diagnosis occurs when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder and a substance abuse problem, but how is this made and what dual diagnosis treatment options are available? When you first seek help for either the substance abuse or the mental disorder it is important that all of your conditions and medical issues are known. The first step should be a complete evaluation, with a physical exam, testing, and a complete diagnostic work up. This will help to ensure that any mental disorder is identified along with the substance abuse. When a dual diagnosis is provided then dual diagnosis treatment will involve a specific plan for each of the conditions that you have, so all of the problems are addressed at the same time.
Dual diagnosis treatment is critical, because if both conditions listed in the dual diagnosis are not addressed and effectively treated then a full recovery will not be possible. When only the substance abuse or the mental disorder is treated then the other problem will still cause issues, and you will not be whole. Dual diagnosis treatment needs to be personalized for your specific needs and the mental disorders that are present. When a mental disorder is present it may take some time to determine whether the addiction or the mental illness is the underlying disorder and which problem is contributing to the other. If this is not done then dual diagnosis treatment is not going to be effective, and you could end up relapsing soon after you leave treatment for the dual diagnosis.
People who have a severe mental illness also have a much higher risk of substance abuse in all forms according to a new scientific study. According to the study researchers those who suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other severe types of mental disorders are far more likely to have substance abuse problems as well, including cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use. Previous studies that examined the link between mental illness and substance abuse did not include those who had a serious and severe mental disorder, and the new studies show that if you have a serious mood disorder or anxiety disorder then you are roughly twice as likely to end up with substance abuse issues as well. The study data was compiled using the information included in the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and this data showed that more than 8 million people in the USA alone suffer from both of these conditions.
Even though millions of US citizens have both a serious mental disorder and substance abuse issues less than 10% receive treatment for both conditions and end up with a dual diagnosis and dual treatment plan. The newest findings show what many physicians have previously suspected, that the number of individuals who have severe psychosis and substance abuse issues have been underestimated so far and that the true figures are actually much higher. Some statistics show that a mental disorder may make you 4 times more likely to abuse alcohol, around three and a half times more likely to engage in marijuana use, and over 5 times more likely to smoke cigarettes.
Individuals who have received a dual diagnosis have both substance abuse problems and mental disorders. Until recently many addiction recovery professionals were unsure whether 12 step programs could help those who were dual diagnosed, and there were concerns that the mental disorders would not be properly treated and the right medications would not be determined. A recent research study shows that 12 step programs can offer some benefits for individuals who have a dual diagnosis, and these programs can help with substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery. The study results can be found in the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Journal in the February 2014 issue. An area of concern is that the 12 step programs are only designed to treat substance abuse, and that some mental disorders may make the individual uncomfortable in the groups.
What the research is showing is that dual diagnosis patients can benefit from 12 step programs, as long as other treatment is also provided for the mental disorder that the individual has been diagnosed with. In spite of reports that AA and other 12 step programs are against any form of medication the study shows that many of the groups have numerous members who believe that medication is acceptable when needed. Another concern before the study results was that 12 step programs may not recognize the mental disorder symptoms, and may assume that the individual is not working through the program as intended. When both substance abuse and mental disorders occur a wide support system is crucial. 12 step programs can be another link to the support that recovering alcoholics and drug abusers need, and they can be beneficial to the recovery process when used properly.
Addiction treatment can be very complex, especially when a dual diagnosis is involved. The argument over whether substance abuse causes mental illness or whether the mental disorder causes the individual to self medicate with drugs or alcohol is an old one that is still going on today. It is important that any mental disorder is properly identified, diagnosed, and treated in order for the addiction to be effectively treated and eliminated. If this is not done then the root causes of the substance abuse are not addressed and full healing and recovery can not take place. All of the mental illness and substance abuse issues must be confronted and treated at the same time, otherwise repeat rounds of treatment may be required later on.
Every individual is different, and some illegal drugs or other substances can cause mental disorders to occur. In other cases the mental disorder causes the substance abuse as the individual tries to medicate and stop the symptoms of the mental condition. Addiction treatment must look at the individual, and the right program will create a custom treatment plan based on the specific situation and all of the factors in the case. A dual diagnosis may complicate the treatment criteria because all of the aspects and components must be treated for ideal recovery results. Without a full diagnostic assessment it is difficult to tell which of the two conditions started first, and the right treatments may not be used. Until the comprehensive diagnostic assessment is completed it is not possible to tell which condition started first and which condition followed. The Crossing Point can help with single and dual diagnosis cases, providing quality addiction treatment that is highly effective.