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How to Find Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

by | Last updated Mar 31, 2021 at 1:32PM | Published on Oct 22, 2020 | Dual Diagnosis Program, Rehab Programs

dual diagnosis treatment

Addiction is a highly complex disease that we continue to learn more about as we go. It’s very common for someone struggling with a substance use disorder to suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder. For these individuals, traditional addiction treatment might not address all their needs. Instead, a dual diagnosis treatment program is likely to be a better option for them.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Believe it or not, the idea of co-occurring disorders is relatively new. Until the 1990s, people experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder were treated separately from those seeking treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.

Today, dual diagnosis treatment is often used to describe how those who have both a mental illness and addiction are treated. Co-occurring disorders represent a variety of diseases that commonly occur along with drug addiction or alcohol addiction.

dual diagnosis infographic

How Common is a Dual Diagnosis? 

Estimates say that about 1 in 4 adults with a mental illness also struggles with a substance abuse disorder. Still, only 12 percent of the 4 million American adults who suffered from a Dual Diagnosis received treatment for both conditions.

Over 9 million people in the United States live with a co-occurring disease, yet only 7.5 percent of people enroll in treatment programs. Mental health disorders are the most common cause of disability, with at least 1 in 17 Americans struggling with at least one disorder.

For example, some common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Alcoholism and depression
  • Cocaine abuse and anorexia
  • Heroin addiction and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Prescription drug dependence and anxiety disorder

Moreover, other mental health illnesses that often co-occur with substance abuse problems include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), personality disorders, eating disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

To receive an official dual diagnosis, you must be evaluated by a mental health professional or an addiction specialist. However, you don’t have to be a professional to recognize some of the signs and symptoms someone struggles with co-occurring disorders.

Signs of Addiction

  • Struggling to keep up with school or work
  • Lying or stealing to continue an addictive behavior
  • attempting to quit drugs or alcohol but relapsing repeatedly
  • Expressing feelings of regret or shame about compulsive behavior
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit a harmful substance
  • Changing friends or family members for different activities or new crowds

Symptoms of Mental Illness

  • Experiencing delusions or hallucinations
  • Expressing feelings of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness for two weeks or more
  • Feeling compelled to follow elaborate rituals and maintain high standards to relieve anxiety
  • Struggling to hold a job or friendships due to behavioral issues or drastic mood swings
  • Using drugs, alcohol, or other compulsive behaviors to manage or cope with stress
  • Withdrawing from others, refusing support from friends and family members

How is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Different?

For individuals suffering from dual diagnosis disorders, appropriate and comprehensive treatment is vital. Providing help for individuals struggling with dual diagnosis disorders starts with understanding the link between mental health issues and addiction.

What is Integrated Treatment?

These comprehensive rehabilitation programs offer medical, therapeutic, and holistic treatments to heal physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. However, living with co-occurring disorders can be life-threatening. Integrated care is one of the most recommended approaches to treat dual diagnosis disorders, regardless of the co-occurring combination.

While specific services will vary upon each person’s needs, most of the time, integrated treatment offers a range of treatment services to the individual, providing the person with everything necessary to heal on all levels.

Beyond treating each condition individually, these programs also promote lifestyle changes that promote health and wellness, including:

  • Improving sleep habits
  • Working on communication skills
  • Improving eating habits and nutritional behaviors
  • Working on family relationships
  • Addressing work-related issues and improving job skills
  • Managing any legal issues

By addressing these issues while also receiving treatment for their conditions, patients have a better chance of returning to work, rebuilding relationships, and building a strong support network that helps them maintain long-term recovery.

Treatment Options

These types of programs offer individualized attention. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our comprehensive treatment programs are tailor-made to meet each individual’s unique needs.

Evaluation: The first step is to ensure all mental health symptoms are accurately diagnosed. Understanding the exact diagnosis will help develop a more appropriate treatment plan.

Medical Detox: When someone starts the detox process from alcohol or drugs, they’re likely to experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. A comprehensive detox offers medical support and monitoring to assist in the process and stabilize treatment.

Individual Therapy: One-on-one therapy sessions set the foundation for recovery. Having a safe and confidential space to discuss past experiences, struggles, and more is paramount for healing. These individual sessions often use a cognitive-behavioral therapy approach to address the addictive patterns and help patients understand their triggers better and learn new coping mechanisms.

Group Therapy: Most treatment programs will incorporate one or more group settings, including 12-step groups, support groups for those with a dual diagnosis disorder, and other forms of group therapy that help build a supportive community.

Family Therapy: Working with loved ones to rebuild damaged relationships can be an essential aspect of recovery, especially if someone returns home after treatment. Empowering family members to participate in the treatment process will also allow them to heal uniquely. Family therapy helps build positive communication skills that will help promote healing.

Life Skills Development: Before leaving treatment, many patients enroll in life skills development programs that help them feel prepared to go back to normalcy. In these programs, patients learn necessary skills that can go from how to find a job, how to manage their finances, and how to eat healthily.

Finding Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Florida

Generally speaking, the right treatment center can help people navigate their dual diagnosis. It’s paramount to find a dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida that follows a unique and individualized approach to treatment. Both addiction and mental illness are incredibly unique conditions that affect people differently; a cookie-cutter treatment plant won’t cut it.

Additionally, you might also want to consider a dual diagnosis treatment in Florida that offers a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates alternative therapies. While the need for traditional, evidence-based therapies is key to recovery, incorporating holistic therapies can enhance the process and help people form the skills they’ll need to maintain sobriety and focus on their mental health after leaving treatment.

This is why rehab facilities are incorporating more and more these alternative therapies:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Yoga
  • Massage therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Animal therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnotherapy

In fact, one study found that holistic treatments, including relaxation techniques and Reiki, can help people manage physical pain and decrease adverse emotional reactions.

We Can Help

Lighthouse Recovery Institute is touted as one of Florida’s best dual diagnosis treatment centers for its unique approach to treatment. From the first assessment, our team of addiction specialists and psychotherapists draft a comprehensive plan that adapts to your needs, and it’s built to be readjusted whenever needed as you make progress throughout the treatment.

Thanks to our unique approach, we’re able to treat people with co-occurring disorders in a completely different way. Our team understands that to help you get the most out of rehab, a simultaneous treatment approach is critical.

After all, getting your life back on track requires help, hope, and trust. We understand how difficult it is to extend your faith to others, but relying on your treatment team members will make rehabilitation more manageable and more rewarding. If you or someone you know is struggling with a dual diagnosis, we encourage you to call us today to learn more about our treatment programs and how you can start walking toward recovery.

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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