What to Expect in Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Addiction Recovery

Having a dual diagnosis means you have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder. Dealing with these two conditions at the same time can make recovery more challenging as the symptoms of one can worsen the other. That’s why it’s recommended to seek treatment that addresses both conditions at the same time.

Drug or alcohol abuse may exist simultaneously with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorder or bipolar disorders. Some combinations of these often occur together e.g. alcohol use disorder with anxiety or painkiller addiction with depression or anxiety.

Those experiencing symptoms of mental health disorders may self-medicate to feel better, only to further worsen the situation. For instance, taking benzodiazepines for anxiety only to end up with frequent mood swings, sleep disorders, tremors and other side effects of long-term benzo abuse. In the long run, self-medication adversely affects the individual’s mental and physical health.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The best way to treat a dual diagnosis is through integrated treatment. This involves treating both disorders at the same time. Integrated treatment prevents both conditions from getting worse and minimizes the chances of relapse.

This is what you can expect in dual diagnosis treatment:

    • Detox – Before getting started on treatment, you’ll need to undergo detox. This gives your body time to wean off addictive substances. Unfortunately, detox often triggers withdrawal symptoms so it’s advisable to go through this under medical supervision. That way, there’ll be doctors on hand to ease your symptoms and in case of any emergency.

    • Assessment – Once you’re through with detox, you’ll undergo an assessment to ensure you’re placed in the right treatment program. This involves assessing your mental, physical, and emotional health as well as your medical history.

    • Treatment – After assessment, you’ll be placed in an addiction treatment program. This could be either a residential or inpatient program or an outpatient one. The main difference is that an inpatient program will require you to live on-site at the rehab facility.

Taking an integrated approach to treatment means that you’ll be seeing a psychiatrist for the mental health issue while also attending different types of therapy for substance abuse. Additionally, part of the treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy. This will help you identify and change any negative thoughts and behavior patterns that contribute to your addiction. CBT can also teach you coping and problem-solving skills to help you identify or manage stressors and triggers to prevent relapse.

    • Aftercare – Recovery continues even after discharge from treatment and aftercare ensures that you safely transition to life outside rehab. This could include living in a sober living home or joining a support group.

Find Hope and Healing Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with a dual diagnosis, we can help. At the Findlay Recovery Center in Ohio, we care about everyone battling addiction. We offer tailor-made addiction treatment programs that are designed to help clients find lasting, sustainable recovery from substance abuse. Contact us today and let us walk with you on your recovery journey.


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