A dual diagnosis is when someone has both a substance use disorder and another mental health disorder. Treatment for dual diagnosis is designed to tackle both disorders at once. This approach is more complex than the traditional method of treating each condition independently. Yet despite its complexity, dual diagnosis treatment is vastly preferable for the lasting results it can produce. What to expect in dual diagnosis differs from other forms of mental health or substance abuse treatment. Perhaps the easiest way to think of dual diagnosis treatment is as a mash-up of those disparate types of treatment.
Common Types of Dual Diagnosis
Any blend of mental health disorder and addiction qualifies as a dual diagnosis. Yet within the vast world of these disorders, a few combinations tend to be more prevalent. Drug and alcohol abuse often exists with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. A few common pairings are anxiety and alcoholism, heroin addiction and depression, and opioid addiction with depression or anxiety.
Symptoms of a dual diagnosis may look very different from person to person. Nonetheless, a few signs that show up more often than others include the following:
- Social withdrawal
- Sudden behavior or personality changes
- Risky behavior
- Using drugs to function in everyday life situations
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms between instances of drug use
Self-medication is prevalent among people with a dual diagnosis. This is using drugs to mask symptoms stemming from a mental health disorder. Self-medication is never a solution for mental health issues. Instead, it leaves people with multiple problems that end up needing treatment.
What to Expect from Dual Diagnosis Treatment
The first thing to expect in dual diagnosis treatment is that it will be inpatient more often than not. Inpatient treatment involves a residential stay at a treatment facility. This approach is preferred for dual diagnosis because it offers the highest level of care. Inpatient care can address the entire spectrum of treatment needs, from detox to aftercare planning.
A few important things you can expect from dual diagnosis treatment are detailed below.
Detox is the process of guiding someone through a cessation of drug use. This could be cold turkey matched with medical supervision or support. In the case of some drugs, detox involves careful tapering. That means using less and less of a drug over time to allow the body to adjust to life without the drug. Some addictions even benefit from medication-assisted treatment, which provides helpful prescriptions that tamp down on cravings and withdrawal symptoms to aid in the detox process.
Assessment and Treatment
Much of the actual work in dual diagnosis treatment begins with assessment and treatment. One of the first dual diagnosis expectations you should have after detox is a comprehensive evaluation. Physical, social, mental, and emotional health are analyzed to build an individualized treatment plan. Then formal treatment begins.
The most significant part of treatment is therapy. Other dual diagnosis expectations related to treatment include regular meetings with healthcare providers to monitor progress, group therapy, family counseling, 12-step programs or other support groups, and educational services.
Aftercare is the process of planning for what happens when a client leaves treatment. Recovery does not stop the moment a person exits treatment. In many ways, completing a round of dual diagnosis treatment at an inpatient facility is just the beginning of the recovery journey. Many people continue to receive therapy or addiction treatment services during aftercare.
Experience Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Murrieta, California
Solution Based Treatment & Detox is ready to provide exceptional dual diagnosis treatment in Murrieta, California. Call 833.999.1941 today to access high-quality care that centers your needs and accelerates your pursuit of a sober life.