Dual diagnosis is a term that describes people who have a mental illness and a substance use disorder. Having two disorders simultaneously can be overwhelming, but there are ways to help. A dual diagnosis treatment plan is a great way to address both disorders. It can also bring together peers with similar problems.
For someone suffering from a mental illness, the use of illicit drugs or alcohol can make their symptoms worse. Drugs can also trigger changes in the brain. These changes can increase the chance of developing a mental health disorder.
As such, an effective dual diagnosis treatment program needs to be customized to meet your unique needs. It may include medication, group therapy, behavioural therapy, inpatient care, or a combination of these. The right combination can improve your chances of recovery.
Depending on the severity of your disorder, your treatment may be more limited or more comprehensive. For example, if your disorder is not causing severe or acute physical or mental harm, you might not need inpatient care. However, if your disorder is serious, it might be a good idea to check into a residential setting. This type of care offers a supportive environment with 24-7 supervision.
In addition to the medical services you might require, there are also programs that focus on relapse prevention. There are support groups for loved ones and family members, and there are services for carers. Some facilities even provide detoxification to help patients through the first step of recovery.
A good dual diagnosis treatment plan will treat both disorders simultaneously. This is the most effective approach and most recommended by experts. While it is possible to recover on your own, it takes courage and commitment. Often, people will avoid undergoing treatment if they feel that the process is too difficult. With a support network at hand, you can fight your illness and get your life back on track.
Resources: Brookdale Recovery
Medications are an important part of a dual diagnosis recovery plan. Using medications to stabilize your moods and control your behaviors will be helpful, but you may need to take them for several weeks to see a difference.
Other treatment options for a dual diagnosis include peer support and exercise. Performing a multi-disciplinary assessment is often the most efficient way to determine what your treatment needs are. You should also consult with a mental health professional before making a decision. Your doctor can tell you the best option for your specific needs.
The most important aspect of dual diagnosis treatment is the level of care and support provided. Although some treatment programs are more restrictive than others, most programs can accommodate your needs. You should find a treatment center that will offer you the best level of care and a level of flexibility that will allow you to continue living your life.
If you or a loved one has a dual diagnosis, it is time to make a change. You may have to leave your job or your friends and family for a while, but if you have the determination and a supportive group of individuals by your side, you will see your disorder improve.