Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a person with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. For example, if someone is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder, they would qualify for dual-diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is a method of care that addresses both the mental health disorder and the substance use disorder simultaneously. Before the 1990s, it was believed that mental health disorders and substance abuse that could lead to dual diagnosis should be treated separately.
However, this approach has since been proven to be ineffective, as the interaction between the two conditions makes rehabilitation more complex. Therefore, it is now accepted that full recovery requires both mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment. A relatively innovative addiction recovery center can seek assistance simultaneously for mental illness issues. This includes depressive episodes, anxiety episodes, delusions, mood swings, and other symptoms of mental illness.
It may be difficult to convince patients with concurrent problems to take their prescriptions, go to counseling, or participate in other activities related to achieving a recovery program. When a person receives the support they need to begin substance abuse rehabilitation, it can be particularly difficult for them to connect with outside services in the event of a dual diagnosis. Therefore, it is important for family interventions to be a first step in recovery. This includes providing support and understanding for the individual and helping children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse.
Another successful treatment approach is called concurrent treatment of PTSD and substance use disorders by prolonged exposure (COPE). This approach combines therapy, support, medication, and health services to treat both the substance use disorder and its underlying causes. When evaluating a person for an expected dual diagnosis, each of these components must be observed. Developing widespread therapies to treat broader combinations of co-occurring disorders is now an important goal for those in this field.
Overall, dual-diagnosis treatment is essential in people who have both psychological maladjustment and dependence on medications or alcoholic beverages. It is important to remember that full recovery requires time and special attention due to the sensitive nature of the individual. With the right support and treatment plan in place, individuals can achieve long-term sobriety and improved mental health.