Dual diagnosis inpatient treatment programs

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Addiction treatment for people with dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis inpatient drug rehab

The concept of "dual diagnosis" is used to refer to people who are battling addiction, suffering from a mental health condition at the same time. More often than not, people become addicted to drugs, alcohol, prescription medication, or nicotine. Co-occurring mental health issues can appear in the form of depression and anxiety. Addiction treatment centers offer inpatient drug rehab programs for those with a dual diagnosis. Substance abuse treatment programs for people with dual diagnosis have an integrated approach to recovery, with focus on both the addiction and associated mental health issues. In this way, the risk of relapse is significantly reduced and the patient in question has the best chances of recovery.

Dual diagnosis programs

A lot of people are dealing with a dual diagnosis. The presence of both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder imposes special precautions, especially when it comes to long-term sobriety. It is essential to understand that such patients often find themselves in a vicious cycle, with one condition standing as cause or trigger for the other. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, increase the risk of abuse; many people rely on stimulants to cope with their symptoms. In others, addiction might make the mental health issues worse.

Substance use disorders have become increasingly common in those dealing with a post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, depression, and self-harm. Millions of people are struggling with both mental health issues and substance use disorders, but there is no clear explanation for this association. It has also been determined that such patients have a more difficult recovery journey, requiring customized inpatient drug rehab programs to address their unique needs. Traditional recovery programs might not provide the expected results.

Inpatient drug rehab for those with a dual diagnosis

As mentioned above, patients with a dual diagnosis require specialized intervention. Fortunately, addiction treatment centers have recognized the needs and challenges experienced by such patients. They now have programs designed especially for them, so they are able to address both their addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Upon visiting an addiction treatment facility, prospective patients meet with the admissions team. They will benefit from a clinical assessment, with the specialists of the respective center taking several factors into consideration. These can include: diagnosis of a mental health condition, history of substance use, risk of relapse, etc. It will be important to determine whether the addiction has played a negative impact on one's life. The specialists need to assess if the patient might represent a danger to himself/herself or others, especially if there is a history of self-harm or violence. Last, but not least, they will assess the patient's level of motivation in terms of recovery.

Such patients often need a strong network of support to recover. They might deal with feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Many experience a constant state of panic, abnormal appetite, or dysfunctional sleep patterns. With low energy levels, they might lose their interest in daily activities, including those involving personal hygiene. Racing thoughts might affect their concentration and they might find themselves increasingly irritable. Risky behaviors are common and so are suicidal thoughts. More often than not, stimulants are taken in an attempt to cope with all these symptoms.

Addiction will mean that one will consume more and more drugs over time. They might experience intense cravings, needing higher quantities of the respective stimulant to obtain the same effect. Upon checking into a rehab program, patients need help to overcome the symptoms of withdrawal. Only then they will be able to focus on getting better and gaining the right strategies to prevent future relapses.

What kinds of addictions can be treated?

Main addictions regard the abuse of alcohol, nicotine, prescription medication, and street drugs. Aside from the mental health issues, the type of addiction is the chief factor that guides the patient's journey towards complete abstinence.

Addiction treatment facilities can help those who are battling an addiction to various street drugs, including methamphetamines, methaqualone, methadone, date rape drugs, opioids, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, meth, crack, etc. Substance abuse treatment centers also have recovery programs for those who are addicted to prescription medication, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opioids. It is a well-known fact that one can abuse several stimulants at the same time; for instance, many patients report a history of alcohol and drug abuse. This is the reason why the inpatient drug rehab programs are adapted to the patient and not the other way around.

Behavioral therapy as part of the inpatient drug rehab program

Inpatient drug rehab programs often include behavioral therapy, as this type of treatment can greatly benefit those dealing with a dual diagnosis. One of the main treatment goals is to reduce or eliminate self-harming behaviors, taking into account the mental health issues one is suffering from. Both individual and group therapy sessions are organized, with the goal of helping the patient understand that recovery is attainable.

Cognitive behavioral therapy might be used to address the behaviors related to the substance use disorders. Naturally, it can also help with particular mental health issues. Depending on the severity of one's addiction and the associated problems, therapy might be used in conjunction with medication. Among the most commonly prescribed medications, there are: antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, SSRIs, and mood stabilizers. In some facilities, family members – including older children, might be integrated into therapy sessions.

A strong network of support for recovery

Addiction treatment centers offer a strong network of support. Each patient benefits from an integrated approach to recovery, as mentioned above. A multidisciplinary team handles each case, which is another benefit to consider. Patients are educated with regard to mental health issues, substance use disorders, and addiction. They receive therapy on a daily basis, with the opportunity to join various support groups and engage with patients who are going through similar experiences.

The specialists working within the respective facilities know that each patient has his/her own path to recovery. This is the reason why the inpatient drug rehab programs are tailored to fit the patients' needs. Such centers support individualized approaches for the treatment of dual diagnoses, considering both specific needs and challenges. More often than not, they provide alternative therapies, such as meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. Some inpatient addiction treatment centers also have amenities for relaxation, including painting, swimming, or dancing. The main idea is to provide the patient with as many tools as necessary to feel better and fight to recover from their addiction.

Recovery, a long process made simple in rehab

The dual diagnosis inpatient drug rehab programs try to simplify the recovery process, making life bearable for the patient in question. During their inpatient stay, patients learn how substance use disorders affect the brain. For instance, some drugs can lead to symptoms that are similar to the ones caused by mental health issues. They also learn what makes them more susceptible to addiction, including their genetic predisposition.

A good part of the recovery process involves the triggers that led to addiction in the first place. For many patients, the persistent anxiety or depression represents the number one trigger; this is the reason why treatment for both is necessary. Other potential triggers include chronic stress, trauma, financial difficulties, loss, grief, failed relationships. The exposure at an early age is associated with addiction in young people, with mental health disorders being present as well.

Even though it is not simple, patients learn how to manage their addiction, very much like they would with any other chronic condition. They challenge negative thoughts and find the best strategies to overcome dysfunctional patterns. For many, the challenge comes in developing their confidence and learning that it is possible to live without drugs or other stimulants. Recovery takes place gradually and patients understand that patience is the number one weapon. They are also taught to celebrate each achievement, no matter how small it might seem.

Patients present the best chances of recovery when both disorders are targeted, rather than when these are addressed separately. Moreover, when it comes to a dual diagnosis, addiction treatment centers offer a safe and structured environment in which patients can feel less stressed. Experienced and dedicated therapists provide them with the high level of attention needed, with customized intervention. The state of distress is reduced significantly, and many patients report feeling better all of a sudden.

Questions to ask when selecting an addiction treatment program

Nowadays, prospective patients have a lot of addiction treatment centers to choose from, so it is only normal to feel daunted by the multitude of options. The good news is that many facilities allow you to visit their campus and talk to various specialists, so you can form an idea about what to expect.

When visiting a particular addiction treatment facility, it might be useful to prepare a list of questions to ask. In most cases, the staff is more than pleased to provide detailed answers.

Here are several questions worth asking when selecting a dual diagnosis program:

Addiction treatment programs of different lengths

Most addiction treatment centers offer both short and long-term inpatient drug rehab programs. The length of rehab depends on one's addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. Usually, the specialists undergo a thorough assessment to determine what kind of program would be best suited for a specific patient.

Short-term programs have a maximum duration of three months, but they usually vary between three and six weeks. Most patients are not able to achieve sobriety with programs of this length, but they might get a respite from their problems. Some might even be able to reduce the amount used, while others decide to continue their recovery with a longer program. Intense recoveries are sometimes possible, but they represent the exception, not the rule. In recommending a short-term program, the specialists of the respective center have to be certain that the patient can withstand it.

Long-term programs, on the other hand, have a minimum duration of three months. They generally extend up to one or two years, depending on the severity of one's addiction and, of course, on the accompanying mental health issues. Patients are assessed at regular intervals to determine the progress made, as well as the risk of relapse.

A main benefit of long programs regards the ability to focus exclusively on one's problems. Patients have access to the necessary medical and emotional support, with little or no distractions. They benefit from therapy and counseling, as well as education on both addiction and mental health. As mentioned, some centers offer family therapy, group therapy, and alternative therapies. There are even 12-step programs that patients can join, which offer a gradual approach to recovery.

Find inpatient addiction treatment centers for dual diagnosis in your state:

If someone you love struggles with both addiction and mental health issues, the first thing you need to do is offer your support. You can then research addiction treatment centers together, putting together a list of those that offer dual diagnosis rehab. Remind your loved one that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can accompany him/her to visit the different centers and ask questions, making sure that the chosen rehab program speaks to his/her needs. Perhaps the most important thing to tell someone who battles such issues is that they do not have to offer forever. Thanks to the carefully-designed inpatient drug rehab programs, they can gain a healthy outlook on life, and free themselves from both addiction and mental illness.

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