People who suffer from dual diagnoses can find it difficult to get help. This is because most people are not familiar with what a dual diagnosis is and what the symptoms are that come with it. A dual diagnosis means a person has a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem. It can be hard to treat one without treating the other, which is why dual diagnosis treatment centers are so important.
This blog post will discuss what a dual diagnosis treatment center is and how they can help you or someone you love get better.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a person suffering from a substance abuse issue coupled with a mental health issue. While the two conditions are separate, they can interact with and exacerbate each other.
Dual diagnosis is also sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders. This condition is relatively common, affecting millions of people around the world. Dual diagnosis can be challenging to treat, as it requires addressing mental illness and substance abuse at the same time.
What Are Some Common Dual Diagnosis Disorders?
The most common mental health disorders among those with a dual diagnosis are depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. However, many other mental health disorders can co-occur with substance abuse. Some of the less common dual diagnosis disorders include:
- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
It is important to remember that each person experiences dual diagnosis differently. The combination of disorders and the severity of symptoms will vary from person to person.
How To Recognize the Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis
The symptoms of dual diagnosis can be difficult to identify because they will vary depending on the combination of disorders a person has.
Substance Abuse Signs and Symptoms
A substance abuse disorder is characterized by a person’s inability to control their use of substances, even when it is causing them harm. Some common signs and symptoms of substance abuse include:
- Changes in behavior: A person with a substance abuse disorder may start to act differently. They may become more withdrawn or secretive. They may also begin to neglect their responsibilities.
- Appearance changes: Someone struggling with substance abuse may start to look different. They may lose weight or have changes in their sleep patterns or have red, glossy eyes.
- Problems at work or school: An individual with a substance abuse disorder may start to have problems at work or school. They may begin to miss days or perform poorly.
- Financial problems: Money problems are often a sign of substance abuse. People may spend more money than they have or borrow money from others.
Common substances that people abuse include alcohol, opiates, and methamphetamine. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in yourself or someone you know, it is important to seek help. Substance abuse treatment programs Turning Point of Tampa can help a person get their life back.
Mental Health Disorder Signs and Symptoms
A mental health disorder is a type of condition that affects a person’s mood, thoughts, and behavior. Mental health disorders can range from mild to severe.
Since there are various types of mental health disorders, the symptoms will vary. However, some common signs and symptoms of mental health disorders include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
Mental health problems can be difficult to cope with, and it is crucial to seek help if you are struggling. Mental health disorders are treatable and respond well to mental health services.
What Are the Consequences of a Dual Diagnosis, and Can It Be Prevented From Happening in the First Place?
If left untreated, dual diagnosis can have serious consequences. Some of the potential effects include:
- Health problems: Dual diagnosis can lead to physical health problems. This is because substance abuse often causes damage to the body, especially over longer periods. Additionally, mental health disorders can also lead to physical health problems. For example, anxiety and depression can lead to headaches and stomach problems.
- Relationship problems: Loved ones of people with dual diagnoses often suffer. This is because the person with a dual diagnosis may withdraw from their loved ones or even become abusive. Dual diagnosis can also put a strain on relationships.
- Worsening symptoms: If left untreated, the symptoms of dual diagnosis will usually get worse. This can lead to a decline in work or school performance. Homelessness and incarceration are also common consequences of untreated dual diagnosis.
A dual diagnosis treatment center can help prevent these consequences among individuals with a co-occurring disorder.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?
Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to treat. Both the mental health disorder and the substance abuse problem need to be carefully treated at the same time.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
People with mental illness are more likely to experience a substance use disorder than those not affected by a mental illness. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.
Unfortunately, most individuals do not seek treatment, leading to further problems.
This is where dual diagnosis treatment centers come in. A dual diagnosis treatment center is designed to treat people with co-occurring disorders. These facilities provide a variety of services that can help people get better.
Instead of treating each disorder separately, a dual diagnosis treatment program will treat both disorders simultaneously. This is important because it can help prevent a person from relapsing.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers usually have a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors. This team will work together to create a treatment plan curated to the individual’s needs.
Some of the services that dual diagnosis treatment centers offer include:
- Medication management: Medication can be an essential part of treatment for co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment centers will work with individuals to find the proper medication.
- Individual therapy: This therapy is designed to help people with their specific needs. It can help people with dual diagnoses learn how to cope with their symptoms and disorders.
- Group therapy: Group therapy can be helpful because it allows people to share their experiences with others. It can also provide support and encouragement.
- Family therapy: Family therapy can help family members understand what their loved one is going through and learn how to best support them. Having the support of family and friends is crucial for recovery.
Having a mental illness and a substance abuse problem can be challenging to cope with. Dual diagnosis treatment programs can aid in recovery as these programs provide comprehensive care.
What Are the Benefits of Receiving Treatment at a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?
Since dual diagnosis treatment centers provide comprehensive care, there are many benefits to receiving treatment at one of these facilities.
Improved Mental Health
Since a dual diagnosis treatment program will treat both the mental health disorder and the substance abuse problem, individuals can expect to see an improvement in their mental health.
For example, if a person has depression and is also addicted to alcohol, they will receive treatment for both conditions. This can lead to a decrease in depressive symptoms. The combination of therapy and medication can be very effective in treating depression.
In addition, as the individual starts to feel better mentally, they will be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. This can help prevent a relapse.
Better Physical Wellbeing
Mental illnesses can take a toll on physical health. For example, anxiety can cause muscle tension and headaches. Depression can lead to fatigue and weight gain or loss.
By receiving treatment for both mental health disorders and substance abuse problems, individuals can expect to see an improvement in their physical health. They will no longer be self-medicating with drugs or alcohol and will be able to focus on their physical wellbeing.
A More Stable Life
Mental illnesses and substance abuse can cause a lot of instability in a person’s life. They may lose their job, have financial problems, or end up in legal trouble.
Dual diagnosis treatment can help stabilize a person’s life. If a person can get their mental health under control, they will be less likely to lose their job or end up in legal trouble. In addition, dual diagnosis treatment can help a person develop healthy coping skills and build a support system. This can lead to a more stable life.
Plus, as their life becomes more stable, a person suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction will be less likely to relapse.
Finding the Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center for You or Your Loved One
A mental health treatment center specializing in dual diagnosis can benefit someone with a mental illness and substance abuse problem.
Since there are already a handful of these centers, you will want to do your research before choosing one. Make sure to look at each center\’s treatment options and success rates.
You should also consider whether you want an inpatient or outpatient program.
Inpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
An inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center requires that the individual stay at the treatment facility during some or all of their treatment. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
An inpatient dual diagnosis treatment program is often more intensive than outpatient programs and can provide around-the-clock care. Someone struggling with a severe addiction or mental health disorder would likely benefit from an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment program.
Treatment services in an inpatient program can include:
- Educational classes on substance use disorders and mental health
- Individual therapy
- Access to a psychiatrist
- Recreational activities
Outpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
While an outpatient dual diagnosis treatment center does not require that the individual stay at the facility, it does require that they attend treatment a few times each week, for example, they may attend group therapy three times per week and see a therapist weekly.
An outpatient dual diagnosis treatment center can be less intensive than inpatient programs but can still be very effective. They can be a good option for someone with co-occurring conditions such as both substance use disorders and bipolar disorder.
A dual diagnosis treatment center that offers inpatient and outpatient dual diagnosis treatment programs may be the best option as it can provide a person with the necessary mental health treatment to address co-occurring disorders.
Questions To Ask a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center Before Committing
Once you’ve narrowed your options, you will want to contact the treatment centers and ask some questions. This will help you make a more informed decision.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
- What are the qualifications of the staff?
- What is the success rate of the program?
- What are the treatment options?
- Does my insurance cover the program?
- What is the cost of the treatment programs?
You can also look up reviews, either online or from people you know, to get an idea of the treatment center. In addition, you can ask the treatment center for references.
What Should You Expect From the Treatment Process at a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?
The treatment process will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their illness. However, the five-step treatment process should give you a general idea of what to expect.
Step 1: Detox
The first step in treatment is typically detox. This is when the individual address their substance use disorder and stops using drugs or alcohol and goes through withdrawal.
Withdrawal can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. Detox must occur under medical supervision as serious health risks such as seizures can be associated with withdrawal.
During detox, medical professionals will closely monitor and support the individual to ensure their safety and comfort. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, the individual may be given medication to help them through this process.
After completing detox, the individual will be able to begin the next phase of treatment.
Step 2: Psychological Assessment and Treatment Plan
The second step is assessment and developing your individualized treatment plan. This is when the individual meets with a team of professionals to assess their condition.
During the assessment, the team will gather information about the individual’s medical history, mental health history, and substance abuse history. They will also perform physical and psychological exams.
This information will be used to create a the plan of treatment tailored to the individual’s needs. This step helps ensures the individual is ready and willing to commit to treatment.
Step 3: Treatment
Whether the individual chooses an inpatient or outpatient dual diagnosis treatment program, they will undergo various treatments. These may include:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Medication management
- Addiction therapy services
The goal of treatment is to help the individual identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their addiction or mental illness.
Step 4: Aftercare
To avoid relapse, the individual must have a solid plan for after they leave treatment. This may include:
- Attending support groups
- Participating in sober living programs
- Continuing therapy
- Taking medication as prescribed
Aftercare is an integral part of the treatment process and should be discussed with the treatment team before leaving. The treatment center will also provide resources and support to help the individual transition into everyday life.
Depending on the dual diagnosis treatment program, the length of treatment may vary. However, most programs last at least 30 days.
How To Prepare for Treatment
If you or your loved one is considering a dual diagnosis treatment program, there are a few things you can do to prepare.
First, it’s essential to understand what to expect from the treatment process. This will help you or your loved one better prepare for what’s coming.
Next, research different programs to find one that is a good fit. Ask about the program’s licensures and accreditations, treatment methods, and cost.
Finally, it’s important to be prepared financially. This may include getting insurance approval or making arrangements to pay for treatment out of pocket.
By preparing for treatment, you or your loved one can easily transition into the program and begin the journey to recovery. In addition, the treatment center will be able to provide the best possible care if they know what to expect.
5 Tips To Encourage a Loved One To Seek Help
Watching a loved one suffer from addiction or an underlying mental illness can be challenging. If you’re struggling to encourage them to seek help, here are five tips that may be helpful:
Express Your Concerns in a Non-Judgmental Way
When you express your concerns to your loved one, it’s important to do so in a non-judgmental way. For example, avoid phrases like “you need to get help” or “you’re not thinking clearly.”
Instead, try to express your concern more compassionately. You might want to say something like, “I’m worried about you, and I want to help you get better.”
This approach can help open the door for a more productive conversation about their well-being.
Let Them Know You’re There for Them
Your loved ones must know they can come to you for support. Let them know you’re there for them and want to help them in any way you can.
This can be a difficult conversation to have, but your loved ones must know they’re not alone. Showing them that you support them can help them feel more comfortable coming to you when struggling.
It can also be helpful to offer specific ways that you can help, such as driving them to appointments or helping them with household chores.
Be Prepared To Listen
Be prepared to listen when you have these conversations with your loved one. This means really listening to what they’re saying and trying to understand their perspective.
It can be easy to get defensive or try to offer solutions, but it’s important to resist this urge. Instead, just focus on being there for them and letting them know you understand what they’re going through.
If they do want to talk about solutions, you can consistently offer your help in researching treatment options or finding resources. But ultimately, the decision should be up to them.
Ready Yourself With Resistance
Your loved one may not be ready to seek help, and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that this is their decision to make, and you can’t force them into treatment.
If they do resist your efforts, try to remain calm and understanding. You might want to say something like, “I know you’re not ready yet, but I want you to know that I’m here for you no matter what.”
It can also be helpful to have information about treatment options available in case they seek help. This way, they can make an informed decision when they’re ready.
Consider Your Timing
Finding the right time to have this conversation is not always easy. If you’re not sure when the best time is, you can keep a few things in mind.
First, avoid having a conversation when your loved one is under the influence. This can make it more difficult for them to understand what you’re saying and make it more likely that they will become defensive.
It can also be helpful to have a conversation when your loved one is in a good mood. This way, they may be more receptive to your words.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you express your concern in a loving and supportive way.
These tips may be helpful if you’re struggling to encourage a loved one to seek treatment. Try to express your concerns in a non-judgmental way, let them know you’re there for them, and be prepared to listen. You should also be ready for resistance and consider timing during this conversation.
Turning Point of Tampa Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program
Located on a private campus in Tampa Florida, Turning Point of Tampa has been helping patients recover and live amazing lives with long term recovery. We understand substance use disorder, alcohol abuse, psychiatric illness, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.
Our dual diagnosis rehab specializes in addiction treatment and common co-occurring disorders. Those with a dual diagnosis receive addiction therapy services and learn about the underlying mental health issues exasperated by alcohol abuse and a substance use disorder.
Alcohol and drug addiction is a severe problem that can have devastating consequences. But when addiction is combined with a mental disorder, the situation becomes even more complex.
Not only is it difficult for the person suffering from a dual diagnosis to seek help, but their loved ones also face a unique set of challenges.
Know that you are not alone if you or a loved one are struggling with a dual diagnosis. There are treatment options available that can provide the comprehensive care that’s needed.
Turning Point of Tampa is a dual diagnosis treatment center that can help to address both the addiction and the underlying mental disorder, providing your loved one with the best chance for recovery.