Things You Should Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

Mental health issues and addiction are challenging to heal from. So, when they are both present in an individual, recovery is even more difficult. That’s why it’s important for people dealing with both mental health issues and addiction to understand what to expect from dual diagnosis treatment programs. This way, they can realize what getting help entails. And, be ready for the process so they have the best chance of success.

Some things people dealing with both mental health issues and addiction concurrently should know about dual diagnosis treatment programs include:

Comorbidity Isn’t Uncommon

People who are struggling with both mental illness and addiction may think that they’re dealing with something that is uncommon. And, this may keep them from getting the help they need. However, the truth is that comorbid conditions, especially mental health issues and addiction, aren’t uncommon. In fact, according to statistics, there are over 9 million Americans living with dual diagnosis issues today. So, people that are living with both mental health issues and addiction should not feel that they are alone. Or, that there isn’t help that’s specifically geared toward helping them.

There are Multiple Forms of Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis comes in many forms. Essentially, dual diagnosis is when a person is diagnosed with both a mental health issue and substance use disorder. So, dual diagnosis can include a number of mental health issues including depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, personality disorders, or any other type of mental health issue. Furthermore, dual diagnosis doesn’t depend on which issue was present first. People living with comorbid mental health and addiction issues may have developed addiction as the result of mental health issues or mental health issues as the result of addiction.

People Who Have Mental Health Issues are Higher Risk for Developing Addiction

The reason that dual diagnosis is not uncommon is that the symptoms of mental health issues may not be apparent for people who live with them. Many people who are living with mental health issues may not think they are struggling. Or, are unable to identify the symptoms in their own life as the result of mental health issues. So, they may attempt to internalize and manage the symptoms of mental health issues, like negative thoughts or emotions, by numbing them with the use of drugs or alcohol. After some time, dealing with negative symptoms of mental health issues in this way can lead to addiction. All in all, people who are living with the symptoms of mental health issues are at higher risk of developing a dependency on addictive substances. Therefore, it’s no wonder that a high percentage of people who get help for addiction is eventually diagnosed with concurring mental health issues.

It’s Imperative for People Dealing With Dual Diagnosis to Seek Out Appropriate Care

It’s unfortunate, but many mental health facilities don’t offer care for people dealing with dual diagnosis. Many facilities offer help for people diagnosed with one issue. Dual diagnosis treatment must be individualized and be able to assist individuals dealing with just one mental health issue. It’s challenging to identify specific symptoms that are the result of addiction vs. mental health issues. But, treatment that is specific for people living with comorbid conditions takes this into consideration. And, works to specifically address issues that result from both addiction and mental health issues.

Getting Help for Both Mental Health Issues and Addiction

It’s important to address both addiction and concurrent mental health issues at the same time. This is because these issues can aid each other in their development and progression. When a person living with a dual diagnosis only gets help for one of their mental health issues, rather than both, their chance of obtaining lasting mental health recovery is less. So, it’s imperative for individuals living with multiple mental health issues to receive care that’s focused on addressing all mental health issues that are present concurrently.

Southcoast Psychiatric Services offers dual diagnosis services and treatment programs for people who are living with the symptoms of both substance use disorder and other mental health issues. Find out more about how we can help today by visiting our website to learn about our programs and services.