The combination of mental illness and substance abuse is a double-whammy. In many cases, only one of the two is identified, leading to an inadequate treatment plan that never truly works.
At The Way Out, we boast extensive experience in identifying and treating clients affected by both mental illness and addiction — a condition known as dual diagnosis.
If you feel your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for a dual diagnosis, please call 1-877-929-6887 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.
How to Treat Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis clients are highly capable of leading happy, fulfilling lives if they receive the professional care. At The Way Out, our network of dual diagnosis providers is limited to only those facilities that meet our strict quality standards and use proven techniques that achieve long-term results. Those techniques include:
- Detoxification administered in a medically-supervised, compassionate manner. Detox is an essential first step — the client must have all the drugs and alcohol out of their system before treatment begins.
- Following detox, our treatment programs will simultaneously address both the substance abuse and mental health issues – thereby avoiding the need for clients to travel to and fro between two different locations.
- The client’s input will always be included when creating a recovery plan. That way, client feedback will be reflected in treatment goals and the strategies used to achieve change.
- Clients are given basic education about their particular disorder, and are taught healthy coping skills so that future stress or adversity can be handled without relapse.
Addiction and Mental illness often go hand-in-hand
A dual diagnosis issue affecting you or your loved one is more common than you may think:
- According to a 2011 University of Utah study, more than 60% of those diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder are also addicted to drugs — a number far higher than drug addiction among the general population, which stands at about 10%.
- Roughly 46% of schizophrenics are also drug addicts.
- Depression has a strong link to substance abuse. According to the University of Utah study, about 27% of those diagnosed with a major depressive disorder are also suffering from addiction.
At The Way Out, one of the key benefits of our dual diagnosis strategy is its integrated, comprehensive approach. Both the substance abuse and mental illness conditions are treated simultaneously in a coordinated manner. The federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has also come out strongly in favor of dual diagnosis care, and credits dual diagnosis with achieving higher overall success rates.
Identifying the problem
For family and friends of the dual diagnosis patient, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize substance abuse. Many warning signs of addiction, such as rebellious, argumentative, or spaced-out tendencies, may be associated with the individual’s mental illness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, other warning signs include:
- the person in question suddenly having money problems
- a sudden appearance of new “friends”
- valuables disappearing from the house
- drug paraphernalia is found in the house
- the person spends long periods of time in the bathroom
- dilated pupils
- needle marks
Once a dual diagnosis case is confirmed, it’s essential that he or she immediately enter drug rehab. When left untreated, dual diagnosis individuals have a greater propensity for violence, suicide and homelessness.
Family and friends can be a lifesaver for dual diagnosis patients
Left untreated, a dual diagnosis condition can indeed be life-threatening. Instead of enabling, suggest to the addict that it’s time for treatment. Don’t be discouraged if the addict is initially resistant to treatment — instead, continue to press for dual diagnosis treatment in the weeks and months ahead, and continue to refuse the addict’s pleas for money or other enabling favors.
Once the addict is placed in dual diagnosis treatment, your continued support will be greatly needed. Be calm and understanding as the addict begins anew life in recovery. Although it’s okay to ask about their psychiatric treatment, don’t make that the sole focus in conversation.