Substance abuse and dependence rarely appear out of nowhere. Instead, it can develop because of related issues, many of which can impact mental health. What is dual diagnosis? Read on to learn what dual diagnosis is, what kind of treatment is necessary, and what truly comprehensive rehab looks like.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
What is dual diagnosis, exactly? In short, it is when clients struggle with a substance abuse disorder as well as one or more additional disorders. It is very common for clients struggling with substance abuse to also struggle with a mental health disorder.
Along with a drug or alcohol dependence, a person might have a diagnosis of depression. Other common co-occurring disorders include anxiety, panic attacks, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a long list of possible combinations, and dual diagnosis is likely for more than half of all people who enroll in a rehab program.
What Comes First: Mental Health Concerns or Substance Abuse?
It can be hard to know what comes first, the mental health issue or the substance abuse issue. Sometimes, it might seem like the two aren’t related. The reality is that dual diagnosis conditions are often linked, but there is no set pattern for development.
In some cases, clients have preexisting mental health conditions. If a person struggles with a history of trauma and anxiety but doesn’t get the right treatment and support, then dependence is likely. Substance abuse can become a form of self-medication, leading to substance abuse.
Sometimes, the opposite is true. A person who develops a dependence on drugs or alcohol can suffer from a range of psychological side effects. Those symptoms can include paranoia or depression, among many others.
Why Dual Treatment is Critical
All too often, substance abuse treatment is a purely physical program. While it is incredibly important to break free from the chemical bonds of dependence, the disorder goes much deeper. If mental health is a factor in the development of substance abuse, it requires treatment.
At the same time, clients can start with mental health treatment without ending their dependence to illicit substances. If clients are still under the influence of illicit substances, then they won’t be able to give their full attention to treatment. Psychological treatment and counseling will be far more effective if clients are sober from the start.
Comprehensive Dual Diagnosis Care at The Willows
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery is a place where women can expect complete and comprehensive treatment. Dual diagnosis care is available and can make a big difference on the road to recovery. In addition to dual diagnosis treatment, clients can access a wide range of treatments and resources. Some of the most effective strategies for long-term sobriety include the following:
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Aftercare services
What is dual diagnosis treatment, exactly? For many clients, it is a way to treat mental health and substance abuse disorders simultaneously. At The Willows in Fairview, North Carolina, women can choose recovery in a safe and supportive environment. Call 855-773-0614 to take back control over your life today.