What is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Can Be Essential

Many people with substance problems need a dual diagnosis treatment program to complete their recovery.

That’s true because they also suffer from other serious mental health issues.

If you are affected by these additional issues, you may wonder if it’s even possible to get better.

But with the effective treatments available today, this is indeed a realistic, achievable goal.

Recovery from dual diagnosis is not easy.

In fact, you may find yourself facing more difficult problems than people only affected by addiction or mental illness.

However, with time, effort and expert care, you can turn things around.

There is always hope, even for people severely affected by dual diagnosis symptoms.

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Basics of Dual Diagnosis

Until recently, dual diagnosis was widely known by another name: co-occurring disorders.

All people diagnosed with this issue are simultaneously affected by two significant problems:

  • A substance use disorder, or SUD
  • A separate mental illness

Some people with a SUD are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

However, some are not. Instead, they have serious, substance abuse-related problems even though they are not addicted.

You can also suffer from symptoms of addiction and non-addicted abuse at the same time.

There are many types of mental illness.

The list of these conditions includes such things as:

  • Major depressive disorder and other depressive disorders
  • Bipolar I disorder and other bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other schizophrenia-related disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders

There is a strong, two-way connection between mental illness and SUDs.

If you have a mental illness, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance that you will also have a SUD.

There is also a 50/50 chance that people with SUDs will have a separate mental illness.

That figure includes people affected by all kinds of mental illness.

A smaller number of people with dual diagnoses, roughly 3.6 million, suffer from serious or severe mental illness symptoms.

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Substance-Induced Disorders

Sometimes, substance use itself directly leads to significant mental health problems. When that occurs, you do not actually have a separate mental illness. Instead, you have a substance-induced mental disorder.

All major addictive substances can trigger this type of disorder. Specific problems you may experience include:

  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Serious anxiety
  • Extreme disorientation, also known as delirium

When diagnosing you, your doctor will look for these kinds of issues. If they are directly caused by your substance use, you do not have dual diagnosis. However, it is possible to be affected by dual diagnosis and substance-induced problems at the same time.

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Typical Rehab Vs. a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

If you have dual diagnosis, you cannot recover your health just by treating your substance problems. Instead, you must get help for your mental illness, as well. Why? Untreated mental illness creates a major roadblock for your ability to quit drugs or alcohol. The connection also works the other way. An untreated SUD creates a serious drain on your odds of recovering from mental illness.

Since the two issues affect each other, they must be treated together. This is the big difference between a typical rehab and a dual diagnosis treatment program. Standard substance rehab just helps you recover from an SUD. In contrast, treatment for dual diagnosis also helps you cope with additional mental health problems.

Not all addiction specialists offer dual diagnosis treatment. This means that you must take the time to find a program that meets your specific needs. You may find help in a facility that also offers standard substance rehab. However, some dual diagnosis treatment centers operate independently.

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Features of a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Assessment of Your Condition and Situation

What happens in a dual diagnosis treatment program? When you first enter this kind of program, you should receive a thorough assessment of your condition. This assessment helps your treatment team uncover a range of crucial details. That includes such things as:

  • The exact nature of your substance problems
  • The type or types of mental illness affecting you
  • Whether or not you actually have a dual diagnosis
  • How badly you’re affected by your SUD and mental illness symptoms
  • What kind of care you’ll need to make your recovery
  • How much care you’ll need
  • The strength of your personal support network
  • Any important details of your personal background
  • Potential problems that could make your recovery process harder

Substance Detox

If you’re being treated for a dual diagnosis, you must stop your drug use and/or drinking. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on detox or detoxification. That’s the name for a supervised process where you halt your substance use and go through withdrawal.

People who only have a SUD can sometimes go through detox on an outpatient basis. However, as a rule, you need inpatient detox if you have a dual diagnosis. That’s the only way to protect you from any unforeseen problems while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

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Active Substance and Mental Illness Treatment

Inpatient care is also often necessary for dual diagnosis patients once they finish detox. Why? You may need this kind of 24/7, live-in program to protect your health and well-being during treatment. However, some people may be eligible for outpatient treatment, instead.

Integrated intervention is recognized as the most effective option for dual diagnosis care. What does this term mean? From the very beginning, your dual diagnosis treatment program will address both your SUD and your mental illness. That way, you will never have to worry about continuing to suffer from untreated symptoms.

To treat your SUD, your program may rely on medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. The specific approach depends largely on the substance that triggered your problems. One type of psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy or DBT, is becoming increasingly common in dual diagnosis treatment. Evidence shows that this therapy makes it easier for people with mental illness to stop their substance use.

You may also receive medication specifically targeted at your mental illness symptoms. There are many different options available. Your dual diagnosis treatment program will ensure that the medication you receive meets your unique needs.

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Find Out More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

On its own, a SUD is enough to throw your everyday life far off track.

The situation is even direr if you also suffer from additional mental illness.

That’s why dual diagnosis receives special attention from addiction specialists.

It is also you need this kind of expert care if you are affected.

Without it, you have little chance of recovering from your combined substance and mental health problems.

The good news is that effective help is now available.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center, you receive focused care that addresses all aspects of your health.

This care can make all the difference between a successful recovery and months or years of fruitless struggle.

Need more information on dual diagnosis treatment programs?

Contact the specialists at Pathfinders today.

Our knowledgeable staff will answer any question you may have about these modern facilities.

We also feature first-class dual diagnosis care that meets the highest standards.

No matter how badly you are affected, we have the expertise needed to help restore your total well-being.

What Are Psychological Addictions?

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About Psychological Addictions

When people think of addictions, what usually comes to mind are addictive substances that predominantly affect the human body.

While most habits primarily affect the body, psychological addictions occur in the brain.

Psychological dependence involves becoming mentally fixated upon a substance or activity.

Such addictions can overrule your life and cause you to behave in a way that is not recognized by your loved ones.

It causes strong feelings or compulsions in the mind, making the addict feel as if they cannot go without the substance when, in reality, their body does not need it.

Dependency affects thought processes, making it difficult for people who are addicted to thinking about anything else.

Psychological addictions are sometimes more challenging to diagnose and address than physical addictions because they are not obvious.

While physical addictions cause outwardly visible symptoms of withdrawal, psychological addictions happen almost entirely within the mind.

There is less research and knowledge of psychological addictions because they are not as obvious.

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Understanding Psychological Addictions

While the term “psychological addiction” is common, psychological dependencies are not strictly addictions. The traditional definition of the word “addiction” involves substance abuse that affects the body. However, the term has widened to include other compulsive behaviors such as gambling and non-physically addictive substances.

There is debate over some forms of psychological addictions, such as those caused by drugs not traditionally seen as addictive. Some scientists perceive marijuana addiction as psychological, while others argue it is a physical addiction.

Most users reporting addiction to marijuana, according to Indiana University, report a psychological dependency. Another drug that can cause psychological dependence is LSD, commonly referred to as “acid.” Though different from physical addictions caused by other substances like opioids and alcohol, psychological habits are still harmful.

Behavioral addictions are another type of psychological dependency. Addictions are often known as only involving substances, but they can and do affect various behaviors.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), many behavioral scientists believe that anything capable of stimulating someone also has addictive capabilities.

Addiction develops when a former habit becomes a compulsion. Activities susceptible to forming behavioral addictions include surfing the internet, gambling, playing video games, and watching videos or television. Psychological addictions occur behaviorally as well as with substance abuse.

It is crucial to remember that while psychological and physical addictions are two different things, changed mental processes occur both. The psychology of addictions is complex and still being studied.

Both physical and psychological dependence affect some brain processes, making addicts feel they cannot go without the drug. In physical addictions, the body experiences symptoms as well as the mind.

Physical and psychological addiction can occur together. When physical addiction occurs, it is very likely for the patient to have formed some mental dependency. Even if you no longer enjoy the substance, both your brain and body compulsively desire it.

While mental addiction sometimes occurs without physical addiction, it is less common for someone to be physically but not mentally addicted. When physical and psychological addiction occurs together, recovery becomes even more challenging to achieve.

Patients should receive treatment from both doctors and therapists in this case. Combining therapy, support groups, and medication is a common and effective treatment method for combined psychological and physical addictions.

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Effects and Abuse of Psychologically Addictive Substances

Continual use of psychologically addictive substances is harmful to the life of the addict. The body does not experience changes physically, but changes in behavior make life difficult. Physical symptoms in the body do not occur during a psychological dependency, but behavioral symptoms do. They include:

  • Compulsively feeling as though the person needs the drug or activity
  • Lack of interest in activities the person formerly enjoyed
  • Changed behavior toward work, school, family, or friends
  • Changes in mood

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Mental Illness and Psychological Addictions

If a mental illness is present in a person, addictions are much more likely to form. The term ‘dual diagnosis’ by MedlinePlus plays a role in the causation of substance abuse and mental health issues.

Psychological addiction is sometimes categorized as a form of mental health issue as it deals with compulsions and a perceived need for the substance or activity. If mental illness and psychological addiction are present, treatment is necessary for both conditions.

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Treatment of Psychological Addictions

Treatment for psychological addiction is sometimes similar to the treatment of physical addiction. Counseling offered focuses on overcoming compulsions caused by mental dependency. Patients learn behavioral therapy and coping mechanisms such as CBT and how to deal with compulsions.

Psychologists often treat mental dependence by focusing on what caused the addiction in the first place. Sometimes, childhood trauma or repeated patterns can be a conversational aspect of the process. When patients can understand why they turned to the substance or behavior in the first place, recovery becomes much more attainable. This process allows patients to work on the deep-rooted issues causing their dependency.

Therapists and doctors at our recommended rehabilitation centers are knowledgeable, compassionate, and present with their patients. The psychology of addictions is a complicated and changing field still studied, but our staff is up-to-date and dedicated to helping you recover.

Though we wish we could guarantee recovery completely, this is never possible. Relapse is undoubtedly a common and prevalent issue, but it is imperative to know that it is sometimes part of the process. Relapse in a mental dependency does not mean you have failed. It merely means you need continued work on the mental issue.

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Payment for Treatment

Treatment for psychological dependencies sometimes falls under insurance coverage, but this is not a guarantee.

We offer free insurance verification to help you find out quickly about payment for treatment.

We understand that figuring out how to pay for therapy or counseling is burdensome and difficult.

Both behavioral and substance addictions cost significant amounts of money to maintain.

Gambling and drugs are examples of incredibly addictive behaviors that create a financial burden.

Addictions often cause difficulty in paying for the rehabilitation or therapy that you desperately need.

Our greatest goal always remains to supply you with the assets you need for recovery.

Please do not fear to reach out to us to discuss insurance verification or payment for rehabilitation services.

Psychological addictions differ from physical addictions in that no physical symptoms occur.

Though the body is not affected by mental dependencies, they are still capable of causing emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Thousands of Americans suffer from psychological dependence on a substance or behavior.

It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that recovery from your addiction is possible.

Emotional distress caused by a mental dependency is real and has the capability of disrupting your life.

Recovery is a long and challenging journey.

We know that obstacles like relapse and financial difficulty cause recovery to feel distant and sometimes even impossible.

These are real risks associated with rehabilitation, but the only way of knowing whether recovery is possible is to try.

Your addiction does not have to continue.

You are capable of the work needed to achieve a peaceful and addiction-free life.

Contact us to learn more about psychological addiction and to begin your recovery today. We are here for you.