What Is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?


This may not be common knowledge, but most people who struggle with substance use disorder also suffer from mental illnesses. Others get into substance abuse to cope with emotional challenges in their lives.

In most cases, patients are treated only for their substance use. But with dual diagnosis treatment from a dual diagnosis treatment center, both substance use and mental illness are treated holistically.

What Is Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is when a patient is diagnosed with substance abuse disorder and a co-occurring mental illness. A dual diagnosis treatment requires that the substance use disorder is dealt with first before embarking on the mental illness treatment from The Edge Treatment.

Understanding the Process Behind Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Diagnosis is the first step of any rehabilitation process, not just dual diagnosis. Diagnosis allows the physician to fully understand the physical and mental state of the patient. After the thorough assessment and the patient has been admitted, detox is the next phase of the process.

Detoxification allows patients to flush substances out of their system as medical care providers monitor their progress and provide medical care where required. This is because some patients experience adverse withdrawal symptoms during detox, and medication helps them cope with the symptoms.

After successful detoxification, patients then go through therapy to learn how the damaging effects drug use has on their lives and adopt healthier coping mechanisms.

Examples of therapy include family-based therapy, one-on-one therapy, and group therapy, the latter of which involves patients engaging one another, especially those who have similar experiences, so they can help each other conquer their addictions.

Now that you understand what dual diagnosis is and the treatment process, here are some of the more common mental illnesses diagnosed alongside substance use:

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Victims of violence and traumatic effects turn to drugs and alcohol to try and forget the pain and traumatic events.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: People affected with ADHD use drugs to cope with the adverse symptoms of their mental disorder.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This is the most common mental disorder that affects most people. Most people with this condition use drugs and alcohol to manage symptoms of mental illness.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The involuntary actions caused by people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder triggers anxiety and depression leading to drug and alcohol use to cope.
  • Borderline Personality Disorders: Borderline personality disorder and drug and alcohol abuse go hand in hand in most cases. Nearly 60% of people with borderline personality disorder have been found to be drug and alcohol abusers.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, dual diagnosis treatment centers not only help patients get over their addiction but also determine the cause of their addiction. The dependence is eliminated first, and then the physicians deal with the mental issues that trigger the addiction to ensure the patient’s full recovery.

This way, patients have higher chances of avoiding relapse since the cause of their substance use is also taken care of.

Patients also get to learn how to cope with traumatic events without reliving them, including how to handle their mental health conditions without letting past events affect their future.

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