The Importance of Going to a Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Center

If you are seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one something important to remember is to find a rehab center that is a dual diagnosis treatment center. “Dual diagnosis” is a term used to describe patients with both mental illness (mainly psychotic disorders) and problematic drug and/or alcohol use. Personality disorder may also coexist with psychiatric illness and/or substance misuse.

The importance of choosing a dual diagnosis facility is paramount in choosing a quality, comprehensive addiction treatment center because a dual diagnosis facility will treat both the substance use disorder/substance abuse as well as the mental illness or personality disorder. The two cannot be separated and must be integrated into one treatment for treatment to truly be effective. A single licensed therapist with experience in both mental health and substance abuse treatment will be able to offer high quality, comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment to a patient. Integrative treatment is imperative, because the patient cannot be passed around from therapist to therapist, from clinician to clinician. A single, qualified clinician should be working with the patient, forming a therapeutic bond and alliance with them and offering treatment for both mental health issues and addiction issues.

Furthermore, there is another important reason for always choosing a dual diagnosis treatment center for someone suffering from addiction, substance abuse or chemical dependency. That reason is because many people suffering from a substance use disorder will many times present like they also have a mental health or behavioral health issue while not actually having one. Often, people with addictions are misdiagnosed by a therapist or psychologist or psychiatrist with having issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD or being bipolar. This misdiagnosis is often not the fault of the person making the diagnosis: drug addicts and alcoholics rarely are entirely truthful about their using and drinking, their behaviors due to the addiction often look like someone that suffers from having a mental illness, and addiction itself often is accompanied by issues like anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive issues. So it is almost impossible to properly diagnose someone dealing with addiction until the drugs and alcohol are entirely removed from the equation and a baseline can be established. Often when the drugs and alcohol are removed, the symptoms that look like a mental health disorder also dissipate or disappear entirely. This is why a dual diagnosis addiction treatment center is key in offering treatment for anyone suffering from substance abuse. Because a dual diagnosis center will be able to determine if the mental health issues actually are mental health related or just issues causes or exacerbated by the addiction. Then, if the patient does in fact suffer from some type of mental illness or personality disorder, the same drug treatment center will be equipped to offer the necessary treatment to treat both issues.

Mental health and substance abuse cannot be separated. They go hand-in-hand and need to be treated as such, in an integrative model of addiction treatment. A dual diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment center is the best way to approach someone suffering from addiction and alcoholism with a high quality, comprehensive addiction treatment model.

Copyright 2014 Maryland Addiction Recovery Center – All rights reserved. Reprinted here with permission.

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