If you are or have ever considered addiction treatment, you may have heard the term “dual diagnosis” used. It’s a common discussion amongst those in the recovery community, but what does it mean? And, does it apply to you and your addiction? At Asheville Recovery Center, we understand the importance of the implementation of a dual diagnosis program, and offer it accordingly to those who need it. Furthermore, we can help you determine if a dual diagnosis program is something you may need throughout your time in treatment.

So, What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Just as the title implies, dual diagnosis is when an individual is diagnosed with two disorders. In addiction recovery, dual diagnosis is used as a term for the diagnoses of both addiction and a concurring mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis programs are set into place to help individuals who suffer with mental health conditions heal from addiction. Otherwise, they would likely fail to remain sober after attending programs which do not address mental health conditions. Mental health disorders which are paired with addiction and addressed with dual diagnosis programs may include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Phobias

What are My Chances that I’m Affected by Dual Diagnosis?

Unfortunately, it’s very common for someone struggling with a substance addiction to also struggle with mental health issues. In fact, a study performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2014 confirms it. Research shows that 7.9 million Americans ages 18 and above suffer from concurring conditions. But, the only way to be sure that you suffer with both disorders is to be diagnosed by a mental health professional. Preferably, one which also works in the realm of addiction treatment.

Treating Mental Health Issues and Addiction Simultaneously

Once individuals are determined to be affected by both conditions, the best way to go about treatment is to utilize a dual diagnosis program. This is because, more often than not, the mental disorder and the addiction go hand in hand. When only addiction treatment is used without identifying and confronting mental health issues, there is a higher chance for relapse. Most addictions are developed not only after the development of mental health issues, but as a result. Drugs and alcohol can provide a numbing effect when dealing with negative emotions or situations brought on by mental health issues. And, without treatment of mental health issues, these individuals are likely to experience the same negative emotions and situations once addiction treatment concludes. Consequently, relapse is eminent for those dealing with mental health issues who have not addressed them throughout addiction treatment.

What are the Benefits of a Dual Diagnosis Program

A dual diagnosis program differs from standardized addiction treatment methods because it involves treatment of both addiction and mental health issues at the same time. There are many benefits to utilizing a dual diagnosis program when dealing with concurring issues including:

  • Increased education on both the individual’s personal addiction and mental health issues. This ensures that methods of treatment can be effectively utilized.
  • An established and monitored prescribed mental health medication schedule. This way, individuals can be certain of how to correctly manage health post treatment.
  • Individualized therapy sessions aimed at identifying underlying causes of both mental health conditions and addiction. Identifying and confronting these causes leads to the development of healthy coping strategies to reduce the risk of relapse.
  • A supportive atmosphere where individuals can feel comfortable with establishing healthy and effective ways of dealing with concurring conditions.

Looking for a Dual Diagnosis Program?

If you or a loved one needs the use of a dual diagnosis program for the treatment of both mental health and addiction issues, there is help available to you now! Also, if you would like to learn more about our program, please visit our website. Lastly, if you would like to learn more about enrolling in the program, give us a call at 866-315-8998.

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