Destination Hope Blog » Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment Revolutionized Rehabilitation

Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment Revolutionized Rehabilitation

Dual diagnosis treatment was developed in response to the nearly 14 million Americans that are affected by the co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance abuse every year.

Historically, substance abuse and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders were considered to be two separate illnesses and thus were treated separately. It wasn’t until fairly recently that addiction specialists realized how frequently these two seemingly independent disorders occurred together not to mention how heavily they influenced one another.

This strong correlation then forced medical experts to examine how effective the existing rehabilitation strategies were at treating the disorders and thus dual diagnosis treatment was born.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “dual diagnosis services are treatment for people who suffer from co-occurring disorders-mental illness and substance abuse. Research has strongly indicated that to recover fully, a consumer with co-occurring disorder needs treatment for both problems-focusing on one will not ensure the other will go away. Dual diagnosis services integrate assistance for each condition, helping people recover from both in one setting, at the same time.”

Dual diagnosis treatment is typically viewed as long term and can begin at any stage of recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment also typically goes further than standard therapy in regard to the services offered. For example, housing assistance, family counseling and relationship management are often a part of a rehabilitation facility’s dual diagnosis treatment.

Once research was shifted to analyzing these originally thought “separate” illnesses as co-occurring, medical experts learned that up to 65.5 percent of people with a substance abuse disorder had at least one mental disorder and 51 percent of people with a mental disorder had at least one substance disorder. Research also indicated that the single prong approach to treatment alienated a lot of dual diagnosis sufferers from seeking help in addition to resulting in poorer outcomes than single disorder sufferers received.

Many rehab facilities still don’t understand the concept and value behind dual diagnosis treatment therefore making it an essential factor to look for when deciding which facility will serve you or your loved one’s needs the best. When improperly treated, a substance abuse disorder and mental illness have the tendency to feed off of each other and exacerbate the symptoms of one another. It is incredibly difficult to recover from either without treating these disorders as the intertwined conditions that they are, and treating both of them simultaneously.

Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a premier drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility for women in Florida. The percentage of addicts who come in our door with the co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental illness is steadily increasing, therefore requiring our staff to be that much more aware and capable of administering quality dual diagnosis treatment.

We have highly trained clinicians, therapists, nurses, nutritionists and other specialists on staff ready and able to start your recovery. Living with one of these disorders is challenging enough, having both occur simultaneously can make living your life seem impossible. When you’re ready, give the folks at Destination Hope a call so they can help restore the sense of possibility in your life.