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Family Friday: Dual Diagnosis Treatment- Co-Occurring Addiction & Mental Illness

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Dual Diagnosis is when addiction and mental illness go hand in hand. Addicts may use substances to ease the symptoms of their mental health disorder, or, alternately, the symptoms themselves may be exacerbated by the addiction.  These mental health problems may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder among others. If an addict seeks treatment for only their substance abuse problem and not for the underlying mental health problem, a full recovery will be all but impossible.

Recovery from dual diagnosis means far more than just removing the substance that the addict abused. They may successfully complete the detoxification process, but that is only part of a long, complex dual diagnosis treatment and recovery program. They must also recover from the other diagnosis or the symptoms of it, which may have been the reason why they were self-medicating in the first place. As well, they must also process and deal with the many emotional and psychological complications that have arisen due to their addiction. Without properly accomplishing all of these things, they will not have fully entered the recovery process and will continue to perpetuate the same dysfunctional behaviors and patterns of relating to others, including family members.

These dysfunctional behaviors and ways of relating, unfortunately, are all too easily passed on from generation to generation until they are successfully broken by a successful recovery process in a professional dual diagnosis treatment program. This recovery process will not only help the addict who is dealing with their dual diagnosis, but also their family members as well.  If a rigorous program of treatment and recovery for all concerned is not carried out, the dysfunctional personality styles and relationships will continue. It is key that the addict’s recovery encompasses more than just sobriety, but an emotional and psychological recovery as well.

See also  Do You Know Someone with a Dual Diagnosis? Could It Be You?

Dual diagnosis treatment programs often work with families to determine the best course of action not only for the individual, but for the family unit.  Some mental illnesses have a strong genetic link, so it is important not only to educate the family on the symptoms, but also on resources available to seek help. In cases where medication is necessary, the family may be informed about side effects, treatment protocols and other concerns regarding the medication to help improve medication compliance.

Dual diagnosis treatment can be highly successful, even for members of the same family.  It is never too late to break the cycle of addiction.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today.  Our addiction treatment counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.  A substance abuse treatment program is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full-service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.

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