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Understanding Dual Diagnosis: What Does it Mean?

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A dual diagnosis is when a client of substance abuse and addiction is diagnosed with at least one accompanying mental health disorder. Dual diagnoses are quite common and they are important to understand in order to receive the proper treatment for recovery as well as for mental health.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

As defined above, a dual diagnosis is the presence of both substance abuse and addiction and at least one mental health disorder in a client. In some cases, one leads to another. For example, a client may develop a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety as a result of their problems with substances. It may also go the other way where a person’s mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder leads them to abuse substances. They also don’t have to necessarily have a causational relationship.

Dual diagnoses are quite common among clients especially for such mental health disorders as depression and anxiety.

The Recommended Dual Diagnosis Treatment Plan

The dual diagnosis is significant to detect in order for clients to receive the most effective treatment options available. Clients are advised to seek treatment from substance abuse and addiction treatment centers equipped for treating clients with dual diagnoses.

Both substance abuse and the mental health disorder(s) must be treated in order for a successful recovery to be possible. A client who has reached recovery or attempts to reach recovery but has neglected to receive treatment for their mental health may find themselves quickly experiencing difficulties with remaining sober.

Psychotherapy is the main treatment method for many mental health disorders as well as for substance abuse and addiction making it a significant part of treating the dual diagnosis. Psychotherapy works by assisting clients to uncover the underlying causes of their substance abuse and addiction as well as the underlying sources of their mental health disorders. Psychotherapy is conducted in various forms including cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy.

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Mental health disorders may also be treated via the use of prescribed medications such as antidepressants in the case of depression. Any prescribed medications would be used in order to work on the chemical imbalances that contribute to these specific mental health disorders. For the best results, medication should only be used as prescribed and for the duration of time stipulated by doctors.

A dual diagnosis may be a bit more complicated than only experiencing substance abuse and addiction but there is hope. These tried-and-true solutions can help you get your life to a place of greater balance, control and productivity.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today.  Our addiction treatment and behavioral health 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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