Dual Diagnosis Treatment
A commonly overlooked aspect of addiction is the idea that there is often a reason for the addiction other than the addictive properties of the substance itself. If one were to consider someone’s substance abuse problem the “what”, dual diagnosis is the method of treatment that addresses the “why”.
Many people who struggle with addiction find themselves constantly in and out of rehabilitation centers, sometimes failing to complete the programs altogether. Substance abuse may be a problem in your life or in the life of someone you love, returning in the form of repeated relapse.
His and Her House is keenly aware of the fact that this is commonly due to underlying mental illness and presents its dual diagnosis program as a solution that works.
The Dangerous Duo: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
Catalysts for renewed substance abuse can be just about anything. A brief glance at American Cinema is enough to draw a picture of many of the more well-known “relapse triggers”:
An overachieving student finds Adderall or Ritalin (amphetamines for treatment of ADHD) and an effort to obtain increased focus spins out of control and into a habit
There’s a reason this is so common in American life. The unfortunate truth is that many of the substances mentioned above are simply easy to get. With each passing day it only seems to get easier.
Not every trigger is begat by a traumatic experience. Much like the raver’s newfound love for ecstasy (a stimulant, usually in the form of a pill; also known as “Molly”), a substance abuse problem can begin with a simple chance encounter.
What about in the case of a Dual Diagnosis patient?
Addictions in mental health patients can begin just like any other and, when they do, the user unwittingly unleashes a lurking enemy that was likely already hard at work interrupting the user’s life: mental illness.
Many people who are afflicted with mental illness go for years – or their entire lives – without being diagnosed with or educated about their disease. For these people, life is more difficult to live in virtually every way. Their inability to explain their discomfort only complicates their problems further and causes more pain.
Social situations can be excruciating. Performance at school or work usually suffers and relationships with friends and family become turbulent. The symptoms usually are all but invisible to others and suddenly, the world revolves around one ubiquitous fact:
It is simply painful to live.
When this condition already exists in someone’s life, the discovery of a substance that provides immediate release – usually alcohol – can easily be the birth of a Dual Diagnosis situation.
The use of a substance to “numb the pain” of mental illness is known as “self medication” and is very dangerous. The temporary relief wears off, but the pain of mental illness does not and it is usually not long before the user is self medicating again.
Dual Diagnosis: The Numbers
Prescription pain killers is listed as the drug of choice for 21% of Dual Diagnosis patients
One of the main indications of a Dual Diagnosis is repeated relapse after substance abuse recovery. The reason for this is that treatment is incomplete. Untreated mental illness will likely always lead its victims back to the instant gratification and temporary relief that is offered by drugs and alcohol.
For someone facing the full force of mental illness, the trap of substance abuse is nearly impossible to resist. The other side of this coin is that those who fall into the cycle of addiction for reasons other than mental illness can still find themselves developing mental health issues as a result of the addiction.
Prolonged substance abuse is dangerous and damaging. It’s no secret that it is often lethal. For each of those who are lucky and survive their addictions there, are many who do not escape unscathed. Dual Diagnosis treatment does not just focus on those who use drugs or alcohol to medicate their own mental illness. It also addresses those whose addictions caused mental illness.
I'm Sober Now. Shouldn't I be happy? Signs of Depression or Other Mental Illness After Treatment
There is a very popular misconception among sufferers of mental illness who have been struck with the venomous bite of substance abuse: “Get sober and you’ll be fine. You can go right back to life.”
This idea, of course, is not realistic and recovering addicts, thinking re-entry will be easy, fall right back into the open arms of substance abuse.
His and Her House is committed to providing the best Dual Diagnosis treatment available today. Knowing that mental illness is part of your difficulty is very important. Here are some indications of mental illness in your life:
Self harm or suicidal thoughts