Dual diagnosis is when someone has a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Dual diagnosis responds to this complex state of affairs by treating both disorders simultaneously. This is in contrast to the historical approach that held it was better to treat one disorder until resolved and then move on to treating the next. That approach, commonly referred to as sequential treatment, failed to provide the kind of outcomes that people struggling with addiction deserve. This is because mental health and addiction are intertwined in the case of a dual diagnosis. Both must be treated at the same time through dual diagnosis treatment.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis is the term used when a client is suffering from a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Another term for this is co-occurring disorders, which ultimately means any time someone has more than one disorder at a time. Any mental health disorder can overlap with substance abuse and vice versa. Still, a few of the most common examples of mental health issues that are involved in a dual diagnosis include:
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
Dual diagnoses are prevalent among people who struggle with substance abuse. Recent statistics indicate more than eight million Americans struggle with a dual diagnosis every year. The vast majority of them do not receive the kind of treatment and support they need to overcome the complex challenges posed by a dual diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms of a dual diagnosis will differ based on the substance abuse and mental disorders in question. Broadly speaking, you can expect to see a number of physical, psychological, and behavioral changes in someone who is dealing with a dual diagnosis. Drug cravings, withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, sleep troubles, and poor physical health are all common in people with a dual diagnosis.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis Program?
A dual diagnosis program is a type of treatment that is designed to address the presentation of a dual diagnosis. Organizations like La Fuente Hollywood that implement a dual diagnosis program are careful to ensure that treatment methods are built atop full evaluations of each client’s needs. Every dual diagnosis requires a unique approach.
Dual diagnosis treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation. It is key to understand where a client is entering treatment in ways that go beyond the mere facts of what disorders they currently have. The evaluation will go into detail about what symptoms a person is experiencing, what medications they are currently taking, and what past treatment has looked like for them. Once the evaluation is complete, medical professionals can create a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment plan.
Different elements that tend to make up a dual diagnosis treatment plan include individual and group therapy, support groups, life skills classes, family programming, and 12-step facilitation. The details of each component are often fine-tuned and customized to meet a client’s needs. For instance, a range of possible therapies can be deployed during dual diagnosis treatment in an individual or group setting. One of the most popular therapies for treating dual diagnosis is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy targets mindset and behavior change in an action-oriented way.
Experience Dual Diagnosis Treatment at La Fuente Hollywood
La Fuente Hollywood is a leading provider of dual diagnosis treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use and a mental health disorder simultaneously, we are ready to help. Call 888.903.9898 today to learn how we can support you or a loved one in overcoming a dual diagnosis.