Why are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Important?

Addiction often comes with a stigma that patients are lazy or immoral. The truth is that addiction is a disorder of the brain. Just like bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression, addiction takes place in the brain. When two or more mental health disorders are present, a psychiatrist needs to diagnose each one. But that’s not all, psychiatrists must treat each one, as well. For that reason, dual diagnosis treatment centers are critically important in recovery.

What are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers?

In 2014, 7.9 million [adults] had both a substance use disorder and another mental illness. The solution for multiple mental health disorders is to treat each of them simultaneously. In other words, psychiatrists need to treat every mental health disorder individually and at the same time. We discuss more on the relationship between dual diagnosis and addiction in the next section.

Experts once believed that dual diagnoses should be treated individually. However, as we discover more about mental health, it has become clear that there’s a better way. In fact, experts now view addiction with another mental illness as a beast all its own. So instead, doctors treat them together. This new approach has been more effective for long-term recovery from addiction.

While some addiction treatment centers focus exclusively on addiction, many have expanded their services. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers are ideal for treating all present mental disorders. They’re prepared to transition their plan of treatment immediately, if necessary. If a counselor discovers that the root of an addiction is another mental health disorder, they can easily pivot to what the patient needs.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers and Substance Abuse

Many people don’t realize they’re suffering from a mental health condition. They only know the pain they’re feeling. It’s natural to want to stop the pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Drugs and alcohol are all too effective at numbing one’s pain. We call this self-medicating. For example, a person who may be suffering from depression feels emotional pain. The euphoric effects of alcohol offer temporary respite when someone is desperate for relief.

However, this kind of relief is not without its problems. Alcohol and other substances are addictive. Instead of relieving depression, the patient unintentionally causes an additional mental health condition. This scenario is certainly common. Living with emotional pain is generally unsustainable.

What’s more, addiction can cause other mental health disorders. An endless cycle of drug or alcohol addiction has side effects. Imagine a person in pain who seeks relief through a night of binge drinking. The common hangover is often replaced by depression, anxiety and more. Therefore, dual diagnosis treatment centers are more critical now than they’ve ever been.

How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Aid in Long-Term Recovery

Please indulge us as we dip a toe into the science of mood disorders and addiction. Chemicals in the brain regulate emotions. A chemical imbalance disrupts healthy brain function. A chemical imbalance often presents itself as a lack of impulse control, as well as feelings of depression and anxiety.

According to MentalHealth.gov, “Substance use problems occur more frequently with certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.” Addiction has many of the same effects on the brain, including a lack of impulse control.

Individual counseling is part of an effective treatment program. During individual counseling, the patient and counselor work together to pinpoint the root of the addiction. MentalHealth.gov points out, “More than one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem.” Dual diagnosis treatment centers offer an easy transition in the treatment plan for patients with dual diagnoses, or co-occurring disorders.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

The backbone of a successful treatment for dual diagnoses is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines CBT. “CBT is designed to modify harmful beliefs and maladaptive behaviors and shows h3 efficacy for individuals with substance use disorders.”

Additionally, counselors at dual diagnosis treatment centers focus on building healthy habits and routines for life after treatment. Counselors and patients set goals, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and gain addiction education. This well-rounded treatment program offers patients with co-occurring disorders a realistic chance at a happy, healthy life. If you’re tired of suffering, there’s hope. Don’t waste another minute. Take the first step to building the life that you’ve always wanted.


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