Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

When psychological issues and addiction become closely integrated, there are called co-occurring conditions. When someone enters rehab with co-occurring conditions (psychological and addiction), a dual diagnosis treatment plan becomes the preferred option.

Here is further information on this condition and the ways in which it is treated:

How Do Psychological Issues and Addiction Integrate?

Upon entering rehab, the facility’s clinicians will interview the incoming patient. Whether it’s a center for adolescent mental health treatment or one servicing adults, the professionals will consider the possibility of co-occurring disorders. At the exact point a potential substance abuse problem becomes evident, the treatment focus will need to shift towards dual diagnosis treatment.

Psychological issues and addiction integrate with one another in one of two ways. First, the psychological issues and the related medications may have prompted the addiction. In the other direction, the addiction may be cultivating psychological issues. Regardless of the causation factor, both conditions need treatment.

The Importance of Treating Coexisting Conditions Simultaneously

The reason rehab is the perfect environment for treating coexisting conditions is the rehab facility is usually able to provide access to both addiction treatment specialists and a psychologist. In some cases, it might be the same individual.

Dual access is vital because both conditions need to be treated at the exact same time. Note: if the two conditions are integrated, treating one and not the other is useless. The untreated condition will continue wreaking havoc on any efforts to treat the other condition.

As an example, imagine a teenager has been going through treatment for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They begin abusing their Adderall and form an addiction. The addiction exacerbates the ADHD disorder and the teenager is caught in a vicious cycle. If the addiction treatment facility tries to treat just the addiction without coming up with an alternative method of treating the ADHD, the addiction cannot be treated. Why? The teenager still needs medication for ADHD. The conflict is clear.

Here’s an example where the addiction prompted a mental problem. An individual enters adult addiction recovery with an addiction to heroin. One of the side-effects is depression and anxiety. They can treat the addiction, but what happens if the depression or anxiety remain intact? Indeed, the mental health issue will likely lead the recovering patient right back to drug abuse to mask their problems.

If relapse prevention and a lasting recovery are the primary goals, the patient’s complete disposition is relevant. Failure to address any relevant addiction issue is the surest way to make sure someone is going to relapse.

The Value of Treating Both Conditions in Rehab

Living with a psychological disorder is trying. Living with addiction is also trying. Living with both simultaneously is a serious problem. A good rehab will maintain the resources to treat co-occurring conditions because the facility’s clinicians understand the challenges and conflicts at play.

While a psychologist will certainly understand the nuances of addiction, they seldom have expertise treating it. The addiction is life-threatening and demands absolute focus. That focus is best secured in a rehab. Even if the rehab doesn’t have the resources to treat the psych issues, they can bring in someone from the outside. The key to treatment success in these cases is making sure the whole patient gets the right treatment to create a lasting recovery.

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