Dual diagnosis, commonly known as co-occurring disorders, is a clinical term used to describe someone who is battling a substance addiction and a mental illness simultaneously. If you or someone you love is struggling with dual diagnosis, know that you are not alone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 43.6 million Americans over age 18 have experienced some form of mental illness. In 2014, over 20 million adults had a substance use disorder. And 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder (or, dual diagnosis).
As sad or stigmatized it is to speak of mental illness and substance addiction, the fact is, these illnesses do happen. And they happen all the time. They are common, recurrent, and usually very serious. The good news is, they are also treatable. That is where integrated, dual diagnosis rehab can help.
You may be asking: Why go to dual diagnosis rehab over another drug rehab center? What makes dual diagnosis rehab so effective? Is it something that I, or my loved one, actually needs?
Most people who receive drug treatment are battling some deeper-seated issues, as well. In many cases, it is actually these deeper demons that led them to drug abuse in the first place. Many young adults who come to Turnbridge, for example, are struggling with issues like trauma (or post-traumatic stress disorder), eating disorders, depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder alongside their drug problem. They turned to drugs in efforts to self-medicate, to feel better, but fell into the addiction cycle. Fact is, co-occurring mental issues make a person, especially a young person, very prone to addiction.
If you are exhibiting signs of dual diagnosis, or have been previously diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis treatment will be critical to your success. The truth is, people with dual disorder cannot fully recover until both disorders are treated in tandem. This is because mental disorders complicate the addiction recovery process. If a person gets treated for solely a drug addiction, his or her mental health, left untreated, could lead right back to relapse. This person will not know how to cope with any new mental or emotional challenges, and may turn to drugs as a result.
Those who go without dual diagnosis treatment are also susceptible to more severe symptoms. Adolescents and young adults, in particular, have a higher risk of suicide, hospitalization, social isolation, violence, victimization, incarceration, and relapse when dual diagnosis gets left unaddressed.
The most obvious benefit of integrated dual diagnosis rehab is its proven success. But if you still aren’t convinced, here’s three more benefits to consider:
1. Specifically Trained, Watchful Care
Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to treat, and require a specifically trained clinical staff. As a result, many drug rehab centers are not fully equipped to handle dual diagnosis. For example, let’s say you go to rehab for an opioid addiction. However, you are also exhibiting signs of chronic depression. Because the symptoms are so intricately connected (addiction and mental health disorders affect the same areas of the brain), it can be hard to determine the cause and proper treatment of each disorder. Only facilities with a psychiatric team of professionals and integrated dual diagnosis therapies are equipped to handle these complicated diseases at once.
This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of dual diagnosis rehab. These facilities have both mental health professionals and addiction rehab counselors working together to provide well-rounded, round-the-clock care. At Turnbridge, for example, our clinical staff is specifically trained in treating co-occurring disorders in adolescents and young adults. We also have an unusually high staff-to-client ratio of 1:1, making us uniquely equipped to handle the immediate attention each client deserves.
2. Individualized, Tailored Treatment
No dual diagnosis is the same. An individual with co-occurring disorders can have any combination of mental illness and drug addiction: alcoholism and depression, anxiety disorder and Xanax addiction, ADHD and amphetamine addiction, an eating disorder and cocaine addiction, the list goes on. That is why it is imperative that each dual diagnosis be treated uniquely, to ensure that every need is met.
The right dual diagnosis treatment center will strive for this. At Turnbridge, our clinical services are uniquely tailored to address the specific needs of our residents. Upon entering our program, young men and women are evaluated and given a personalized treatment plan to address their individual disorders. But our team goes even further by ensuring that these clients – their health, their progress, and their wellbeing – are continuously assessed. This helps us to recognize when needs change and when our treatment plans must also change to stay effective.
3. Integrated Treatment
Dual diagnosis is essentially getting two treatments in one: treatment for a mental health disorder, and treatment for drug addiction. Mental health and substance addiction are intertwined. They happen near simultaneously, and continue to affect one another. When a mental illness heightens, substance abuse typically amplifies as well. When drug abuse gets worse, typically the symptoms of mental health get more severe. Because both affect a person simultaneously, in the same areas of the brain, treatment should also be enacted at the same time and place, through an integrated approach.
According to DualDiagnosis.org, “The most successful approaches for Dual Diagnosis patients are integrated programs that treat all aspects of the illnesses in a single location.” Other sources agree. SAMHSA states that dual diagnosis rehab centers who use psychiatric strategies in combination with addiction treatment can reduce relapse rates and foster long-term abstinence among their graduates. A combined, integrated approach to dual diagnosis can also lead to less suicide attempts among clients.
At Turnbridge, we integrate several evidence-based treatment models for dually-diagnosed patients, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness techniques. Through these, residents come to understand their mental health and how it impacts their daily lives, choices, and overall perspectives. We also teach them coping and relapse prevention strategies, to better handle the challenges that so often arise in the recovery process. In addition to other complimentary modalities, Turnbridge clients can benefit from holistic therapies, including yoga, nutritional counseling, and meditation. We have found that these can lead to more balance in one’s life, and for those with dual diagnosis, this balance is absolutely essential.
Integrated dual diagnosis treatment addresses all aspects of a person: psychological, emotional, physical, social. It is proven to be the most successful approach to co-occurring disorders. Unfortunately, only 7.4 percent of individuals with dual diagnosis receive integrated treatment they need.
Don’t let this be you. Call Turnbridge at 877-581-1793 to learn more about our dual diagnosis rehab programs for young adults.