Recognizing the Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis programs are important because a mental illness such as bipolar disorder needs to be treated separately from the mental illness of addiction. For example, a doctor would not use the same medication and treatment for the common cold as they would for diabetes, because they are two separate illnesses that need two separate treatments.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center a person’s mental illness will be addressed as well as their drug addiction. A dual diagnosis treatment center will have professionals available to help a person with both illnesses and will have the resources needed to treat both illnesses separately.

According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness, regular drug treatment programs are made for people whose problems are primarily substance abuse and are not the best choice for an individual who also has a mental illness. Many drug addiction treatment centers are confrontational and a bit intimidating in nature and because of this a person suffering from a mental illness in addition to their addiction may be a bit too fragile for that type of environment.

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A person who is feeling overwhelmed and intimidated at a regular drug treatment program will not receive the help they need and they can undergo far more stress than usual, which can result in them using drugs again. Regular substance abuse programs may produce levels of stress that worsen symptoms or cause a person to relapse if a mental illness is present.

Recognizing the Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If a person has already been diagnosed with a mental illness from a licensed mental health professional and then forms an addiction to a drug, they should seek out treatment from a dual diagnosis treatment program. However, if a person notices that they are exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a mental illness and they do not believe it is because of their drug usage, they should be evaluated by a mental health care professional to determine if their signs and symptoms are from their drug addiction or if they are from another mental illness.

A person who is admitting themselves into a dual diagnosis treatment program should be completely honest about their symptoms with the medical staff at the program so that they can receive the proper treatment and diagnosis.