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Finding the Right Dual Diagnosis Treatment


A dual diagnosis occurs when someone has a mental disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction. Chemical dependency often occurs along side psychiatric diagnosisí such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Sometimes the mental disorder comes first, leading an individual to engage in substance abuse. Those with mental illness are more susceptible to addiction. Individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder, body dismorphia and other conditions are likely to see their casual drug and alcohol use escalate into a full blown addiction. Other times chemical dependency can lead to emotional and mental problems such as depression.

In order to recover, people must seek treatment for both diagnosisí. First, addicts must enter a detoxification to rid their bodies of their desired substance. The next step is to enter a dual diagnosis treatment program that deals with drug addiction and mental disorders. While in a dual diagnosis program, patients participate in support groups such as codependency, body image, and anger management. In addition, patients participate in 12-step programs such as alcoholics anonymous. Individual is also a key component to dual diagnosis recovery. Patients work therapists and psychiatrists on their emotional issues. Often, dual diagnosis treatment may take longer to complete than just chemical dependency. There is no quick fix for drug or alcohol addiction, but when you factor in a mental illness, it may take even longer to find relief.

While in a dual diagnosis treatment center, patients are often prescribed medicine to aid them in their mental disorder. For example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft and Prozac, have proven to be helpful in reducing and monitoring depression. SSRIs can be taken by dual diagnosis patients because they do not have a high potential for abuse, nor are they addictive.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers provide some of the best care in the country. Employees who work at dual diagnosis treatment centers are skilled psychologists along with professional addiction therapists. Therapists are often skilled in psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral and EMDR. EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, is used on patients who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Addicts, and especially people who suffer from a dual diagnosis, often have PTSD. Dual diagnosis treatment centers incorporate all kinds of therapy in order to aid patients and allow them to lead happy, sober lives..A dual diagnosis treatment program is a smart way to go if you are suffering from a mental disorder and drug addiction.

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