Mount Sinai Wellness Center

The challenges of treating addicts with dual diagnoses

One of the challenges of treating a dual diagnosis is that the addict must accept the reality that their struggles with mental health and substance use exist in conjunction with each other. But it’s not always simple finding a mental health service that addresses both psychiatric and substance abuse services at the same time. If you have a dual diagnosis, treatment can only be effective if you stop using, start behavioral therapy, and have the support in place to heal. A high-quality drug treatment rehab addresses both addiction and co-occurring mental health issues simultaneously in one cohesive program.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol typically have an underlying emotional or psychological problem, a phenomenon called a dual diagnosis. About 1 in 4 people who experience mental illness also suffers from substance use problems. The unfortunate reality is that substance abuse often mimics organic mental disorders based on the effects of intoxication. Examples include meth-induced psychosis, anxiety from discontinuation of benzo use, and depression from stopping the use of stimulants.

When Substance Abuse Leads to Mental Illness or Vice Versa

One of the challenges of living with an addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time is the lure to self-medicate. While the highs provide good feelings temporarily, once the effects wear off, then the addict must face their negative emotions again and the cycle perpetuates. Likewise, someone with a mental illness may be more inclined to self-medicate and experiment with drugs to stave off negative emotions they feel, particularly if they have impulse control problems.

What Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Involve?

Integrated treatment for dual diagnosis patients involves individualized care unique to that person’s needs. The first step in recovery is to eliminate drugs or alcohol from the body with medically assisted detox, but this is only that, just the first step. Evidence-based modalities are a must to treat a person with a dual diagnosis, and prescription medication may be useful to help them cope with difficult symptoms or situations that tempt them to start using again. Addressing and identifying distorted thought processes should be a goal of therapy, which involves identifying unhealthy behaviors and replacing them with positive coping strategies.

Our Team at Mount Sinai Wellness Center Helps Patients with Dual Diagnoses

There is a brighter, happier future available for you in sobriety. During your addition treatment journey at Mount Sinai Wellness Center, you’ll have access to the country’s top clinicians and have the time you need to focus on bettering your life and improving your mental health without relying on illicit substances or alcohol as a crutch to help stave off negative feelings.

It’s important to know that not all addiction recovery clinics are equipped to support a person with a dual diagnosis, as the specialized therapies they need are not always available. For instance, a rehab center that only utilizes holistic therapies may help someone struggling with addiction on its own, but it might not be suitable for someone with a dual diagnosis.

You don’t have to feel shame because of a dual diagnosis. Just like any other illness, dual diagnosis can happen to anyone and treatment is a must to help them recover. Our programs at Mount Sinai Wellness Center can help patients address their behavioral health problems that are a driving factor in their substance use. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at (800) 353-4673 for further information.