Why Treating Dual-Diagnosis in Rehab is Important

Treating Dual Diagnosis

Addiction treatment programs have begun focusing more on treating the underlying causes of substance abuse. In the past, the approach was based mainly on punishment. Addicts were forced to endure withdrawals alone in cold, clinical settings. After a few days of this treatment, they were released back into the world with no support or guidance. As a result, most of them relapsed and far too many of them died from overdose or suicide. Today, treating dual diagnosis in rehab includes recognizing patients as individuals who deserve respect and compassion, and the results are significantly improved from what was achieved in the past.

But, thankfully, times have changed. Many treatment programs are now viewing addiction as a maladaptive coping strategy. What this means is that addicts often don’t know why they are using drugs or alcohol. In most cases, they have emotional or mental issues that contribute to their need to self-medicate. In effect, they have unknowingly taught their brain that the substances provide an escape and a means of coping.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine that anyone is unaware of the potential dangers of drug abuse. So, why do we have so many addicts ruining their lives or dying of overdoses? The answer lies in the fact that the relief they get in the moment is worth the risk.

Understanding This Disorder

Addiction is a highly complex disorder that involves a physical dependence as well as an emotional attachment to the substance.  These dual diagnosis patients require specialized care. In fact, lasting recovery isn’t likely unless these underlying problems are addressed simultaneously under the supervision of trained professionals.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 60 percent of people with drug abuse or addiction problems also have a mental health disorder. This knowledge will help treatment providers craft a program that addresses each aspect of the addiction. When a person knows what contributed to their substance abuse, they are better equipped to apply coping skills when faced with triggers.

Some of the things that can lead a person to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism can include:

  • Trauma – the death of a loved one, divorce, family dysfunction, relationship problems, mental or physical abuse, financial problems, etc.
  • Health problems – chronic pain, cancer, injuries from an accident, terminal illnesses, and more.
  • Low self-esteem – people who suffer from poor self-image are often victims of child abuse. Low self-esteem can also be the result of unsupportive parents, sibling rivalry and bullying, pressure from teachers or employers, media influences, and more.
  • Peer pressure – Today’s partying culture has lured millions of teens and young adults to indulge in club drug use, alcohol abuse, or both. Wanting to fit in with the crowd became a death warrant for many of these people.

When a person is struggling with any of the above issues, it’s often easy to look for something to make them feel better. But, rather than helping, these substances usually create even more problems for the individual. The only workable solution to this predicament is to seek help from a treatment program that has experience dealing with dual-diagnosis patients.

Treating Dual Diagnosis in a Rehab: What to Expect

The best addiction treatment programs for treating dual diagnosis are those which offer a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all aspects of substance abuse. In most cases, an inpatient or residential program is the most effective. At Awakenings Rehabilitation, we offer clients an individualized plan that targets their specific needs.

These are some of the modalities that are available for our clients:

  • Detox – This is the first step in treatment. During withdrawal, our skilled addiction specialists monitor clients 24/7 to ensure a safe and comfortable withdrawal process.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – One of the most vital components of an effective treatment plan. The goal of CBT is to help a person understand how their thoughts and behaviors contributed to their addiction. During CBT, clients learn how to identify harmful or destructive thought patterns and replace them with positive, rational thoughts.
  • Group and Individual Counseling – Allows clients an opportunity to open up and discuss their feelings and emotions.  They also learn valuable coping tips and strategies from others in the group.  Clients also learn to explore their inner self and identify some of the deeper reasons for their drug use.
  • Responsibility – Helps clients understand the consequences of their choices and how they affect the future. Clients learn how to recognize a potential problem and take action to deal with it rather than finding ways to avoid it.
  • Music and Art Therapy – Creative arts are excellent resources for helping a person express their inner feelings. Clients enjoy benefits such as improved awareness and motivation, better communication skills, reduced anxiety, improved self-confidence, and much more.
  • Aftercare Planning – We work with clients to create a plan for continued support and guidance that they can rely on after rehab. These services assist recovering addicts with finding employment, locating sober living homes, arranging transportation, and much more.

As you can see, we don’t just treat the physical addiction. We strive to help our clients develop the confidence and skills for dealing with life’s daily problems without resorting to addictive substances.

Get Help at Awakenings Rehab

Treating dual diagnosis in rehab is the only way to ensure a lasting recovery from addiction. Contact us today if you would like more information or if you are ready to find the right program for yourself or a loved one.

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