Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs
Dual diagnosis is the condition of having mental illness and substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis is sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders or comorbidity. The term “comorbidity” describes two or more disorders occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Comorbidity also implies interactions between the illnesses that can worsen the course of both. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs are tailor-made to address the co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders specifically. Many of the dual diagnosis treatment centers treat the individual by using an integrated approach, working with both psychological and alcohol or drug dependency. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs are a relatively new approach to treating addiction and have gained acceptance and significant results in treating co-occurring substance disorders.
Dual-diagnosis treatment for addiction became more mainstream for the treatment of co-occurring addiction and mental disorders in the early ’90s. Before this type of treatment was available, there was no supportive evidence to even consider that there could be an underlying disorder that led to the addiction. Looking at the root causes and handling the underlying mental disorder has come a long way in treating addiction.
What to look for in a dual diagnosis programWhile searching for a dual diagnosis treatment program, make sure that the center has all the facts regarding the client. Many times, it is necessary to “wipe the slate clean”, meaning that a client may need to come off of all medications first before continuing their current medication regimen. Many addicts have been put on medication by their family doctor or psychiatrist without disclosing the fact that there has been drug usage going on at the present time. Once the client has been clean and stable for 30 days or so, this is when the see the real person starts to come out and helps the doctors, psychiatrists, staff, and counselors know exactly what is going on with the patient. It is at this point in treatment that a determination is made if there is a need for medications to handle the underlying mental disorder or addiction problem.
Form and functionFor a client to succeed in a dual diagnosis program there has to be self-motivation and a desire to get better. The doctors and treatment teams must be able to work together seamlessly through a coordinated treatment approach without having to consult different departments. The approach only works through a unified effort and a co-joined treatment team.
It is sometimes beneficial for the client to go to treatment further away from home. Getting away from temptations and friends who may still be using is often better for many people. Clients who go to rehab in another state also have a harder time leaving treatment early as well. Depending on the situation, our counselors may suggest looking for substance abuse programs that are a plane flight away. Call us today to discuss enrolling in treatment for underlying mental disorders and addiction issues. We can help.
- Underlying mental conditions need to be addressed at the same time as treating the addiction problem.
- There is significant evidence that shows that almost one-third of alcohol abusers and almost half of all drug addicts have a co-occurring underlying disorder.
- Persons with a psychological disorder are twice as likely to self-medicate and develop either an addiction to alcohol or drugs.
- Dual-diagnosis patients will have a harder time dealing with addiction than patients who do not have a co-occurring mental disorder. Individuals who have a mental illness and a co-occurring substance disorder have higher rates of suicide and homelessness.
A brief history of dual diagnosis treatment programs
Dual diagnosis treatment, interventions, and “integrated” programs, that truly adapted to the needs of severely mentally ill chemical abusers (MICA) began in 1984 (Gigliotti,1986, Sciacca 1987a,1987b) in a New York State outpatient psychiatric facility. In 1985, these integrated treatment programs were implemented across multiple program sites (Sciacca,1987b). Concurrently, treatment and program elements were taught through training seminars in New York as well as nationally. Early articles by Gigliotti, 1986 and Sciacca, 1987a, 1987b, outlined these processes and documented their starting dates. In September 1986, the New York State (NYS) Commission on Quality of Care (CQC) released the findings of eighteen months of research. Its report (Sundram, Platt, Cashen, 1986) described the detachment and downward spiral of dually diagnosed consumers who were bounced among different systems with ” no definitive locus of responsibility.” As a result, Governor Cuomo designated the NYS Office of Mental Health as the lead agency responsible for coordinating collective efforts for this population. CQC proceeded to visit the dual diagnosis programs developed in 1984 and declared the treatment interventions, training, and integrated programs to be positive solutions to the dilemmas (Gigliotti, 1986).
Dual Diagnosis Wiki
Erik Epp – Content Author