What Is Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment?

Dual Diagnosis Treatment is becoming the new reality in many drug and mental illness facilities across the United States. Physicians, Psychologists and other medical personnel have realized that many of the old traditional programs aren’t working for everyone.

Approximately 7.9 million people experience both a drug addiction and mental illness problem according to a 2014 survey. This is called a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis.

Another term used in abbreviated form is IDDT (integrated dual diagnosis treatment).

IDDT was designed to treat both conditions at the same time. Mental illness disorders and substance abuse are related to the fact that the individual possibly had one pre-existing condition that helped cause the second problem.

What Makes IDDT Important for the Patient and Facility?

The dual diagnosis treatment center program was developed based on evidence that patients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders needed treatment for both problems simultaneously to succeed in a full recovery.

The need to be successful at treating both drug addiction and mental disorders at the same time ensures that patients have less relapses, hospital visits, overdoses and criminal problems with law enforcement.

Treating just one problem makes it difficult to keep the patient from going into a relapse and can delay their recovery. As an example, a patient treated for drug addiction could be prescribed mental health medication. They could be ordered to stop taking the prescriptions because it was considered a form of drug abuse by their physician, mental illness doctor or probation officials.

These professionals may have been treating the patient for drug addiction or they might be under probation for criminal actions they used to acquire the illegal drugs.

With IDDT, the patient can get treated for both conditions without any conflict of interest since they are under dual diagnosis treatment. The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) is partnering with many rehabilitation centers to combat both mental disorders and substance abuse in people of all ages.

According to SAMHSA, more than 43 million people from age 18 and over have some type of mental health problem. In the past few years, almost 10 percent had substance abuse problems with over 18 percent experiencing some form of mental illness. These statistics probably are increasing at the current time.

What are Mental Illness Disorders?

Mental illness disorders can involve a person’s inability to think clearly, or properly control mood and emotions. People with mental health problems can have hallucinations, focus issues, anxiety disorder, mood swings and mild depression. Anxiety and depression are the top two disorders prevalent in most people and these two disorders usually start at a young age.

Schizophrenia usually develops in early adulthood with most patients never recovering from the illness even under medication. Serious mental illness includes schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar and other mental disorders that cause impairment or the inability to function on their own.

Severe mental illness in patients at the federal level means they need both supervision and medication to function or perform basic daily activities.

Serious emotional disturbance (SED) occurs in younger children who have been diagnosed with behavioral, mental and emotional problems that interfere with their school and family activities. Mental illness disorders can affect people of all ages, races and origins.

Substance Use Disorders

Substance abuse and dependence to alcohol or drugs is no longer recognized. It has a new classification currently called SUB (Substance Use Disorder). SUB is based on the individual’s behavior, use, impairment and control of using drugs or alcohol.

People who are under IDDT treatment in a rehabilitation center are classified with different SUB according to the drug choice they abused. The following is a list of substance use disorders.

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Tobacco Use Disorder (TUD)
  • Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
  • Stimulant Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Hallucinogen Use Disorder (HUD)
  • Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

What Patients in IDDT Experience

People who have both drug and mental health problems have serious issues with health, finances and quality of life. Below are some of the problems they could face or have already dealt with before they received treatment in a facility that treats both problems at once.

  • Arrest and possible incarceration
  • Relationship issues involving a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Divorce or separation from a spouse
  • Violent and suicidal tendencies
  • Heavy drug abuse and possible relapse after first treatment
  • Overdose and frequent hospitalization
  • Unemployment, poverty and possible homelessness
  • Infected with HIV, hepatitis or sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
  • Serious health problems
  • Cancer or diabetes
  • Psychotic behavior and psychiatric problems

How Does IDDT Heal The Patient?

Detoxification is the first step in helping the patient recover. The patient is monitored 24/7 for the length of time needed to wean them off the substances of their addiction. The trained medical staff may administer medication to lessen withdrawal symptoms. All patients are required to remain in the facility during detoxification to remove the desire of using drugs influenced by enablers.

Inpatient rehabilitation with 24/7 mental and medical health care services provides the patient with safety, therapy, support and medication that they must have during a critical part of their life. Other types of treatment facilities that provide 24/7 care are group homes and sober houses.

Psychotherapy helps the patient with mental health issues during their stay for IDDT. Not only do they receive treatment for their drug addiction, they also receive the treatment they need for any type of mental disorder they are diagnosed with. Medication is prescribed to them for their mental health disorder when necessary.

Cognitive behavioral therapy allows them to learn how to effectively cope with the problems that brought them to the facility.

Inpatient support group therapy provides patients the chance to meet new people with that have similar problems. They can receive encouragement from others for taking the steps to seek help for their condition. They can also learn a great deal from others in the group about how to stay sober after release from the facility.

Support group information for patients to continue to attend meetings after release from IDDT is given to them or other family members in charge of the patient. Patients should be sure to visit physicians with scheduled appointments assigned to them upon their release.

Find out more about our Holistic Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program.

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We believe trust, meaningful connections, and kindness are the essentials to beginning a journey in recovery. We are dedicated to providing an honest, authentic, and genuine treatment environment that gives our clients a unique opportunity for healing.

Alo House is LegitScript Certified and a Joint Commission Accredited Addiction Treatment Center.