The term “dual diagnosis” refers to cases where a person has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. Sadly, the two often exist together and feed into one another, creating a host of challenges. From financial difficulties and troubled relationships to basic physiological safety, the damaging effects of co-occurring disorders cannot be overstated. If you or someone you care about is struggling, getting help at a treatment facility that addresses both concerns equally and simultaneously is key.
What Are the Five Advantages of Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
Dual-diagnosis treatment provides clients with a host of notable benefits. Just five of the top reasons to consider this rehab modality are:
- It strongly increases the rates of successful treatment for both disorders. Copious data shows that rehab clients enjoy the lowest rates of relapse when providers effectively deal with both their physical substance abuse and mental illness. After all, an untreated mental illness can trigger further substance abuse down the line. Similarly, unchecked substance use can continue to corrode mental wellness even if therapy is occurring.
- A higher quality of life is possible for dual-diagnosis clients. Mental health counseling and/or medication helps stabilize clients’ inner experiences. Meanwhile, substance abuse counseling sets them up for success in the workplace, close relationships, and physical health.
- It leads to fewer run-ins with law enforcement. Both mental illness and substance abuse can contribute to illegal behavior. What’s more, many addictive substances are, in themselves, illegal to purchase or use. Thus, clients who get free from the mutually triggering cycle of substance abuse and mental illness also see a significant reduction in arrests and other adverse law enforcement outcomes.
- Statistically, those who receive dual diagnosis care have less need for future hospital visits. This is simply because their risk factors across the board are lower. Receiving adequate mental healthcare helps them avoid hospitalizable outcomes such as psychotic breaks. Receiving substance abuse treatment also helps clients sidestep negative physical events like overdoses.
- Clients experience greater housing stability. Those with wrap-around care tend to stabilize in a more lasting way. Dual diagnosis treatment, especially followed up by sober living housing, strongly facilitates reintegration into everyday life. This, in turn, greatly reduces their chances of becoming homeless due to drug relapse, mental health deterioration, or other factors.
What Can I Expect From Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
Clients in rehab for co-occurring disorders first receive a comprehensive professional evaluation. This helps the care team understand exactly what they’re dealing with and optimize the treatment plan. While some co-occurring disorders, like opioid abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, are particularly common, each client is treated as an individual. This allows caregivers to support unique needs, acknowledge the reality that poly-substance use is common, and make space for similarly complex mental illnesses.
Following evaluation and treatment planning, clients undergo detox from any substances they’re currently using. This occurs under a doctor or other medical provider’s care, giving clients high rates of success and safety. Following this critical physical cleansing phase, the real work of rehab can begin. Clients undergo one-on-one therapy, often with a cognitive-behavioral bent. Here, they learn to identify negative thoughts and emotions that lead them to use or otherwise self-sabotage.
By practicing cognitive reframing and replacing these negative inner contents with more positive versions, they gain agency and a brighter outlook overall. Examining one’s root causes of substance abuse, looking at any family history of mental illness, and strategizing about relapse prevention are all also common treatment goals. Depending on the mental illness present, specialized care may be needed. For example, trauma-informed therapies like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can be incredibly impactful for clients with a history of trauma.
Group therapy and holistic treatments like yoga, meditation, and animal-assisted therapy can facilitate an effective dual diagnosis program. Integrating body, mind, and spirit is essential for meaningful and lasting recovery. The more tools and personal integration a client can find in rehab, the more likely they are to carry their sobriety into the future.
Begin Treatment Now for Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders at Ray Recovery
Call 888.598.6299 or connect with the team at Ray Recovery online. The benefits of dual diagnosis treatment are profound, and we want you and your loved ones to get the most out of rehab by experiencing this form of care. Reach out today to begin your recovery journey through holistic, customized, and compassionate care.