4 FAQs About Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In today’s world, more and more individuals are struggling with dual diagnosis, which is the combination of two diagnostics in one person. For instance, someone with an alcohol problem who also struggles with another mental health issue such as depression or anxiety. 

While the exact number of people who struggle with dual diagnosis can be difficult to determine, we know that it’s a common problem. In fact, some estimates suggest that up to 60 percent of people who have a substance use disorder also have another mental illness. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options available for those struggling with dual diagnosis – both inpatient and outpatient services are effective in many cases. 

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If you or someone you love struggles with addiction and another condition, these answers to frequently asked questions about dual diagnosis treatment should provide you with clarity and peace of mind.

1. What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

The main goal of dual diagnosis treatment is to address and treat both conditions at the same time. This is often very different from the conventional method of treating one condition at a time, which isn’t very effective. 

For instance, someone who has an alcohol problem and depression will most likely not get any better if their depression is left untreated while they “dry out.” 

2. What Services Are Offered for Dual Diagnosis?

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The specific services offered for dual diagnosis treatment differ from one program to the next. However, most clinics will offer a combination of therapy and counselling sessions. This can help you to identify the root causes of your mental health condition as well as your substance abuse. 

Other common services include: 

  • Medical monitoring – You may benefit from having your physical health monitored as well. If you abuse substances, you may have developed an allergy or a dependency. In this situation, your mental health care provider can recommend medical monitoring to ensure your health is protected.
  • Nutritional guidance – You may have nutritional deficiencies that are affecting your mental health. This can also be the case if you take certain medications. A nutritional counselor can help to find out what your issues are and recommend a plan to correct them. 

3. How Is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

The exact methods used in treating dual diagnosis can widely vary from one organization to the next. However, there are a few common practices:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT consists of identifying negative thoughts and beliefs and replacing them with positive ones. It also teaches you how to change your behavior to improve your life. 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This type of therapy was designed to help people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, it’s been found to be very effective in treating anxiety and depression as well. 
  • Medical Treatment – Depending on what your mental health condition consists of, a psychiatrist may prescribe medication to help you out.

4. Is Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Better for Dual Diagnosis?

The best way to treat dual diagnosis greatly depends on the specific conditions present in each person. For instance, someone who suffers from an addiction and a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia will need very different treatment than someone who only has an addiction

The best way to know if inpatient or outpatient treatment is best for you is to speak with a professional. This can include speaking to a counsellor on the phone or visiting an inpatient/outpatient facility in person. This will help you to make an informed decision about which program is right for you.

In Conclusion

Dual diagnosis is a very common issue, yet it’s also one that is often misunderstood. But now that you know what dual diagnosis treatment is, what services are offered and how it’s treated, you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with dual diagnosis, don’t hesitate to seek help so you can live your best life possible.

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