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Specialized Programs: Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis

dual diagnosis

A physician will render a “dual diagnosis” when the patient is a drug or alcohol addict and also exhibits signs of an additional psychological disorder or psychiatric disease. Combined, both illnesses will impact the ability of the patient to achieve recovery.

Relapse is typically more prevalent in drug addicts and alcohol addicts who have received a dual diagnosis. When the patient is considered possibly harmful to themselves or others, immediate admission into a drug treatment facility is highly recommended.

Despite distinct differences in each disease, the combined effects will cause exacerbated symptoms, making recovery difficult. Additionally, the symptoms of the drug and/or alcohol addiction may conceal the symptoms of a mental illness or vice versa.

Treatment from medical professionals who specialize in drug addiction is crucial to attaining recovery and preventing relapse.

The addicted person with a dual diagnosis may display one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Difficulty with intimacy
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Inability to maintain employment or attend classes
  • Difficulty formulating and conveying thoughts
  • Become socially inept or solitary
  • Inability to manage finances or control spending
  • Violent tendencies or uncontrolled anger

When dual diagnosis is the medical finding, it is imperative that both the drug or alcohol addiction and the mental illness be treated concurrently.

The Addiction Recovery Center’s world class team of psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, doctors and nurses will promptly commence therapeutic treatment of both the addiction and the mental illness after the diagnosis is rendered.

It’s important to know that addicts with a dual diagnosis can realize recovery. In the course of treatment, the addicted person with a dual diagnosis will learn skills to cope with their addiction and receive therapy for their mental illness.

A common mistake made by most Dual Diagnosis clients, is dedicating too much energy towards one diagnosis, while neglecting the other. It is scientifically proven that a relapse in the addiction can cause a relapse in the mental illness and vice-versa.

Clients who seek treatment for a Dual Diagnosis may be given a psychiatric evaluation in addition to the psychological assessment, a medication evaluation, monitoring, education about the illness, symptom management strategies, and increased individual therapy. They are taught to develop and follow a Recovery Plan for their mental illness that supports and compliments the Recovery Plan for their addiction.

Together, these two Recovery Plans function in parallel, allowing the client to utilize a larger support network.

The Addiction Recovery Center Addiction Treatment Programs 24 hour Helpline:
“It’s never too late to call.”

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From an Alumni
“My name is Leslie and I was admitted to the Watershed (BOCA) on April 7th 2008. When I first arrived at the watershed I was scared, nervous, basically terrified. I came, over time, to realize that I was there to meet some wonderful patients there with me and some wonderful employees of the Watershed. I can remember sitting in one of my first classes and the speaker blurted out that we were all insane….I got mad…until they gave the definition. Then I started to listen.

So many people at the Watershed played a huge part in my recovery. I now have, by the grace of God, 126 days clean. Never in my life, would I have thought that I could do this. My children smile to be with me, my family trusts me, I got my job back, I am looking at other career opportunities, and I have my life back and more than I could have ever dreamed of!”