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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Rehab in Fort Pierce, FL (772) 882-3621

A dual diagnosis is made when a patient suffering from addiction also has a mental health disorder. Also known as a co-occurring disorder, a dual diagnosis requires two separate treatments, because the addiction and psychological condition are two separate illnesses. However, the treatments should be integrated for the best outcome.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

Dual diagnosis is more common than once believed. Recent research shows that one-third of those who have an addiction to or abuse alcohol and one-half of all people who abuse or are addicted to drugs, also have a mental health disorder. On the other side of the coin, one-third of those with a serious mental illness and one-half of all people with any mental illness also have a substance abuse or addiction issue.

Getting treatment for a dual diagnosis at a treatment center that specializes in co-occurring disorders is ideal, because treatment is an integrated and collaborative effort among the patient and the treatment teams for each diagnosis. We provide this type of treatment method at Drug Treatment Centers Fort Pierce. Call us at (772) 882-3621 to get more information.

Why Dual Diagnoses Are So Common

Experts believe that there are three major factors that contribute to the prevalence of co-occurring disorders:

  • People with mental illness often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to relieve anxiety, numb depression, or make social situations less awkward in the event the mental illness is characterized by social anxiety or difficulty forging or maintaining relationships.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction almost always worsen underlying mental disorders.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can also cause the onset of the first symptoms of a mental illness. The long-term effects of most substances of abuse include mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and paranoia.

Types of Mental Health Illnesses in Co-Occurring Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder and clinical depression are two of the most common mental illnesses associated with a co-occurring disorder. Others that commonly occur with a dual diagnosis include:

  • Panic disorder, which causes episodes of extreme and debilitating fear that results in physical symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating, and chest pain.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which causes the patient perform ritualistic or repetitive behaviors like counting steps.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, which may affect those who are the victim of or witness to a traumatic event, causing nightmares, flashbacks, and emotional instability.
  • Personality disorders are characterized by a person’s inaccurate self-perception and make it difficult to develop relationships and relate to others.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

The treatments for drug addiction or abuse and the co-occurring mental illness should be integrated so that the treatment for one addresses the other. Treatment therapies include:

Psychotherapy, an umbrella term for “talk therapy” that helps patients learn about their illnesses and helps them develop tools to cope with stress, triggers, and unhealthy thoughts. Psychotherapy includes various individual, family, and group therapies.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy that on the cognitive side helps patients become self-aware of their destructive thought processes so that they can identify unhealthy thoughts and replace them with healthier ways of thinking. On the behavioral side, patients learn to replace self-destructive behaviors with those that are healthy.

Pharmacotherapy, or drug therapy, which treats the mental illness through appropriate medications.

The Aftercare Plan

Seeking treatment through a dual diagnosis recovery program helps ensure that the aftercare plan, which is set in place after the successful completion of treatment, addresses both the mental illness and the addiction issues.

An aftercare plan is the last phase of a quality drug or alcohol treatment program and is designed to help prevent relapse by providing ongoing addiction and mental illness support. Components of an aftercare plan typically include:

  • Ongoing individual cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Ongoing group counseling.
  • Ongoing family therapy.
  • Ongoing assessment of the mental illness and the medications used to treat it.
  • Involvement in a recovery support group like AA or Smart Recovery.
  • Vocational rehab to help patients secure and maintain employment.
  • In some cases, a stay in a sober living facility to help the patient ease slowly back into “real” life.

Call Drug Treatment Centers Fort Pierce at (772) 882-3621 if you or someone you love is in need of treatment for addiction.

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