What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Wondering what is dual diagnosis treatment all about?

What is dual diagnosis treatment? A dual-diagnosis refers to an individual who has a substance use disorder and also suffers from a mental health issue. Many people who suffer from mental health problems will try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in an effort to manage or subdue the symptoms of their mental disorder. The problem is that this type of behavior becomes a vicious cycle because one disorder adversely affects the other, and both problems are exacerbated. To answer the question, “What is dual diagnosis treatment,” it is a therapeutic treatment that integrates and treats both problems simultaneously, usually at a drug or alcohol treatment center.

Individuals who suffer from mental health mood disorders, and are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, can receive the kind of treatment that is effective in recovering from addiction and also manage their mental health disorders with medication and/or other therapy programs. Mental health mood disorders can include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and clinical depression. Each mood disorder is unique with its own expression of symptoms, and dual diagnosis treatment must be administered by medical professionals that are experienced and knowledgeable in these areas. Mood disorders often cause disturbing physical and psychological experiences for the patient, which can negatively affect a substance abuse issue. On the other hand, substance abuse can promote the development of mental health issues.

Many mood disorders are often rooted in the patient’s past physical or emotional experiences that were unpleasant and difficult to endure. Individuals who were physically or sexually abused or neglected in childhood, or who may have experienced a tragedy or life-threatening experience are some examples of situations that can cause mental disorders. These disturbing experiences are often expressed in specific types of behaviors that affect a person’s mood.

Anxiety is a common form of mood disorder that can create a wide spectrum of thoughts and emotions such as fear, irritability, panic, doom, and restlessness for no apparent reason. These powerful emotions can provoke episodes of panic attacks, irrational fear, confusion, sleep disorders, flashbacks, dread and more. Anxiety may also produce a myriad of physical symptoms such as chest pressure, numbness, headaches, nausea, elevated heart rate, and more. Individuals who suffer from mental disorders are experiencing multiple symptoms simultaneously, which can overwhelm them and prompt them to try and self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

If you are struggling with substance abuse and a co-occurring mental disorder, you will want to find the best dual diagnosis treatment centers to begin an addiction and mental health treatment program. At WhiteSands Treatment Center you will receive the highest level of quality care by medical professionals who are experienced in dual-diagnosis recovery. As one of Florida’s best dual diagnosis treatment centers, we offer evidence-based treatment interventions that are effective in healing and recovering from dual diagnosis problems. You will receive a clinical evaluation when you enter our facility and a treatment plan will be devised exclusively for you. The first phase of treatment is a medically supervised detox process to gradually remove all offending substances from your body, and withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medications. You will be monitored by our medical team throughout the process and kept stable and comfortable.

The next phase of treatment that you will receive at WhiteSands Treatment is pharmaceutical interventions that are effective in managing your mental health disorder. Once your symptoms are under control, we can proceed with psychological and behavioral therapies that are designed to address your problems and challenges. This is a time of self-discovery and you will learn about the underlying factors that may have provoked you to use drugs or alcohol, or exacerbate your mental health challenges. Once these problems are identified they can be treated, and you will learn new, more effective coping skills to effectively manage your problems. You may also be given other treatment programs that include:

  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Holistic alternative treatments
  • Continuous care programs

As one of the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida, our goals are both short and long-term and that is to support, educate and equip you with the knowledge and tools you will need to stay sober and manage your mental disorder. Group therapy will enable you to become more socially active, and relapse prevention techniques will equip you with the skills to handle drug cravings, triggers, strong emotions and toxic situations. Our continuous care program will provide you with the support and help you will need after you leave our facility.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.