A dual diagnosis is made when drug addiction is exists alongside a psychological disorder. This co-occurrence of mental illness requires comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment. At Drug Treatment Centers Stamford, our specialized Stamford, CT programs are designed to ensure that patients receive optimum care during their stay. To learn more about your dual diagnosis treatment options, call us at (203)-883-9243.
The first consideration must be that drug and alcohol addiction are mental disorders or diseases. The comorbidity of two mental disorders, where symptoms overlap, creates a complex treatment protocol. Changes have occurred in brain function with the onset of the primary illness that the second disorder further aggravates. Certain mental illness and disorder are risk factors for addiction. The same is true of certain addictions being risk factors for mental illness.
Types of mental health disorders most often seen in dual diagnosis:
Causality is difficult to establish with co-morbid mental disorders. Either, or both, are risk factors for the other; but there are other known basic means of causation. Addiction and mental disease effect the same areas of the brain. If there is a deficiency in an area of the brain due to the impact on brain chemistry from one disorder, the effects of the other disorder are then heightened and may further change the pattern of disorder. For example:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. Patients may abuse alcohol to combat the anxiety and fear that OCD produces.
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports that “approximately 20% of the people who have an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder”.
Treatments for co-existing disorders are not unlike other programs for drug addiction. Any difference is the additional psychological and behavioral components to the addiction treatment that are unique to the mental disorder aspect. These elements should be addressed, and are important in terms of relapse prevention, as one disorder will trigger the other.
Medicinal needs vary by individual, but psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral management is essential in every case. As with any drug addiction treatment program, it is vital that certain concepts be learned:
At Stamford Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, we are uniquely qualified to provide the complex care required for the treatment of a dual diagnosis. We employ skilled medical professionals and specially-trained clinicians who are certified to administer psychotherapeutic medications in treatment of mental disorders, and incorporate necessary medical assessments and evaluations that increase the chances of long-term recovery. Intensive counseling and therapy sessions are structured to include a focus on both dually diagnosed disorders with attention paid to each of the separate illnesses. Additional elements of care educate on how they respond and react to each other.
Aftercare is an important part of a dual diagnosis treatment program. The tools and skills required have been diligently covered during treatment and are ready to be used outside of the protected environment of the treatment center. Aftercare includes continued access to, and support from, the treatment facility and incorporates further counseling and group therapy.
The goal for aftercare is to maintain and support recovery and prevent relapse. Aftercare also supports family members through counseling and education. Patients are encouraged to use community resources, attend AA or NA meetings, build a support network outside of the facility, and continue to develop coping strategies.