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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Washington State: Your Recovery Matters

When you're suffering from an addiction, it can feel as though you'll never escape it. You may even attempt it numerous times, but yet you still find yourself going back to using again and again. This is problematic for a lot of reasons. Not only can relapsing create a dangerous addiction cycle, but it can also lead to an overdose, depending on what substances are being used.

It took a long time before researchers started to value the link between addictions and mental health conditions, and at that point, they realized that in order to provide adequate treatment, they would need to come up with a solution to treat both simultaneously.

The problem is that many addiction treatment programs don't address addiction the way it should be addressed. In fact a great number of programs aren't designed to treat the core issues behind addiction, which are often mental health issues. Unless these problems are properly addressed, addiction recovery is next to impossible. Fortunately, there is a solution.

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The Dual Diagnosis Definition: Understanding Dual Diagnosis Rehab in WA State

Dual diagnosis treatment in Washington State can help you overcome your addiction while simultaneously treating any underlying mental health issues that may be causing it. The idea of treating both conditions at the same time is relatively new. Several years ago, mental health and addiction were always treated separately from each other. In the event that the conditions were present within the same patient, the addiction was always treated prior to addressing the mental health issues that led to it.

Dual Diagnosis and Addiction

It took a long time before researchers started to value the link between addictions and mental health conditions, and at that point, they realized that in order to provide adequate treatment, they would need to come up with a solution to treat both simultaneously. As a result, the best aspects of addiction treatment and mental health care were blended together to form dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

This method of treating addiction is so unique because it takes the underlying cause into account. Other ways of treating addiction focus solely on the substance abuse problem itself. Dual diagnosis treatment understands that the addiction must have a cause. The fact is that mental illnesses aren’t always treated correctly. For example, sometimes people with depression or anxiety can be overmedicated for their conditions. Poor treatment can result in a sense of hopeless, which can lead to addiction eventually.

The goal of dual diagnosis treatment is to identify what the underlying cause of addiction is. Once it’s identified, a plan is put into place to treat it appropriately. Otherwise, recovering addicts will self-medicate, and this can begin the cycle of addiction all over again.

The first step is, of course, to actually receive a dual diagnosis. You may have been suffering with a mental health issue for years, and just not known it. You’d be surprised how common this is.

When you meet with your therapist, they’ll begin by asking you some basic questions about yourself. As you get to know each other better, your therapist will gain an understanding about your diagnosis. In order to receive a dual diagnosis, you have to meet certain criteria. These are set by The Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. This book is a guideline for mental health professionals for diagnosing their patients.

You will receive a dual diagnosis if you have any type of addiction along with a mental illness. Some commonly diagnosed conditions include:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • PTSD

It might scare you to think of being diagnosed with a mental illness. However, there is something you should keep in mind if you’re nervous. Once your condition is diagnosed, it can then be treated appropriately.

15 Facts You Need to Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis Statistics

It’s possible that the concept of having a dual diagnosis is new to you. If it is, there are 15 things you need to know about your treatment.

  1. Your condition isn’t rare – Most people with addictions also have co-occurring disorders.
  2. There are many different disorders that qualify as dual diagnoses.
  3. These conditions are hard to treat, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
  4. You’re considered high-risk if you have a co-occurring disorder.
  5. If you have a mental illness, you’re more at risk for addiction than someone who doesn’t.
  6. A lot of drug and alcohol rehab programs aren’t equipped to handle dual diagnoses.
  7. Only the best addiction treatment centers offer this type of treatment.
  8. It may take longer for you to recover from your addiction.
  9. Your program should move at a pace that works well for you.
  10. If it’s a loved one you’re concerned about, and not yourself, there are ways to encourage treatment.
  11. You’re much more likely to relapse if you don’t get proper treatment.
  12. You’ll probably need a step-down approach to rehab, which will begin with inpatient care.
  13. Your own personal needs will be taken into consideration when you start rehab.
  14. Attempting to quit using on your own could end up in an overdose if you relapse.
  15. People with dual diagnoses tend to get addicted much quicker than those without them.

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Why are Co-Occurring Disorders Treated Differently?

Research has shown that mental illnesses can cause addiction. The opposite is also true; although it’s not quite as common. There are a lot of reasons why they often occur at the same time. These include:

  • Responses from the brain – When you abuse drugs, the symptoms that result can mimic mental illnesses. Some substances can cause psychosis, which causes people to lose touch with reality.
  • Genetics – Genetics are often responsible for both addictions and mental health disorders. Although, it’s important to note that this isn’t the sole factor in play. Your risk of developing either condition is about 60% higher if you have a genetic history.
  • Environmental triggers – Personal stress or experiencing trauma can lead to both a mental health condition and an addiction.
  • Using when you’re young – People who use drugs or alcohol early on are at a higher risk for both addiction and mental illness. Young people often suffer from brain damage when they use.
  • Improper diagnosis – It’s important for people to be diagnosed correctly, and this can take some time. Sometimes therapists and psychiatrists will diagnose mental health conditions when they’re not really there. They’re often just a symptom of the addiction.

It’s not uncommon for all of these potential causes to be in place for one individual. Regardless, each condition is unique, and it requires a unique approach in order for recovery to take place.

Every person is different, so it’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question. It’s most common for the mental illness to come first. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, mental health conditions often pave the way for addiction. This is because for those with these disorders, using substances is how they medicate themselves. Some of them have never been diagnosed before. Using substances is the only way they know to cope.

Leaning on substances in this way can easily result in addiction. At first, the drugs seem to help alleviate their symptoms. However, as time goes on, using substances only proves to make them much worse.

For some people, using substances may awaken mental health conditions that lie dormant. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this is common in people who use marijuana. In these individuals, using drugs can cause psychosis, or even lead to schizophrenia and other conditions.

A good therapist will be able to decipher which condition came first. That is going to be an important part of the overall treatment plan.

Getting Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment in Washington State

The statistics behind the number of people who suffer from an addiction and a mental health issue at the same time are staggering. Did you know that about 50% of people who have serious mental health disorders also have substance abuse issues too? Also, close to 30% of everyone who has a diagnosed mental illness also abuses drugs or alcohol.

Inpatient Dual Diagnosis

Integrated dual disorder treatment is another term for dual diagnosis treatment, and it is absolutely necessary whenever anyone also has a mental health problem that needs to be addressed. This is done in a few different ways:

  • By coordinating treatment for many different disorders so that it's experienced and applied at the same time, or at appropriate times.
  • By bundling the types of interventions that need to take place.
  • By erasing any division that might occur between mental health and substance abuse programs.
  • By allowing all healthcare professionals to work together in a singular setting for the benefit of the patient.
  • By promoting overall health and wellness within the patient.

Above all, it may come as a relief to you once you're able to get treatment for your addiction and for your mental health condition at the same time. This is especially true for anyone who has known that they have a mental health problem, but they have failed to get a diagnosis from a qualified professional.

While there are many ways to get treated for co-occurring disorders, inpatient dual diagnosis treatment seems to be the method that's preferred for many reasons. These include:

  • Inpatient dual diagnosis treatment offers patients the benefit of having support during all hours of the day, every day of the week. That is something that's lacking in outpatient treatment situations.
  • People generally find that being removed from negative home or social situations is preferred when they need to get treated for co-occurring disorders. The positive energy that's experienced in an inpatient setting is preferable to having to cope with stress once appointments have concluded.
  • It can be extremely helpful for patients to have the time they need to focus on getting better, rather than to have to continue to go to work, care for family members, and take on a number of other responsibilities.
  • It often takes time for professional therapists to completely understand the issues that have led to the diagnoses, and so, working as closely as possible to their patients is a must.
  • Inpatient dual diagnosis treatment sets the stage for a step-down method of treatment that slowly reintroduces patients to their lives, but still provides them with the support they need.

Above all, opting for inpatient dual diagnosis treatment allows the treatment team to teach patients how to cope with new emotions they will be experiencing as sobriety begins to become the norm. Problems, struggles and challenges will still be there, and there needs to be time taken to address the coping skills that are necessary for a healthy recovery, long-term.

What Happens in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

What to Expect at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in Washington State

It's quite common for people to feel nervous about what they might experience when they go to dual diagnosis treatment centers. Most people have never been to a dual diagnosis rehab before, or even any type of drug or alcohol rehab at all. That means there can be a lot of anxiety upon making the decision to get treatment.

Perhaps that explains how you feel, and while you may know you need to get help, you'd like to know what you can expect to encounter once you do.

Detoxification - This is a process that will remove the toxins from drugs or alcohol from your body. It's completed for many patients, depending on the type of substance they were using, and the goal is to minimize any withdrawal symptoms you might experiencing during the beginning stages of your quit. People who don't opt for detox often find that it's much more difficult to focus on the next part of their recoveries, and they usually end up relapsing. Detoxification is safe and effective, and it's even better when it's completed in a holistic way that doesn't involve using medications to remove toxins from the body. Usually, diet and exercise is the most effective way.

Counseling - Working with a counselor allows you to focus on the issues that led to your addiction, and it helps them to get to know the type of treatment that will work the best for you and your individual situation.

Group therapy - This is vital when it comes to addiction recovery, and research has shown that working with a group is much more likely to produce long-term positive results than counseling alone.

Getting Help for Co-Occurring Disorders at Northpoint Recovery in WA State

Perhaps you have been a victim of a system that always looked at your mental health issues and your addiction as two separate issues. You may have always known that they were linked, but you didn't realize that you could get help to treat both together. You can, and by getting the best in dual diagnosis treatment, you have a much greater chance of having a successful recovery.

At Northpoint Recovery, we've been able to offer assistance to so many people who once thought there was no hope for them to recover successfully from their addictions. Many of them were at the end of their ropes, and yet, they found hope when they found our program.

If you would like information about Northpoint Recovery, and how you can get started with dual diagnosis treatment as soon as possible, please contact us.

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Washington Dual Diagnosis Treatment