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What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe the co-occurrence of a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder. Unfortunately, this term has become all too commonly used to describe those who are struggling with addiction. 

As scary as it can seem to have both a substance use and mental health disorder, it is important to know that help is available. At Royal Life Centers, you can find the treatment you need to overcome not just your addiction but the underlying issues contributing to your substance abuse, as well.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the 20.3 million adults who are struggling with substance use disorders, 37.9% of these individuals also have mental illnesses. Currently, the most common co-occurring mental health disorders diagnosed alongside addiction are depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.

Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of treatment that addresses both the SUD and the mental health disorder. This type of treatment is essential because untreated mental health disorders can make it difficult to recover from an SUD, and an untreated SUD can worsen mental health symptoms.

What Happens In Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Due to the complicated nature of a dual diagnosis, it’s essential to seek out professional help. In doing so, you can recieve treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders at the same time. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers offer the extensive care you need to regain control over both of your co-occurring disorders.

There are many different types of dual diagnosis treatment available, but some of the most common include:

  • Individual therapy: This type of therapy provides one-on-one support and guidance from a therapist, who can help you understand your dual diagnosis, develop coping skills, and make positive changes in your life.
  • Behavioral therapies: This can include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and various other services, which help you to better understand your thought patterns and behaviors and develop healthier ways of thinking and processing your emotions.
  • Medication: Medication can be used to treat both the SUD and the mental health disorder by reducing symptoms, improving overall functioning, and making it easier to participate in therapy.
  • 12-step programs: 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, can provide support and guidance for people with SUD. These support groups are not designed to treat mental health disorders, but the emotional support they provide can be helpful for people with dual diagnoses.

These are just a few examples of the types of therapies and treatments you can expect when participating in a dual-diagnosis treatment program. At Royal Life Centers, we offer these services and much more to help you overcome and maintain lasting recovery from your dual diagnosis.

Why Do Mental Health and Addiction Co-Occur?

People who struggle with mental illness often turn to drugs or alcohol in the hopes that these substances can alleviate their symptoms. Commonly known as self-medicating, this behavior can not only be habit-forming but seriously dangerous.

What Is Self-Medicating?

Self-medicating is the use of drugs or alcohol to treat a mental or physical health condition without the guidance of a doctor. People often self-medicate to cope with depression, anxiety, stress, or other emotional issues. While self-medication can provide temporary relief from symptoms, it is not a safe or healthy way to manage long-term health concerns. Self-medicating can lead to an increased risk of addiction and even more serious mental health consequences.

Why Do People Self-Medicate?

Why do people turn to substance abuse over other options when they are struggling with poor or mental health? Self-medicating is a common coping mechanism for people who are dealing with emotional and psychological issues. With that being said, the cause of self-medication can vary from one person to the next. 

Common causes of self-medication are:

  • Coping mechanism for mental health disorders
  • Pain relief
  • Relationship issues
  • Peer pressure
  • Boredom
  • Mood enhancement
  • Alter sleep patterns
  • Manage responsibilities
  • School or work performance
  • Lack of access to mental health services
  • Cost of healthcare
  • Mental health stigma

Over time, self-medicating with drugs or alcohol can cause serious harm. This is because substance abuse can deteriorate a person’s personal, physical, social, emotional, and financial well-being. Addiction can negatively impact every area of your life. This is why it is never a good idea to attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

Pain Management

One of the most common reasons for self-medicating is pain relief. People may use over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription, and illicit drugs, or alcohol to relieve discomfort and pain. This is common in those who suffer from debilitating injuries, chronic illness, or physical symptoms of stress.

Coping with Mental Disorders

Another common reason people self-medicate is to cope with symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. People who suffer from chronic stress or social anxiety often use alcohol or drugs to cope. While this behavior is an attempt to relieve their physical and mental tension, it is only temporary. As people continue to self-medicate, they often end up making their mental health worse in the long run. People who struggle with depression may also self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to try to feel better. However, these substances can worsen the symptoms of mood disorders and lead to addiction. 

Lack of Accessible Care

Not everyone has access to affordable healthcare, and many people still struggle with the stigma surrounding mental health. In these cases, self-medicating may seem like a more financially or socially manageable way of dealing with their condition. What people don’t realize is that their substance abuse will only cause more trouble for them in the long term.

The Dangers of Self-Medication

People may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with feelings of grief, loneliness, or fear. While it may provide a temporary escape from their mental anguish, self-medicating typically causes greater harm than good.

Abusing alcohol or other illicit drugs can lead to serious health problems. Taking medication without proper medical guidance can be equally dangerous to your physical and mental health. To make matters worse, self-medicating poses a great risk factor for developing a dependence or addiction. Long-term self-medication can also cause serious health problems, such as liver damage, heart disease, and even death.

Why Is It Important to Treat Both Addiction and Mental Health?

Treating both your addiction and mental health condition is essential for your ability to achieve and maintain long-term recovery. When both disorders are treated, you are more likely to stay sober and remain in treatment. As a result, you can gain the skills you need to manage the underlying causes of your substance abuse.

Rehabilitation centers that only focus on treating your addiction lack the appropriate care needed for a sustainable recovery. Without treating an individual’s mental health problems, treatment fails to address the initial cause of the person’s substance abuse. Over time, these core problems can resurface which can result in a relapse. 

On the other hand, behavioral health centers that provide treatment for mental health but not substance abuse run into a similar issue. Without the proper medical care, people struggle to cope with withdrawal symptoms and leave treatment for mental health. In these cases, the lack of substance abuse treatment often results in worsened physical and mental health issues. 

Without receiving the proper care, people often continue to self-medicate and have a higher risk of becoming dependent on substances as a coping mechanism.

Learn How To Stop Self-Medicating in Rehab

Self-medicating may seem like your only solution when you’re feeling overwhelmed or in pain. At Royal Life Detox, our experienced medical team is here to provide you with a safe, effective alternative. Our dual-diagnosis treatment program treats both the physical and psychological components of addiction to ensure long-term recovery. We’ll assess your needs and create an individualized detox plan to help you break free from the cycle of self-medication. That way, you can start living a healthier, more fulfilling life.

With our extensive experience in addiction and mental health treatment, we’re committed to helping you recover. Our evidence-based therapies are designed to help you gain insight into your behaviors and develop healthier coping mechanisms. You will also have opportunities for holistic activities such as yoga, meditation, nutrition counseling, and exercise classes.

At Royal Life Detox, we believe in empowering our clients with the skills needed to live a healthier, addiction-free lifestyle. Let us help you find the peace and freedom that comes with recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Royal Life Detox

When dealing with a co-occurring mental health disorder, dual diagnosis treatment is essential for achieving long-term sobriety and wellness. Royal Life Detox offers comprehensive treatment designed to address every aspect of your addiction, including its underlying causes. 

We provide a safe and comfortable environment for our guests throughout the detoxification process. During our medically supervised detox program, we can help you safely and comfortably withdraw from the substances you are self-medicating with. Our team of experienced professionals is highly experienced and educated in addiction treatment and mental health issues. This enables them to provide evidence-based care and guidance to get you through this difficult time.

From the moment you check in, our team is available to support and guide you through your entire detoxification experience. We understand that each individual is unique, which is why we value the importance of personalized care. For this reason, our team collaborates with you to design an individualized plan to meet your needs and goals.

Within our treatment network, we offer a variety of treatment options to help you achieve long-term recovery, including:

  • Medical detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Evidence-based and holistic therapies
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Sober living and aftercare support

Our team of trained addiction specialists and healthcare providers is here to help you navigate the treatment process. If you are ready to start your recovery, reach out to us today by calling 877-RECOVERY. Our 24/7 admissions team can answer any questions you may have about our dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders.

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