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What is Dual Diagnosis?

A person who has both an alcohol or drug problem and an emotional/psychiatric problem is said to have a dual diagnosis. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both problems.
How Common Is Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is more common than you might imagine. According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association: 37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness. Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29% abuse either alcohol or drugs.What Kind of Mental or Emotional Problems are Seen in People With Dual Diagnosis

Depressive disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, and phobias. Other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and personality disorders.

Which Develops First – Substance Abuse or the Emotional Problem?

It depends. Often the psychiatric problem develops first. In an attempt to feel calmer, more peppy, or more cheerful, a person with emotional symptoms may drink or use drugs; doctors call this “self-medication.” Frequent self-medication may eventually lead to physical or psychological dependency on alcohol or drugs. If it does, the person then suffers from not just one problem, but two. In adolescents, however, drug or alcohol abuse may merge and continue into adulthood, which may contribute to the development of emotional difficulties or psychiatric disorders. In other cases, alcohol or drug dependency is the primary condition. A person whose substance abuse problem has become severe may develop symptoms of a psychiatric disorder: perhaps episodes of depression, fits of rage, hallucinations, or suicide attempts.

How Can we tell if the Person’s Primary Problem is Substance Abuse or an Emotional Disorder?

At the initial examination, it may be difficult to tell. Since many symptoms of severe substance abuse mimic other psychiatric conditions, the person must go through a withdrawal from alcohol and/or drugs before the physician can accurately assess whether there’s an underlying psychiatric problem also.

If a Person Does Have Both an Alcohol/Drug Problem and an Emotional Problem, Which Should be Treated First?

At Addiction Rehab Nationwide we treat problems simultaneously. For any substance abuser, however, the first step in treatment must be detoxification – a period of time during which the body is allowed to cleanse itself of alcohol or drugs. Ideally, detoxification should take place under medical supervision. It can take a few days to a week or more, depending on what substances the person abused and for how long. Until recently, alcoholics and drug addicts dreaded detoxification because it meant a painful and sometimes life-threatening “cold turkey” withdrawal. Now, doctors are able to give hospitalized substance abusers carefully chosen medications which can substantially ease withdrawal symptoms. Thus, when detoxification is done under medical supervision, it’s safer and less traumatic. image

What is Next After Detoxification?

Once detoxification is completed, it’s time for dual treatment – rehabilitation for the alcohol or drug problem and treatment for the psychiatric problem. Rehabilitation for a substance abuse problem usually involves individual and group psychotherapy, education about alcohol and drugs, exercise, proper nutrition, and participation in a 12-Step recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The idea is not just to stay off booze and drugs, but to learn to enjoy life without these “crutches.” Treatment for a psychiatric problem depends upon the diagnosis. For most disorders, individual and group therapy as well as medications are recommended. Expressive therapies and education about the particular psychiatric condition are often useful adjuncts. A support group of other people who are recovering from the same condition may also prove highly beneficial. Adjunct treatment, such as occupational or expressive therapy, can help individuals better understand and communicate their feelings or develop better problem solving or decision making skills.

What is the Role of the Patient’s Family in Treatment?

With both rehabilitation for substance abuse and treatment for a psychiatric problem, education, counseling sessions, and support groups for the patient’s family are important aspects of overall care. The greater the family’s understanding of the problems, the higher the chances the patient will have a lasting recovery.

How Can Family and Friends Help with Recovery from the Substance Abuse?

They need to learn to stop enabling. Enabling is acting in ways that essentially help or encourage the person to maintain their habit of drinking or getting high. For instance, a woman whose husband routinely drinks too much might call in sick for him when he is too drunk to go to work. That’s enabling. Likewise, family members or friends might give an addict money which is used to buy drugs because they’re either sorry for him or afraid of him. That’s enabling also. When family and friends participate in the recovery program, they learn how to stop enabling. If they act on what they’ve learned, the recovering substance abuser is much less likely to relapse into drinking or taking drugs.

How Can Family and Friends Help with Recovery from a Psychiatric Condition?

They should be calm and understanding rather than frightened or critical. They should be warm and open rather than cool or cautious. Although it is fine to ask the person matter-of-factly about the psychiatric treatment, that shouldn’t be the only focus of conversation.

If Someone I Know Appears to Have A Substance Abuse Problem and the Symptoms of A Psychiatric Disorder, How Can I Help?

Encourage the person to acknowledge the problems and seek help for themselves. Suggest a professional evaluation with us, preferably at one of our centers that are equipped to treat addiction problems and psychiatric conditions. If the person is reluctant, do the legwork yourself – make the appointment, offer to go with the person. A little encouragement may be all it takes. If you talk to our counselors first, be honest and candid about the troubling behavior. Your input may give the doctor valuable diagnostic clues.

There Is Hope

As a relative or friend you can play an important role in encouraging a person to seek professional diagnosis and treatment. By learning about dual diagnosis you can help this person find and stick with our effective recovery programs. The more you know about dual diagnosis the more you will see how substance abuse can go hand-in-hand with another psychiatric condition. As with any illness a person with dual diagnosis can improve once proper care is given. By seeking out information you can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis – and help someone live a healthier or more fulfilling life. Rehab hands up pic Also at Addiction Rehab Nationwide Physical fitness is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle on your road to recovery as it imparts a diverse range of benefits. Biking, swimming, lifting weights, playing tennis, and other physical activities make people stronger, and when combined with proper nutrition even leaner. What many individuals do not know is that physical fitness also boosts mood, reduces feelings of anxiety, improves focus, and sustains energetic feelings. This is why the our luxury rehab focuses on exercise as an important part of a life-lasting recovery from substance abuse.

An Alcohol and Drug Rehab with a Gym Program

Our Fitness Trainers have witnessed the effects that regular exercise has on our clients. We take Our clients to a fully equipped Fitness Center includes weights, a spin bike, yoga and Pilates studios, a heated swimming pool, full size basketball and tennis courts,and hiking trails. and more. In addition, you will work with a personal trainer during a supervised exercise program that we will custom designed for individualized needs. During rehab, you will stay focused on exercise as well as healing mind and spirit with the progressive treatment modalities we offer – helping you reach both your recovery and overall wellness goals.

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Regular exercise helps people relax and open up, according to members of the American Psychological Association. Not only can it alleviate short term anxiety, but when practiced regularly it helps manage the effects of long term depression. One study, reported in Psychosomatic Medicine, found that people with major depressive disorder who exercised were just as likely to enjoy relief from depressive symptoms as those who took antidepressants. Perhaps more importantly, the same study found that people who exercised were less likely to suffer a depressive relapse.

Holistic Care

Although exercising regularly at our luxury rehab with a gym will not cure addictive tendencies, the implication is that people who make exercise a regular part of a healthy lifestyle may be less likely to relapse into self-destructive behaviors. The holistic, whole-self approach our qualified and compassionate staff takes helps our clients heal their minds, their spirits, and their bodies. Active participation in a regular exercise program, whether hiking our scenic trails, canoeing our tranquil lake, or playing one-on-one basketball, helps our clients achieve each of these goals. In fact, many clients leave our luxury rehab center telling us they feel better than they have felt in years.