1.Dual Diagnosis Is Not A Rare phenomenon
Many studies show that as many as half of those with a drug or alcohol addiction also have some form of mental illness. This is likely to be noticed in most addicts or recovery patients.
- Dual diagnosis comes in many forms
Dual diagnosis doesn't come in a pattern; any combination of mental illness (including anxiety disorder, depression, etc.) and addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc.) can qualify an individual as a dual diagnosis patient. As one can imagine, the possibilities are vast and almost endless.
- Dual diagnoses are difficult to treat
One of the things that make dual diagnoses so challenging to treat is that it is unique in every patient, and it is hard to know where specific symptoms are coming from. For example, if a dual diagnosis patient is suffering from depression, there's no way to initially know whether the drug addiction or the individual's mental illness is causing the problem. Depression is a symptom of many things, so the medical professional's challenge is to find the root cause and start treatment from there as necessary.
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- Those with dual diagnoses are high-risk patients
Coping with mental illness alone is problematic in most patients. Still, when you factor in addiction complications, it's easy to understand the high suicide rate and violent tendencies of those with dual diagnoses. So it is easier to trace any additions for more accessible treatment.
- Those with mental illness are more susceptible to addiction
Once more, those coping with mental illness are at risk for substance abuse. Those who have bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and other conditions are likely to see their casual drug use or drinking quickly escalate to addiction or dependence.
- Many drug rehab facilities are not equipped to handle dual diagnosis patients
As you've already learned, dual diagnosis is a complicated issue. Only those facilities with a psychiatric staff and an emphasis on dual diagnosis are genuinely equipped to help these individuals with their recovery, and this is the reason why you're advised to seek proper consultation, ask questions before admitting a patient to any facility.
- The best dual diagnosis programs provide integrated treatment
Any facility that offers the treatment of both the mental illness and the addiction at the same time, all under “one roof,” has proven a very successful treatment method for the dual diagnosis patient over some time.
- Recovery is Impossible Without a Network
Addiction recovery is not a simple issue of going through a program or facility. The ability to relapse will always be a concern. A person in recovery will learn that relying on others is key to their success. These people include,
- Qualified counselors who helped design a recovery procedure
- Past recovery graduates who agree to lend support in the real world or new intakes
- Spiritual and medical professionals who are trained to address recovery issues.
- Peers from shared recovery procedures experiences who need mutual support.
The rates of success for people who try to recovery alone are meager. Learning to rely on others for support is challenging for strong personalities, but it is necessary when rebuilding a clean life.
9.Dual diagnosis treatment may take longer to complete
There is no shortcut for drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment. Still, when you factor in the care and patience required to treat mental illness, you have a situation that may have to be extended by months and perhaps even years. The duration depends on the procedure and the patient's response
10.Good dual diagnosis programs move at a pace that's comfortable for the individual
Because of individuality and the mental illness component, you must move dual diagnosis rehabilitation along at a pace that the individual feels comfortable with for easy and successful healing.
- Relapse Triggers are Constant Companions
Most recovery addicts in recovery programs have the false belief that once they go through a recovery program, their addiction will be gone. It's a difficult realization, but most patients' addiction triggers will be permanent. Upon deep reflection and admission, recovering addicts will realize that the potential for relapse will always be with them. They will have to learn how to shape their new lives to avoid situations, occasions, and people that could trip the physical and emotional need to become addicted again. Great recovery programs teach people about effective ways to cleanse triggers from daily life.
12.Unlearning” an Addiction is not Immediate
It takes a long period to form a dependency on a substance. It can take an equally long time to unlearn how it feels to be at its prey. Recovery procedures can take months, but it is tough to digest the realization that becoming free from a habit can bring even more time.
Addiction recovery classes and treatment center stays are measured in months, but forming a new lifestyle can stretch beyond a programmed period. Once a person truly realizes that unlearning a behavior can be for life, the weight and positivity of sobriety can be well accepted.
- Sobriety isn't the same as recovery
There's a vast difference between getting sober and living sober. It's one thing for your loved one to pass through detoxification to eliminate the drugs and alcohol from his or her life, and another thing to change the patterns, behavior, and lifestyle that led to use. Hanging on to stay sober can only go so far. Instead, look out for constant progress in growing as a person to live a healthy recovery life.
- Complacency can hurt
One of the essential things people site in maintaining their recovery is maintaining a sense of purpose. Personal growth and accomplishment are imperative because moving forward is the only way to prevent regressing into addiction or substance abuse. Encourage your loved one through his or her actions, support them in setting and attaining goals, and evaluating these goals over time.
- Stigma still exists
Take note of the stigma of addiction you faced when your loved one was actively using it? Unfortunately, the stigma will still be alive and breathing – regardless of whether your loved one is using or healthy. However, it takes people like you and your family to become advocates for those still suffering from addiction stigma in your localities.
- Simply going to an addiction treatment facility is not a cure
However, going through the procedures of rehabilitation is the best first step for an individual struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. A good addiction treatment center will get to the underlying issues that led to addiction, provide your loved one the tools he or she needs to work through those issues, and help him or her to develop the necessary skills to living a life of long-term recovery. Notice that much of this goes beyond a month, two, or three months treatment program. Recovery is a commitment that can start with the rehabilitation but must continue into daily life after leaving or graduating from a program.
- Switching from one drug to another is still an addiction.
Many patients out there rationalize that their natural drug of choice may be heroin or Oxycontin, or benzos, so they can get away with having a drink of alcohol or occasionally do some cocaine or smoke marijuana. And while they may get away with this behavior for a short while – the process of addiction will begin all over again because they get addicted to alcohol or recent drug. So, just because your loved one got help for a painkiller addiction – don't accept the notion that he or she can't become addicted to another substance.
- Find your path outside of meetings
Recovery groups are vital, especially in early recovery, but you will eventually need to find your path outside of meetings. This means developing your ways, other than meetings, to support your recovery. Activities such as volunteering, exercising, and attending classes are great options.
You don't just relax to the flow or only the groups' activities; you have to make more personal efforts to get better.
Forgiving yourself and others can be a huge part of rehabilitation and recovery. If you continue to hold on to resentments from the past, your risk for relapse is high.
You don't hold onto grudges of stigma or opinions that are adverse to your healing. You have to forgive yourself and everyone else.
- Addiction Is a brain disease, and it has no cure
It is necessary to recall always that addiction is a disease of the brain like asthma is a disease of the lungs. Addiction is not a moral failing. You are not an inadequate or flawed person. However, the reality of most conditions, including addiction, is that they require ongoing care to manage. Being in recovery is a lifelong commitment that will not come easy.
Going through a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center or facility is not a cure. These places provide people with the appropriate tools to manage the disease and set them on the right path, but after that, it is in the addict's hands to remain sober and in recovery. This is why many people choose to refer to themselves as “recovering addicts” — the term serves as a permanent reminder that they are never fully cured but simply in remission as long as they continue to use the tools necessary to remain clean sober.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.