Addicts are twice as likely to suffer from mood disorders, and some psychiatric diagnoses have higher rates of addiction. In some cases, drug abuse even leads to new mental illnesses. Recovery from addiction and alcoholism is challenging enough without enduring the symptoms of another condition, so you have a better chance of lasting recovery if you’re treated for all your conditions simultaneously.
Telling the Difference
Most addicts come into Beachside rehab with a tangle of symptoms that seems almost impossible to unknot. Anxiety, insomnia, and depression are normal consequences of active addiction, so they often evaporate once the patient has removed the chemical and emotional stressors of their drug use. In addition, certain substances create even more confusion. Ecstasy, heroin, and methamphetamines all cause their own clutch of psychiatric symptoms and psychotropic effects, which often heal once the substance is taken away. Your therapeutic team must figure out which came first: the mood disorder or the addiction. Regardless of the answer, your mood must be stabilised to give you the best chance at recovery. Think of this as laying a solid, smooth foundation for your recovery from addiction.
Getting Through Detox
Short term care for dual diagnoses requires a special level of expertise. The detox process is likely to be complicated by a coexisting condition, so you will need a treatment team qualified to support these complications. Some detox drugs might not be an option for your condition, so your therapeutic team needs to be well acquainted with all your disorders.
The Problem of Medication
If you’re an addict with an anxiety disorder, certain standard medications stop being an option. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive, even if they aren’t your drug of choice. Similarly, some antipsychotics and anxiolytics used for conditions like depression, insomnia, and bipolar disorder can make recovery from addiction and alcoholism far too challenging. This doesn’t leave you without treatment choices. In fact, it leaves you with better medication options because benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, and the like eventually become ineffective as your tolerance builds. When you find the right non-addictive medications, you’re more likely to have a treatment partner for life.
Off Label Prescriptions
Sometimes, doctors have to get creative about the medications they offer addict and alcoholic patients. If first choice drugs aren’t an option, off-label prescriptions are often effective.
Support and Group Therapy
Peer-to-peer support is as important to your recovery as your one-on-one treatment is. In group therapy, you will get to know that your experience is less unique than you might have thought. Others’ stories form a core part of your narrative therapy. The more you have in common with your patient group, the better for your care. As you progress, you will learn coping skills from your co-patients. You will slowly rid yourself of the shame caused by secret keeping, and your treatment success depends on others’ acceptance of your flaws and foibles. Those with dual diagnoses thus do better in group therapy with other dual diagnosis patients.
Every patient is unique, requiring staff who are qualified to make accurate diagnoses and provide care that doesn’t perpetuate new addictions. Standard rehabs rarely employ in-house psychiatric nurses, let alone psychiatrists and psychologists. Dual diagnosis centers are better equipped to deal with complicated cases.