Dual diagnosis treatment is indicated when substance abuse occurs with the additional presence of concurrent psychiatric disorders. These mental health disorders typically include one or more of the following: depression, anxiety, compulsive and/or obsessive behaviors, among others.
There is often confusion and, unfortunately, misinformation promulgated regarding the similarities and/or differences between co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis issues. Oftentimes, the two are used interchangeable, which is incorrect usage and application.
Co-occurring disorders are defined as the presence or manifestation of multiple psychiatric issues, one of which may or may not include substance abuse. Hence, the two terms are not interchangeable.
Dual diagnosis treatment uncovers and addresses the underlying psychiatric issues, concomitant with substance abuse, with the goal of managing those mental health issues to the point that the patient can function at a high level.
Dual diagnosis treatment ideally combines time-proven methods with research-based innovation and emerging evidence-based practices, which lead to the successful outcome described.
There are numerous components and approaches to dual diagnosis treatment, which include capable clinical staff, a proven curriculum for dual issues, a broad range of therapeutic modalities, and a supportive, safe and comfortable environment.
Motivational Approaches to dual diagnosis treatment:
Motivational approaches serve to engage the patient and retain them in the treatment environment for the appropriate period of time. Motivational treatment modalities include motivational enhancement strategies, which are field-tested methods of using patient-directed treatment services to maximize the patient’s engagement. This greatly avoids the use of historical confrontational strategies.
Integrated Treatment approaches to dual diagnosis treatment:
Integrated treatment sessions, in which a patient’s behavioral health and addictions needs are fully addressed in one setting, incorporating a team of experts including psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and licensed alcohol and drug counselors.
Patient-Directed dual diagnosis treatment:
Treatment in which patients are encouraged to assist and partially direct their own treatment, providing critical feedback in determining the pace, goals, and course of their dual diagnosis treatment. Patients thusly are treated as partners, rather than subjects in the recovery process.