Patients we help may have a mental disorder and chemical dependency, as they oftentimes go hand-in-hand. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of chemically dependent people also have at least one serious mental illness. Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29% use either alcohol or drugs. In conjunction with alcohol or drug dependency, psychiatric problems can include depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and psychiatric disorders. Studies have shown that those with mental disorders also use drugs to self medicate. By self-medicating, the dependent is trying to alleviate their symptoms or treat the side effects of their medications. In most cases, you do not see one without the other, particularly in women. Fortunately dual diagnosis treatment facilities are designed to provide treatment for both disorders during the same time. The centers are very common and can help any woman live a life of wellness. New Directions for Women is one such treatment center that can help treat patients with co-occurring mental/emotional disorders and chemical dependency.
Diagnose Dual Disorders
More than half of all people with a mental illness also suffer from chemical dependency. This classifies them as a dual diagnosis patient and requires a specialized facility for treatment.
Studies show that alcohol and drug use increase psychiatric symptoms and alter the effectiveness of medications used to treat psychosis. It was also found that dependents choose to use drugs and alcohol as a means of self medication. Reasons for this include: medications failing to provide the desired effect, medications being unavailable, and not having the resources to acquire the medication.
It is essential that treatment centers address each disorder at the same time. This allows for patients to work with holistically with doctors, therapists, counselors and other health care professionals to ensure the best care possible. When the issues are treated in tandem of each other there is a greater chance of successful recovery.
Steps Involved in Dual Diagnosis
The first step in treating a dual diagnosis patient is detoxification. The detox process begins with focusing on the addiction. The next step is withdrawing from the drug or alcohol. An addiction recovery center will provide 24-hour support during a detox period, as well as medication, if necessary, to help ease the negative aspects of withdrawal.
After successful detoxification, the patient is introduced to the treatment team and their own specific counselor and/or case manager. If psychiatric medications are needed, they will be given following detox. Group therapy is then introduced. This allows individuals to meet others who are in similar situations. Therapeutic case management is offered to ensure that individual needs are met. In some cases, therapeutic case management may utilize family for support. Life-skills are then provided to the patient where she can continue her education or learn skills such as cleaning, cooking, resume writing, and job interview skills. Programs range in length from 30 to 90 days with the option of extended residential stay for a year or longer.
At New Directions for Women, we understand that chemical dependency is coupled with co-occurring disorders. Our multidisciplinary treatment team is comprised of Master’s Level Licensed Therapists and Certified Addiction Counselors who are passionate about providing comprehensive, individualized residential rehab and intensive outpatient addiction treatment. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.