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Dual diagnosis means that two independent disorders exist. When diagnosed in the field of substance abuse, it typically means that the individual not only has a substance abuse disorder but also has some type of mental health disorder. Very often, the mental health disorder was misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or mistreated which ultimately prompted and led to their substance abuse issues. Such cases of dual diagnosis can include mild depression, or much more involved disorders which will require extensive treatment such as schizophrenia or other serious mental health disorders.
Establishing that someone is a dual diagnosis client not only helps establish a course of treatment for them which will be effective, but can also help clients better understand what led to their substance abuse and how to prevent it in the future. Handling dual diagnosis in the context of drug rehab will typically be a far more involved and extensive process than a typical drug rehab client. In fact, it will be far more involved even when drug rehab is complete, because these clients will typically require an extensive aftercare program including proper clinical support and support from treatment professionals.
Because drugs and alcohol are often used to self medicate under normal circumstances, it is no wonder why dual diagnosis patients who aren't being properly treated for their mental health issues inevitably turn to substance abuse as a means to self medicate. With a proper diagnosis, the individual can be put on the proper course of treatment to resolve both issues. It doesn't always mean that the treatment client will need to be medicated for the rest of their lives, and there are many holistic and alternative solutions available for those who wish to go the drug free route to treat their mental health issue.
With proper diagnosis and treatment for dual diagnosis clients, treatment professionals can resolve many mysteries and come up with effective solutions which can provide many lasting benefits. There are drug rehab programs all around the country prepared to treat dual diagnosis patients, either holistically or with the assistance or psychiatric professionals. In any case, treatment professionals assess each individual when they arrive to treatment and things such as dual diagnosis situation may come to light. When these circumstances are evident, it opens the door to much more efficient and effective healing and rehabilitation that will provide hope for a sober future.
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