Do you have a substance abuse problem and have been diagnosed with a mental disorder? You’re a perfect example of someone with a dual diagnosis. It could be any type of substance abuse problem and any kind of mental health disorder. Commonly, however, dual diagnosis starts with a mental health problem. As the patient takes medication for this problem, substance abuse sets in.
But how do we detect a dual diagnosis? How do we determine that a person has a both a mental health problem and a substance abuse problem? There are a series of signs to watch out for; withdrawal from friends and family, sudden behavioral changes, substance even under dangerous conditions, risky behaviors when drunk or high. There is also the loss of control over how substances are consumed, and the patient starts doing things they will normally not do. They start developing tolerance and withdrawal symptoms and they become completely dependent on drugs.
It is important to note that these symptoms are common for many other conditions, so we need to observe carefully and if possible, visit the doctor to confirm a dual diagnosis.
Treatment for dual diagnosis varies. This is because the mental health problem that combines with the substance abuse problem to create a dual diagnosis, also vary. A series of treatment regimens are however known.
Detoxification is one of such treatment measures. It has to do with a well trained medical personnel observing the patient and administering substances that will lower the effects of withdrawal.
Rehabilitation is another great treatment option. Inpatient rehabilitation, where the patient is taken care of in a treatment center seems to be more effective. The patient receives therapy, medication and every necessary support needed to deal with the problem.
People with dual diagnosis can also take medications to deal with their problem. In some cases, psychotherapy and support groups get to do the magic.