Alcohol is a drug of choice for those suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or clinical depression. This type of self-medicating behavior helps modulate the effects of the illness, so they feel emotionally stable for a short time. People that drink excessively, build up a tolerance that requires them to drink even more to achieve the same effect. After a while, it becomes a vicious cycle. Without drinking, they feel the pain from both their illness and withdrawal from the drug.
With an estimated 140 million alcoholics in the world, according to the World Health Organization, it is safe to say a certain percentage drink to feel better, and that is where dual diagnosis treatment centers come into play.
About Dual Diagnosis
A 2011 study conducted by the USA National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that approximately 17.5 percent of adults diagnosed with a mental disorder also had an addiction. This adds up to almost 8 million people just in the United States. A person who has both a mental illness and a substance abuse problem has co-occurring disorders, or a dual diagnosis.
Traditional treatment centers, both psychiatric and substance abuse, are not set up to deal with multiple problems. They may touch briefly on the concept of self-medication, but it is not a central focus of the treatment platform.
Dual diagnosis creates recovery challenges. By integrating treatments for both conditions, these specialized medical facilities create a seamless care plan that improves the odds of recovery.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs
The design model for a dual diagnosis treatment program deals specifically with the type of addiction associated with self-medication while at the same time treating the mental disorder. For a patient, this means coming off the drug without the anxiety of the mental illness. It is a cohesive approach to managing all the symptoms at once whether caused by illness or addiction. Through treatment, patients make lifestyle changes and learn to live healthy without letting the two problems continue to feed on each other.
The need for medical management may mean the treatment program will start at a residential facility. This allows those dealing with both a mental condition and addiction to live supervised along with others with similar issues.
Exact treatment protocols vary based on the diagnosis and extent of the addiction. It will start with detoxification to remove the effects of the alcohol. Once free of the drug, practitioners will look closer at the underlying mental problem. This will include medical management, counseling and group sessions, as well as occupational, cognitive and dialectical behavior therapies.
Cost of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
The cost will vary by both treatment requirements and facility. Residential, or in-house, treatment is more costly, but also more effective. Out of pocket expense for inpatient care can range anywhere from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands depending on the care plan and insurance coverage. For those with a lower level of addiction, outpatient care is possible and less expensive.
An insurance provider may or may not cover treatment specifically for co-occurring disorders. They may ask for proof of a dual diagnosis to verify the advanced treatment is necessary. Treatment centers will sometimes require the patient or family to pay upfront or apply for financing then get reimbursement from the insurance company.
Regardless of the cost, getting the right care is worth the money. An integrated approach offers the best chance of successful recovery for those with facing both mental illness and addiction. Contact a caring counselor today.