Since January is Mental Wellness Month, it’s the perfect time to shine a spotlight on the way that mental health issues can have an impact on people who are seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. It makes an already-complicated situation more challenging, but there is help available to clients in this situation to deal with both parts of the equation so that they can move forward into positive, sober lives.
Co-Existing Mental Health Concerns And Addiction
When a client is dealing with a mental health concern (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder etc.) and an addiction, this situation is referred to as dual diagnosis. As the name implies, both conditions need to be evaluated so that a proper course of treatment can be provided.
Each client is different, and this is not a situation where there is a single treatment plan that will be successful for everyone. In some cases, a person started to use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate to cope with the symptoms of an underlying mental illness. It’s possible for a person to continue in this manner for some time before getting appropriate care for his or her mental health needs. In the meantime, the addiction has time to grow and become more entrenched over time.
How Dual Diagnosis Is Treated
The first step in treating a client with dual diagnosis is determining exactly what his or her needs are. A thorough evaluation is conducted and if the client is still using drugs and/or alcohol, he or she will go through detox. Once the client is free from the effects of chemicals, the co-occurring disorder treatment can begin.
Part of this process can involve working with a counselor to get to the root of the addiction. They need to understand why they turned to substances initially and take responsibility for their emotions and actions going forward. It’s a big change, and one that will require a lot of support.
Healthy Recovery From Dual Diagnosis
Recovery involves learning how to deal with triggers that will tempt a person start using again. Someone who is feeling physically and mentally strong may be better able to resist temptation, and learning the skills necessary to stay well is an important part of the recovery process.
Clients can benefit from instruction on how to manage stress, develop a healthy self-image, and recognize when to ask for help when they are in recovery. These are all components of mental wellness. When combined with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and regular exercise, a person in recovery has a much better chance of staying on track and remaining sober.
Contact The Dunes East Hampton, NY at 877-818-5539 to learn more and to start your new life of recovery and life-long sobriety!