Treating Clients with Dual Diagnosis
A dual diagnosis means there are two or more issues occurring at the same time for an individual. This can include a substance or non-substance addiction, as well as a further mental health disorder.
Considerable research has been published tending to show that addiction and other mental health conditions are often found together, but it is difficult to assess the occurrence of dual diagnosis in the general population, with some research indicating the rate may be as high as one in four adults experiencing some type of mental health issue as well as an addiction. Other studies indicate this may figure may in fact be an underestimation, with rates as high as one half.
Substance addiction relates to drugs, alcohol or any other type of substance that is ingested, injected or inhaled. Non-substance addiction would be a behaviour, such as gambling, sex or Internet addiction.
Mental health disorders can include depression, anxiety, trauma, stress or other types of mental illness.
The Challenges of Treatment
The challenge with reporting dual diagnosis is in people seeking mental health treatment and not discussing their addiction, or getting addiction treatment without addressing an underlying mental health condition.
Many in-patient treatment programmes are short duration, with staff trained to work with an addiction and not necessarily recognising or treating a further mental health condition. Additionally, many symptoms of issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and trauma are similar to signs also seen in addiction withdrawal, which can make it difficult to assess their origins.
As depression can present a range of different symptoms it is also very difficult to pinpoint as an underlying issue, unless a counsellor or therapist is highly experienced. As this requires a more complex, integrated treatment the addict may not be suitable for the programme, which results in further challenges in developing a suitable recovery option.
At Addiction Specialist London we are experienced in identifying and treating dual diagnosis patients. Our highly trained therapists and counsellors work on a one-on-one basis, which gives us time to build a rapport, talk to our clients and understand if there is a concurrent mental health condition present with an addiction.
Offering integrated recovery options which address both the mental health diagnosis as well as the addiction, we can tailor a treatment plan that is ideal for each client, and provide them with valuable education and information.
We know that in treating the whole person and addressing further mental health illnesses concurrently, we are developing the best environment in which our clients can move forward. They'll have the support they need to learn how to self-manage both an addiction and mental health diagnosis; this dramatically increases their ability to lead an addiction-free life, and helps to reduce or eliminate relapses.
To find out more about counselling for addictions and help with diagnosing and supporting recovery for dual diagnosis, contact us by phone or through our secure online form.