Many people who struggle with substance abuse also find themselves struggling with other significant issues which impact their quality of life. While treating the issue of substance abuse is crucial, often times a successful long-term outcome can depend on the proper treatment of these co-occurring issues in addition to the substance abuse. Colorado has many dual diagnosis treatment centers which specialize in treating a wide array of issues which are common in those who also struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism.
Whether co-occurring issues are the driving reason behind someone’s urge to drink alcohol or use drugs, or if the issues are a result of a person’s substance abuse. Properly treating them is of the utmost importance if the patient is to experience long-term sobriety. Here are some of the most common issues that drug addicts and alcoholics also struggle with:
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Why is Dual Diagnosis Important?
Most people who struggle with substance abuse use drugs and alcohol, at least in part, to regulate their mood and emotions. Because of this fact, it is crucial that any mood and/or anxiety disorders that someone struggles with be addressed at the same time as they are being treated for their substance abuse issues. Failure to properly address issues like anxiety or depression while someone is in treatment leaves them in a dangerous position for relapse when they leave a standard inpatient program as they can often leave the desire to use drugs and alcohol unaffected.
This is why many Colorado dual diagnosis treatment centers specialize in treating patients who struggle with one or more issues in addition to substance abuse. These programs allow the patient to recover from not only their drug abuse and alcoholism but also the underlying issues which often times are driving their addictions in the first place.
Treating these co-occurring disorders which contribute to a person’s substance abuse leaves them in a much better position to be successful in their recovery for the remainder of their life.
Treatment Methods at a Dual Diagnosis Facility
While many traditional substance abuse treatment centers are able to offer effective treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism, treatment for those patients who struggle with other issues as well, typically requires more specialized methods. Because of this, dual diagnosis treatment centers in Colorado focus on combining the traditional treatment methods of substance abuse with other individualized treatment methods to resolve all of a patient’s presenting issues.
Effective treatment for a dual diagnosis patient should consist of concurrent treatment of all of someone’s disorders. Here are a few things that can improve the quality of treatment for a dual diagnosis patient:
- Parallel treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders by licensed and experienced mental health professionals.
- Full evaluation by a psychiatrist to explore the possible usefulness of psychiatric medications to augment an individual’s overall treatment plan.
- Supportive therapeutic methods which focus on increasing self-esteem and building self-confidence.
- Strong inclusion of a patient’s family and support network in treatment by utilizing thigs like family counseling sessions, family education and individual family counseling.
What to Look for in a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Many traditional substance abuse treatment facilities claim to be able to effectively treat an individual with co-occurring disorders, however, in many cases, these traditional facilities lack many of the things that are truly required for successful treatment of a dual diagnosis patient.
If you or your loved one have decided to get help for their substance abuse issues and feel that a Colorado dual diagnosis treatment center may be the right option, it is important to make sure that the program you choose has the ability to provide the best treatment available. These are things to consider before deciding on a dual diagnosis treatment center:
- Does the facility have a psychiatrist on staff? Many traditional substance abuse treatment centers do not have a psychiatrist on staff to provide a full psychiatric assessment which is crucial for patients with dual diagnosis needs.
- How long is the program? While shorter 30-day programs may be adequate for someone struggling with only substance abuse, those with co-occurring disorders often require longer treatment programs of at least 90 days.
- Are the counselors licensed and experienced with dual diagnosis? A patient’s therapeutic relationship with their primary therapist is often the most important aspect of someone’s treatment. This is especially true for those with dual diagnosis and it is important that the therapists at any dual diagnosis program are highly trained and licensed.
- Is the facility accredited by an independent organization? Independent organizations such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO) or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). These organizations require extensive audits and reviews of a programs staff, facilities and procedures before they provide their accreditation.
- Does the facility accept my insurance? While Colorado dual diagnosis treatment centers are able to accept most forms of medical insurance, it is important to make sure that the facility can accept your specific type of medical insurance.
- Does the facility have 24-hour support staff? Those who struggle with dual diagnosis issues often times need additional support that a traditional substance abuse facility cannot offer, dual diagnosis treatment centers typically have addition support staff for this reason.
Get Help Finding a Colorado Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Once you or your loved one has realized that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and has decided they are ready to get help, it is important to make sure that you choose the best facility. Often times, it can be difficult to determine if a dual diagnosis treatment center is appropriate. Here at Sober Times, we have an experienced and professional staff available 24-hours a day to help assess you or your loved one’s needs and locate a treatment program for them. Usually we are even able to help guide you through the admissions process to make sure that getting help is as easy and stress-free as possible.