Best Practices for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Addiction is far from a physical condition, with mental factors also featuring prominently. In the case of drug or alcohol addicts with a co-existing mental condition, they will endure a much tougher recovery because they have two conditions to address.

The presence of co-occurring disorders – addiction and a mental health condition – is known as dual diagnosis. Highly specialized treatment practices are required for helping addicts who have been diagnosed with simultaneous disorders.

Recognition of Need for Integrated Treatment

The Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment Toolkit from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explained that it has taken 15 years to raise awareness of co-occurring mental health disorders alongside traditional alcohol and drug addictions.

Crucially, the toolkit revealed that anything but integrated dual diagnosis treatment is simply not effective enough for beating addiction in the long-term. The obvious alternative described was to treat dual diagnosis sequentially by starting with one disorder before on to the other. Meanwhile, the second was to prescribed parallel treatment carried out by two separate teams.

Integrated treatment is superior to the two approaches outlined above because the same team of addiction specialists treats both disorders simultaneously. By adopting this treatment approach, neither disorder is unfairly prioritized. This is vital because often one disorder will fuel the other for an addict. Therefore, it is crucial to treat both to enable them to attempt a successful recovery.

Dual diagnosis capability refers to the ability of a rehab facility to provide integrated treatment to addicts with co-existing disorders. To monitor that ability in the US, there is a system generally known as Dual Diagnosis Capability in Action Treatment (DDCAT) index, but there are alternatives for some other states.

As of April 2011, SAMHSA confirmed that 32 of the 50 states making up the Continental United States are aware of their dual diagnosis capabilities. Nowadays, that figure is likely to be even higher, as dual diagnosis continues to receive greater recognition.

Collaboration Key in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Many of the above findings revealed by SAMHSA have been echoed in Australia by Queensland Health. The awareness of this Australian government organization proves that dual diagnosis is not an isolated concept in the US. Addicts with co-existing disorders from all over the world will benefit from integrated treatment.

The ultimate form of best practice is to form collaborative partnerships. Queensland Health encourages collaboration between addiction organizations, healthcare personnel, social services, residential, and justice. However, it is an insurmountable challenge for the public sector to seamlessly coordinate all of its various operations to help addicts with their dual diagnosis treatment.

Another important area in the Queensland Health report is that dual diagnosis is most effective with a holistic, recovery-based approach. This entails accepting that addicts with co-existing disorder have highly complex needs and that they need to be treated with an approach customized to their specific circumstances.

We understand the need for holistic addiction treatment more than many others. That is because holistic treatment enables us to treat the whole of the person, rather than just their symptoms. Prescribing medication and sending a dual diagnosis sufferer to AA simply will not be enough.

The Luxury Beach Rehab Approach

Our commitment to holistic addiction treatment means that we adopt an approach of integrated treatment for dual diagnosis rehab in Florida. Patients love our approach because it puts them at the heart of their own treatment, as opposed to forcing an antiquated system of steps upon them that has been recycled a million times over. Addicts, let alone dual diagnosis patients, are rarely so simple.

A holistic approach will support all levels of your being, encompassing physical, mental, environmental, and spiritual factors. The sheer complexity of dual diagnosis compels us to create dedicated treatment programs from patient to patient.

Each addict has his or her own psychological issues to overcome, which is why an umbrella approach like AA will not work. Here at Luxury Beach Rehab, we take patients through detox, physical rehabilitation, counseling, integrative therapy, and group therapy.