Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Allentown, PA

Dual diagnosis treatment in Allentown uses an integrated approach to treatment to ensure both the substance abuse disorder and the mental illness disorders are treated simultaneously. In order to be effective, dual diagnosis treatment programs need to take into account the role a mental illness can potentially play in triggering addictive behaviors. Treatment also needs to ensure that the symptoms of the mental health condition are properly managed.

In the past, traditional programs in drug rehab facilities would provide only treatment for the drug or alcohol addiction. If the person did have symptoms of a mental illness, it was once common for the condition to remain untreated until after the person had completed rehab. In many cases, a large percentage of people never received the treatment they needed.

By comparison, specialized programs for dual diagnosis treatment in Allentown ensure that both conditions are treated concurrently. The symptoms of mental illness are accurately assessed and managed as an integral part of comprehensive treatment programs in Allentown.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the term used when a person has a drug or alcohol addiction at the same time as having symptoms of at least one co-occurring mental health disorder.

There is a long-standing link between addiction and mental health problems. It's understood that many people with improperly managed symptoms of mental illness may turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to self-medicate. Some may use substance abuse to dull painful feelings or numb distressing emotions, while others may use drugs or alcohol to temporarily elevate mood or boost confidence.

While the effects of drugs or alcohol might offer some temporary respite, many substances may also trigger symptoms of mental illness or make existing symptoms even worse. The result can be a deepening spiral of substance abuse that develops into addiction. That's why seeking guidance from Allentown Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers is so important.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Some types of mental health disorders may be more commonly linked to drug or alcohol addiction, including:

Anxiety disorder: Anxiety and panic disorder cause enormous distress for sufferers. The person may experience symptoms of anxiety during an attack, but may also feel intense dread and fear at the thought of having another at some point in the future. Drugs or alcohol can provide some temporary respite from distressing symptoms, but may also worsen symptoms, sparking a cycle of abuse and addiction.

Depression: There has been a long-standing link between depression and alcohol abuse, as many people with depressive illness may use alcohol to temporarily elevate mood and escape from painful feelings. However, alcohol can make symptoms of depression worse, triggering a cycle of addiction.

OCD: Many people underestimate how destructive symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be for sufferers. The person may get a temporary respite from feelings of anxiety when they're performing compulsive rituals, such as washing hands or counting items or checking that doors are locked. However, the feelings of anxiety and dread often return soon after the rituals stop, leading many to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to escape the distressing emotions.

PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely debilitating mental disorder characterized by intense feelings of anxiety, horrific flashbacks and nightmares of a traumatic event. A large number of people struggling with PTSD may turn to drugs or alcohol to provide temporary respite from distressing symptoms.

Personality disorder: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is often misunderstood by most people, but can be extremely difficult for a person suffering with symptoms. Many of the dysfunctional behaviors and attitudes displayed by a person with BPD are often a misguided attempt at coping with intense fear or emotionally painful feelings, which leads a large percentage of sufferers to turn to drug or alcohol abuse.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis treatment in Allentown focuses on ensuring each person receives the correct combination of treatments to improve likely outcomes. When a person enters into a dual diagnosis treatment center, specialists assess each person to determine the best course of care to provide.

Specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs use an integrated approach to care, ensuring that the symptoms of the mental health disorder are properly managed using the correct prescription medications and a monitored pharmacological plan. When symptoms of mental illness are well-managed, the detox process can begin. Drug detox in Allentown simply eliminates the effects of the drug of addiction from the body.

One of the key elements of any successful dual diagnosis treatment in Allentown is combining strategies from psychiatry and addiction therapy to ensure both disorders are addressed. Cognitive behavioral therapies and individual counseling sessions take into account the fact that the underlying mental illness could be a prominent trigger for addictive drug or alcohol use.

In order to reduce the risk of relapsing back into a pattern of self-destructive substance use after leaving the dual diagnosis treatment center, each person is taught to identify their own individual relapse triggers. From there, dual diagnosis treatment programs begin helping each person develop healthy new ways to cope with urges and triggers without the need for drugs or alcohol.

Drug treatment centers that specialize in dual diagnosis treatment programs also provide access to a range of aftercare services to ensure the recovering person has access to the ongoing support and therapy needed to maintain sobriety. Call Allentown Drug and Alcohol Rehab for help (610) 898-3572

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