Dual Diagnosis - Drug and Alcohol

Dual Diagnosis: Does Drug Detox Address Mental Health Issues?

Drug detox will help you address your addiction and mental health concerns. The Forge Recovery Center provides expert help for dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis: Does Drug Detox Address Mental Health Issues?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 11, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Unaddressed traumas and mental health issues can lead some people to escape their pain by using drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for addictions to develop out of the desire to fill a void, feel good, or find another way to cope with hardships and pain.

As such, it should be no surprise that many people who struggle with drug addiction also have other mental health disorders. There is a known connection between addiction and untreated mental health conditions.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

If you have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD) and additional mental health disorders, you have received a dual diagnosis.

A dual diagnosis can be challenging to overcome because your SUD and mental health disorder will exacerbate each other if they are not both treated simultaneously. Using drugs and alcohol will cause you to continue to neglect your health, alter your brain chemistry, and miss out on the joys of life. In turn, poor physical and emotional health will cause your mental health disorder to worsen over time.

On the flip side, if your mental health concerns are not addressed, your symptoms may become so distressing that using drugs or alcohol to escape them may be tempting.

Fortunately, most treatment centers are equipped to treat dual diagnosis in a patient who has one. Finding the right treatment center will depend on understanding your diagnosis and researching facilities with a track record of successfully treating your SUD and mental health condition.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for a Detox Facility

The first step in addiction recovery is detox. Rather than going cold turkey, people should undergo a medically supervised detox at a qualified treatment center. However, detox and treatment are not one-size-fits-all. When you are considering which detox facility may be right for you, ask yourself the following questions.

1. How Severe Is My Dual Diagnosis?

Not all dual diagnoses are the same. Not only do they include different disorders, but they also vary widely in severity. The severity of your dual diagnosis is one of the most important things to consider when researching detox facilities. Some facilities may not be equipped to handle certain conditions at greater severities. It is important to find a facility that is experienced in helping people in similar situations.

The best way to determine the severity of your dual diagnosis before entering detox is to consult with a medical professional. A doctor, psychiatrist, or even a licensed mental health counselor can help you determine the level of care you need to detox safely and fully recover.

2. Will an Inpatient or Outpatient Facility Be Best for Me?

Outpatient facilities are usually reserved for those with mild to moderate addictions. People recommended to outpatient facilities usually experience withdrawal symptoms, but they are not debilitating to the extent of needing 24/7 care. In an outpatient facility, you will go to the center two to three times a week to receive medications and mental health support from your care team. However, you still be able to continue living your daily life outside of the program.

If you are considering going to an outpatient facility, be sure you have a proper support system and are committed to staying clean. Unlike inpatient detox, outpatient detox allows you the freedom to use again while you are experiencing withdrawal, and you will need to resist this temptation.

For this reason, it is essential to consult with a physician to ensure you will be able to handle outpatient care.

You will likely be referred to inpatient drug detox if you have a severe dual diagnosis. In an inpatient detox facility, you will be monitored 24/7 and placed in an environment completely free of drugs and alcohol. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended for those with severe addictions and debilitating mental health symptoms to ensure medical intervention can be taken if necessary. Additionally, it is impossible to cave into cravings in an inpatient facility. This can help you avoid relapse when your symptoms become intense.

3. What Are My Values?

Before choosing a detox facility, you can narrow the list of options by researching facilities that have a proven track record of treating your specific dual diagnosis. The facility you choose needs to be able to treat you with the level of care you need.

If multiple facilities can treat your diagnosis, you can make your final choice by considering which one most aligns with your values.

The Importance of Values

For you to make a full recovery, it is crucial that you feel comfortable with the space you are in and your treatment team. If you wind up at a facility that does not align with your values, you may have difficulty trusting your care team, which makes detox and recovery that much harder.

When considering your values, ask yourself:

  • Do I want to be treated with medication, or would I prefer a more holistic approach?

  • Do I want to stay in-state or go out of state?

  • Will this facility offer resources and support for my family members?

  • Do I want to attend a treatment facility centered around specific religious beliefs?

  • Do I need care focusing on affirming my gender or sexual identity?

As you sift through these questions, you may find other values that are important for you in a treatment facility and its respective care teams.

Interview the Facility

As you identify your values, be sure to write them down. Often, the treatment facility website will not answer all your questions. In that case, speaking to an admissions counselor for any treatment facility you consider going to is essential. Admissions counselors can help you identify whether or not their facility will be the best place for you to seek treatment.

Additionally, guidance counselors are also well-versed in ensuring you have the tools you need to help ensure you remain financially stable while you are seeking treatment. Admissions counselors can help ensure you are in a safe and comfortable place during treatment. They will also help you determine if your insurance will cover treatment at their facility, assist you with financial aid, and help you find ways to balance school, work, and any other responsibilities you may have while seeking treatment.

The Forge Recovery Center Is Your Mental Health Partner from Drug Detox to Recovery

Having a dual diagnosis can be very isolating. At The Forge Recovery Center, you won’t be alone. In a facility built from the ground up to be welcoming, nonjudgmental, and comfortable, you’ll receive treatment for both addiction and any underlying mental health issue driving it.

Don’t suffer in silence with a dual diagnosis – contact us today and start your journey to freedom.

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