Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug and alcohol addiction has grown to be an ever increasing problem all across the nation with the issue now warranting no less than national concern and full attention. The substance abuse crisis has consistently grown to be more dangerous with more and more Americans dying every single year from it and more innocent Americans getting harmed by drug and alcohol crime and accidents. In fact, last year President Barack Obama himself decreed that addiction and substance abuse had been placed in the top ten most concerning problems at hand that the United States was facing. Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

“Substance abuse for years was on the level of a Crisis in the nation. It became a crisis shortly after the turn of the century. Now however, given the death toll and the speed with which addiction has spread, we as of 2015 have labeled drug and alcohol addiction a legitimate Epidemic in the United States of America. This is the first time in the history of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that addiction has ever been labeled an actual Epidemic. It is something that we all need to concern ourselves with.”

With addiction problems on an order of magnitude the likes of which the nation has never seen before, full scale efforts have been made to make addiction rehabilitation available to anyone and everyone who is afflicted. One of the criteria for many addiction rehabilitation centers is that they be able to address both physical dependence to drugs and alcohol and mental addiction problems and mental issues and difficulties in general. These are called Dual Diagnosis treatment centers.

What Dual Diagnosis Strives to Accomplish

Dual Diagnosis treatment is a relatively new innovation in the field of addiction recovery, but it couldn’t have come any sooner as far as the addiction pros are concerned. In fact, until the decade as recent as the 1990s, people who were experiencing symptoms of a mental health crisis or problem such as anxiety attacks, depressive episodes, delusional behavior or mood swings were treated separately from those who sought help for drug or alcohol abuse. The two were never addressed in tandem.

This was a huge problem. The truth of the matter is that the two go hand in hand. Mental problems exist in the presence of drug and alcohol addiction and vice versa. If a rehab program only addresses physical dependence then they are denying more than half of the gains that could be achieved by the recovering addict. If a rehab program insists that they only address the mental problems and just “assume” that the physical dependence will fall by the wayside when they “cure” the person mentally then they are in for a rude awakening.

When these conditions overlapped (which they almost always do) clients were often denied treatment for a mental illness until they got clean and sober. Or on the flip side they were often denied treatment for addiction completely and were just thrown in a psyche ward whether they liked it or not. Unfortunately though, and often because substance abuse is often driven by an underlying mental crisis, this meant that many people with a Dual Diagnosis of addiction and a mental disorder never got the help they needed, and they relapsed. They relapsed because they were not able to address both the physical and the mental aspects of addiction. Just one or the other, so when they graduated whichever program they went to, they never really, “graduated”, they just got half of the work done and still suffered with a lot of crisis issues.

Addiction Statistics: Why Dual Diagnosis is Needed

From the CDC’s above quote it becomes pretty clear that addiction is on a whole new level in the United States. The nation comprises only five percent of the world population yet the United States consumes no less than eighty percent of the world’s supply of prescription drugs. The nation consumes about thirty percent of the world’s supply of heroin. The nation consumes about forty percent of the nation’s supply of methamphetamines. With numbers like these, it’s clear that there is truly an epidemic occurring here and it needs to be stopped with proper dual diagnosis rehabilitation of an inpatient nature. For some additional data on the statistics that necessitate this rehabilitation crusade:

  • In the year 2010, pharmaceutical drug overdoses were established as one of the leading causes of death in the United States, certainly far more concerning than with other drugs. In fact, total drug overdoses from just prescription pills killed more Americans than firearms or motor vehicle accidents in 2010. The death toll from drugs is just now purely catastrophic in the U.S.
  • In 2012, an estimated 493,000 persons aged 12 or older used a prescription pain reliever non-medically for the first time within the past 12 months alone. This averages to about 1,350 initiates per day, which is the highest that number has ever been before, and is actually higher than with any other addictive substance.
  • Adults are getting addicted to alcohol with increasing consistency. It is the second most concerning addiction issue in the nation next to prescription drugs. Studies show that no less than seventeen million adults of the age of 18 and older had an Alcohol Use Disorder, (AUD) in the year of 2014. This includes 10.6 million men and 5.7 million women all in all. When these numbers are compared to last year’s, the difference in the growth in just one year alone is quite concerning.
  • The heroin epidemic in the nation today is sadly hitting young adults more than any other age group. Young adults need dual diagnosis more so than any other demographic. The use among Americans aged 18-25 increased by no less than a whopping 109 percent from 2002-2004 and 2011-2013. For Americans 26 and older, it increased by 58 percent. Unfortunately, the future of the nation is looking pretty grim with more and more American becoming addicted to heroin and opiate pills in tandem.
  • The use and abuse of prescription painkillers is incredibly common to say the least, with one in twenty Americans of the age of 12 and older reported using painkillers for non-medical reasons in the past year alone. While it's true that heroin use and abuse has skyrocketed in the last few years alone, prescription drug abuse is far more common than heroin abuse is actually. The number of overdose deaths from prescription pain medication is larger than those of heroin and cocaine combined. With pill addiction, dual diagnosis treatment is almost always a must. In fact, without it, it is unlikely that such addicts will ever make a full recovery.

Utilizing Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis treatment centers have the best services available for drug and alcohol addicts. With addiction today, it is almost always the case that struggling addicts are also suffering with mental problems in addition to their addictions. Truthfully, addiction usually creates mental problems, so this comes as no surprise. This is why treatment programs that address both the mental and the physical sides of addiction are so desperately needed and wanted. Dual Diagnosis treatment centers are the best at accomplishing this task.

Dual Diagnosis treatment is best done when it is delivered from a strongly holistic background. In this way, both the chemical and mental difficulties are addressed, but they are both done so from an entirely drug-free perspective and utilizing only counseling, therapy, and holistic methods to effect the treatment of both problems. This avoids the damaging repercussions of using replacement drug therapy, an approach that can have devastating consequences for all involved. With holistic dual diagnosis treatment, truly anyone can beat addiction and mental struggle once and for all.

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