Addiction Treatment Facility: Dual Disorders

The term dual disorders or dual diagnoses refers to cases in which the individual has both a substance abuse disorder (also referred to as chemical dependency or addiction) and a coexisting psychiatric illness such as depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, social phobia, and other illness.

Symptoms Of Dual Disorders

The symptoms of one condition may mask or aggravate the symptoms of the other. It is possible for people to have more than two disorders. Having a dual diagnosis can make treatment in a drug rehab more difficult and demands a level of competence from the staff.

Just as the severity and effect of addiction can vary so can the psychiatric disorder. Some psychiatric disorders are chronic and can result in long lasting impairment. In fact seven out of ten leading causes for disability in the world can be traced to mental disorder.

We can distinguish three subgroups among people who have dual disorders:

1) Those whose problem is predominantly a mental disorder but who have a substance abuse problem that is serious enough to need treatment in a drug rehab.

2) Those whose problem is predominantly substance abuse but who also have a psychiatric disorder that can interfere with treatment.

3) Those who it is not possible to determine whether drug addiction or mental disorder is the predominant problem.

Clients who are able to accept their condition and are internally motivated to get better usually do quite well in treatment and are able to return to a high level of function. Those who refuse to accept their diagnosis and resist treatment can not expect to have a positive treatment outcome.

Treatment For Dual Disorders

An addiction treatment or mental health program that treats just one of these conditions is not likely to be successful. Treating a dual diagnosis requires a comprehensive plan that addresses all symptoms, disorders, and addictions.

There has been research published that suggests that people who are addicted to chemicals are more susceptible to developing a co-occuring mental disorder. This seems to be true even after the addict or alcoholic has been clean and sober for quite some time. Months or even years after the chemically addicted person stops using a chemical they are more prone to developing a psychiatric illness.

The opposite is true as well and people with psychiatric illness are more likely to develop a chemical addiction. Such clients benefit noticeably less from psychiatric treatment programs than those without a chemical dependency.

Treatment Programs For Dual Disorders

A drug rehab clinic that is able to effectively deal with dual disorders is more likely to have a successful treatment outcome for a patient with such a condition. There are several outstanding addiction treatment programs in South Africa that offer such a specialized service.

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