What Approach Do Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in PA Take to Mental Health?

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Drug addiction comes with many coexisting illnesses. It’s not uncommon to see someone who is suffering from a substance abuse issue to also have a mood disorder, anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or other serious concerns. It’s impossible to treat the addiction aspects until the mental health issues are addressed, which is why dual diagnosis treatment centers are essential. Do you suffer from mental health issues and have substance abuse problems?

Understanding Dual Diagnosis

Experts acknowledge that someone who has a mental illness is harder to treat than someone that suffers from addiction alone. Statistics show that more than half of all drug users also have underlying mental health concerns that make treatment problematic. While it seems like a new concept in treatment, it’s been around since the 1980s.


The most prevalent theory among the medical community is called dysphoria. Experts believe that an attempt to self-medicate anxiety and other mental disturbances leads people down dark paths. However, another theory believes that a child can be exposed to things in the womb that causes neurological changes that impact addiction.

An infant that is exposed to medications or illegal drugs may have drug-seeking tendencies that appear later in life. We can’t forget about the environmental risks either. People that live in poverty and coexist with others that have mental illness may turn to drugs to cope with what life has handed them.

Lastly, the super sensitivity theory is one that believes that a person is predisposed to addiction through their genetic and biological makeup. While it’s not always easy to identify which category you may fall into, those with mental illness almost always have these underlying factors.

Dual Diagnosis Tactics

To successfully treat a person with an addiction requires attention to both the mental and physical aspects. Many times, centers attempt to treat people who have substance abuse issues and ignore the mental health side. It can be because they are ill-equipped or don’t know how to address these facets. A dual-diagnosis plan considers both issues.

Replacing Self-Mediating Behaviors

People who have mood disorders and other serious mental health issues are at an increased risk of developing a substance issue. In most cases, drugs are used as an effort to self-medicate. If you suffer from both conditions, it’s imperative to seek the help of a dual diagnosis center that can understand and treat both issues simultaneously.

When a treatment center doesn’t acknowledge the mental health contribution to addiction, then they do a great disservice to their patients. Recovery must be looked at from a comprehensive standpoint. To start on the journey towards sobriety means stopping all drugs and alcohol and altering your life so that there is no temptation. For many, the enticements are alleviated when the mental health needs are addressed.

Learning Techniques For Success

You need the proper tools to be successful in your recovery. There are things you can do to combat panic attacks and bouts of anxiety. You don’t need to turn to a bottle or pop a pill; you will learn techniques that put you in control. Working with a counselor to learn these tips and tricks is imperative for your success. Dual-diagnosis centers put the focus where it should be to ensure you have what you need to maintain sobriety.

Using Non-Habit Forming Mental Health Medications

One of the reasons why these programs are so successful is that they treat the mental health issue with medications that are not habit forming. Many people are concerned about trading one drug for another, especially when they fight to get clean. These centers are particular about the medications that they give to addicts. While they may not use Xanax and Ativan, which are known to be highly addictive benzodiazepines, they will opt for SSRI and SSNRI antidepressants. Also, mood stabilizers like Abilify are effective for many.

The Road To Better Health

The success rates of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Pennsylvania and abroad are encouraging. By treating both conditions, people can achieve long term sobriety. You need help, guidance, and support on this journey. When you are plagued with co-occurring psychiatric problems, it can make a recovery nearly impossible. However, treating both issues increases your chances for success.

If you know you have an underlying mental health issue, and you’re ready to get help for your substance abuse, then call us now. We are prepared to help you. Call 888-380-0342 and speak to someone who knows the process and can help you begin your life again. We’re ready when you are.

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

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