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Dual diagnosis treatment centers help inpatient drug rehab patients who have co-existing psychiatric and addiction problems. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, this diagnosis is quite common. About 37 percent of people who abuse alcohol and 53 percent of people who abuse drugs have a serious mental illness.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers assist drug rehab patients who have addiction problems and any of these common mental illnesses: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Additionally, 29 percent of all persons diagnosed with a mental illness abuse alcohol or drugs. This 29 percent reflects persons who could benefit from a dual diagnosis treatment center. Unfortunately, many of this 29 percent only receive help for their mental illness.
Experts from dual diagnosis treatment centers profess that both disorders should be treated simultaneously. The diagnosis, however, can be difficult because symptoms of persons admitted to inpatient drug rehabs often exhibit symptoms from their drug abuse that closely relate to symptoms of a severe mental illness. Therefore, medically supervised detoxification is necessary toward a proper diagnosis. Once the body is cleared of toxins, clinicians can monitor the patient for a determined time after detox to determine if a serious mental illness exists.
If the patient is indeed mentally ill, they should receive help for both substance abuse and addiction simultaneously, but through separate methods. For example, Twelve Step work is useful for addiction. Medication and therapy is beneficial for mental illness. The two treatments should act to compliment one another, but the patient should never receive help for one disorder and not the other. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment centers make certain their inpatient drug rehab centers employ both addiction counselors and trained psychiatrists.