If your son struggles with a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental health disorders, you may wonder where to turn for help. Many dual-diagnosis treatment centers are available, but how can you know which is right for your son?
Below are some things to consider when choosing the best dual diagnosis treatment center for your son and how to encourage him to seek treatment for his mental illness.
Does the Center Have Experience in Treating Dual Diagnoses?
While treating addiction and mental illness at the same time might seem like common sense, many psychiatric health specialists and doctors did not understand the concept of dual diagnosis treatment until studies were conducted in the 1980s.
Studies now show that it’s best to treat both substance abuse disorders and initiate mental health treatment simultaneously. While providers once believed that addiction needed to be treated before the mental illness, or vice versa, many dual-diagnosis treatment centers can provide treatment for both in unison.
Evidence shows that dual diagnosis treatment programs can help improve outcomes such as:
Decreased psychiatric symptoms
Improved quality of life
Reduced medication interactions
When finding a treatment center for your son, ensure they have a program for co-occurring disorders. The more experience a treatment center has with providing care for mental health disorders and substance abuse, the greater the chances are that your son will get the help he needs to maintain his sobriety and recover from the symptoms of his mental illness. Sober Living Programs that work intimately with outpatient recovery centers are a great option for those with dual diagnosis. One of the said programs is New Life House Sober Living, wherein people suffering from dual diagnosis have seen success in recovery for over 35 years.
Consider the Treatment Methods Used
Co-occurring disorders can include substance abuse issues such as alcohol and drug addiction, in addition to various mental illnesses. Mental health disorders are incredibly varied and can include disorders such as:
Depression increases the risk of suicide and might be a contributing factor to self-medication.
Anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other disorders that cause panic and restlessness, can lead to or worsen substance abuse.
Bipolar disorder is shown to have a high correlation with substance use disorder (as much as 40%) and is characterized by periods of depression and mania.
Schizophrenia is also associated with drug abuse. As many as 47% of patients with schizophrenia also abuse drugs or alcohol. This illness is characterized by symptoms such as psychosis, delusions of grandeur, paranoia, and hallucinations
Each of these mental illnesses can benefit from different treatment options. For instance, dual-diagnosis patients with anxiety can benefit from a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps to examine negative thoughts and reframe them into positive ones.
Some dual-diagnosis treatment centers might also offer other programs to help your son maintain sobriety and treat their mental disorders. Treatment methods can include:
Family therapy can help your son build a support system and allow him to seek help along with the support of his family.
Individual therapy can help your son get the individualized care he needs by talking with a therapist or addiction counselor.
Group therapy can help your son learn how to socialize and seek the support of others on their recovery journey.
Studies have shown that holistic therapies, such as mindfulness, meditation and relaxation techniques can help reduce the risk of relapse and substance-abuse-related injuries.
Other treatment approaches can help people with more complex illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A combination of therapy, medication, and continued treatment services after discharge might be helpful for people with these mental health conditions.
If your son has a previous diagnosis for one of these mental health issues or has other mental health problems, ask your facility beforehand about the specific treatment they offer. Consider if this specialized treatment will help address your son’s mental health disorder and substance abuse problem.
Find Information on Success Rates
Many hospitals and treatment centers will publish reports that highlight their success. Such reports will show statistics such as:
Patients that left treatment early on
Patients that relapsed
Patients that died during treatment or in their care
Patients that continued sobriety
Patients that continue to attend aftercare programs
It’s essential to research these success rates ahead of time. Find a dual diagnosis treatment center that is transparent about its statistics. If there are issues with their programs, such as a low program completion rate, ask about ways they are working to improve their program.
In addition, you should also choose programs that are licensed by your local state and those that have high-quality accreditation. For instance, The Joint Commission provides accreditation for high-quality addiction and mental health treatment facilities. You can also check to see if a dual diagnosis rehab is licensed by visiting your state’s licensing board website.
Your son deserves the best treatment for his drug abuse and mental health disorder. Find a dual diagnosis rehab with great reviews, transparent and publicly available reports, and fully accredited and licensed by your state.
Explore Aftercare Programs Available
Aftercare programs are designed to help patients transition back into society after they have completed their treatment. These programs can make sure that patients have a solid support system in place and that they have the resources they need to stay sober. In addition, some programs, such as intensive outpatient treatment, are shown to be as effective as inpatient treatment when helping treat your son’s drug abuse issues and helping them maintain sobriety. Often, Sober Living Programs will also work hand in hand with outpatient services, to provide comprehensive care and stable living environments.
Dual diagnosis treatment centers should offer some form of aftercare programming, such as:
Outpatient care: Outpatient care can help your son get therapy and treatment after they finish inpatient treatment. Outpatient care can include therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and group therapy sessions.
Intensive outpatient care: Also known as IOP, this type of aftercare program is best if your son feels they need extra assistance after finishing the program, more so than in a traditional outpatient treatment setting.
Sober living homes: Sober living homes are excellent choices if your son needs to live among other men in a controlled and supportive environment. Your son can also benefit from sober living alone if they feel comfortable and ready to live independently. Not only this, but sober living homes can provide a sustainable community and accountability therein to create a stable foundation upon which your loved one’s recovery can be built.
Alumni support groups: These groups can help your son stay connected with others who have gone through the dual diagnosis treatment program. Alumni support groups provide sober social activities and can help your son stay accountable to their sobriety goals.
Continuing care groups: These groups are similar to alumni support groups but provide more structure and support. In these groups, your son will have sobriety sponsors that they can call on for help and support. These programs can play a vital role in helping your son stay sober after they leave treatment.
Dual-diagnosis patients need to feel supported even after they leave treatment. Choose a dual-diagnosis rehab that offers an aftercare program that will fit your son’s needs.
Consider Specialized Treatment and Needs
It would help if you also considered whether the addiction treatment center is a good fit for your son personally. For example, if he has any special needs or preferences, make sure that the center can accommodate those. Some special needs include the following.
First Responder/ Military Rehab Center
Many military or first responders might struggle with substance abuse due to post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental illnesses.
For military veterans and first responders, specialized dual-diagnosis treatment centers can provide the care and support they need.
These centers often use various therapies, such as EMDR, to help treat patients with PTSD. If your son falls into this category, make sure to look for dual-diagnosis rehabs that offer specialized care for military veterans and first responders.
Scheduling Restraints and Flexibility
In addition, if your son has scheduling restraints, such as having a full-time job or attending school full-time, it’s also essential to find a dual-diagnosis treatment center that provides flexible options for treatment.
Sober living homes are a good option for men with dual diagnoses who need structure and support to stay sober. Living in a sober home can help your son stay accountable to their sobriety goals and provide them with a support system for other men in recovery.
Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers for Severe Addiction and Mental Illness
Inpatient dual-diagnosis treatment centers will provide your son with around-the-clock care and supervision. These centers will also offer a variety of therapies and treatments to help your son recover from their substance abuse issues. If your son requires more intensive treatment and medical detoxification, then an inpatient dual-diagnosis treatment center is likely the best option.
Explore Dual Diagnosis Rehab Centers And Get Your Son Help Today
After you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be in an excellent position to choose the dual-diagnosis treatment center that’s right for your son. Your son can overcome his dual diagnosis and maintain sobriety with the right care. Make sure to look for a dual diagnosis treatment center that offers an aftercare program and can accommodate your son’s needs, as well as offer both addiction treatment and mental health treatment.
Last Updated on September 12, 2023