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Treatment For People With Dual Diagnosis

Karen Vertigan Pope

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People who suffer from a mental disorder plus substance abuse have unique problems that have to be addressed. For the most part, mental health services are not equipped to treat people who have both problems. There is the added difficulty of having only one of the two problems identified and treating only half of the problem rarely brings about the desired results. If both the mental disorder and the substance abuse problems are identified, the person may be bounced back and forth between facilities that treat mental disorders and those that treat substance abuse.

Fortunately, there are treatment centers that recognize the importance of treating both problems at the same time, giving the patient and their families reason for hope.

Inpatient Treatment

Medical detoxification normally involves 3-5 days for alcohol in a medically supervised setting. This program includes counseling, medications, and group sessions.

Long-term residential programs involve a stay for a few months, or sometimes as long as twelve months. These are generally for people with more than on relapse and their emphasis is on group affiliation and counseling to prevent yet another relapse into substance abuse and mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis treatment centers tailor their programs to each individual and they include different types of assistant that go beyond typical therapy and medication. The frequently engage in:

  • Assertive outreach
  • Job and housing assistance
  • Money and relationship counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Stress management
  • Social networking

Outpatient Programs

Partial hospitalization is a relapse prevention program that usually meets 3-5 days a week for 4-6 hours a day and is for people who require medical monitoring.

Intensive Outpatient Programs normally meet 3 days a week for 2-4 hours a day. These programs are scheduled around work and school schedules

Intensive case management involves the patients having a case manager assigned to them to provide frequent contact and phone calls to follow-up on the patient's compliance with doctor's appointments and medication management

Counseling therapy offers an opportunity for emotional healing. Looking at the issues from a different perspective can identify the problems behind the problems and assist the patient in making more constructive choices.

Attention should be given to locating support groups for people with co-occurring disorders. This gives the person an opportunity to socialize, gives them access to recreational activities, and allows them to develop peer relationships. Give the folks at The Williamsburg Place and the Farley Center a call at (877) 389-4968 to learn how you can get the help you desperately need to get your life back.

Karen Vertigan Pope writes for Ciniva Systems, an award winning Virginia web design company. Ciniva specializes in web design and SEO. Ms. Vertigan Pope is an SEO Specialist with Ciniva. Ciniva Systems is in charge of SEO for the Farley Center and Williamsburg Place


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