A specialized treatment plan needs to be in place that would address both psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Integrated care, as noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will not only help in treating both conditions in co-occurring disorders but help prevent suicide attempts as well. Here are some vital reasons why integrated care is the best way to address dual diagnosis:
- Integrated care involves group therapy. This proves to be an effective tool in dealing with both addiction and mental health disorders. This is because group therapy creates a strong support group for individuals suffering from dual diagnosis.
- Identifying and treating both mental illnesses and substance abuse at the same time will help individuals to properly associate their own unique relapses, and the best ways to counter them.
- It has been noted that medication is more effective when the created pharmacological plan will address both substance abuse and mental health conditions.
- Integrated care also involves support from licensed individuals who identify and balance both issues from a psychiatric and substance abuse standpoint.
Integrated care also needs to highly take into consideration the age of the individuals with dual diagnosis. Some factors to note down are:
Young people with dual diagnosis have been recorded to be more vulnerable to both mental health and substance abuse disorders. A keen, thoughtful, yet assertive treatment method needs to be set in place for younger individuals.
Older individuals, especially those who belong in the supposed age of the workforce (or the lack of it), need to be treated in a different manner. An important factor to take into consideration is social isolation – some afflicted individuals tend to pull themselves away from both reality and society. As such, experts need to carefully approach these individuals in a respectful yet focused manner.
Additionally, integrated care for dual diagnosis also involves several treatment options. Here are some that focus on both disorders:
As noted above, integrated care has plans in place that directly address substance abuse and mental health disorders. Antidepressant drugs in a combination with anti-addiction medication may be prescribed in tandem to help treat dual diagnosis.
Individual Therapy Approach
Taking a page out of psychiatry, a deep focus on individual care helps in self-development to address both mental health and substance abuse disorders. A non-confrontational and collaborative approach towards a patient is being promoted by integrated care to better confront dual diagnosis issues.
Residential Treatment Strategies
Individuals suffering from dual diagnosis may also seek help from rehabilitation centers. By making use of the available resources in these centers, integrated care advocates can focus on the proper treatment for afflicted individuals.
Outpatient Integrated Care Treatment Solutions
Some individuals may also seek help in an outpatient format. This approach helps afflicted individuals by maintaining a work/study and life routine, with the benefit of setting aside time for proper treatment for dual diagnosis issues.
Given that dual diagnosis is an evolving field, holistic approaches on how to treat both mental illnesses and substance abuse are accepted and appreciated. Some holistic treatments included in some integrated care plans are hypnotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, and specialized massages.
Education and Advocacy
Integrated care also deals with spreading the right information, especially to an afflicted individual’s family and loved ones. Proper care can only be done if the issues are identified and addressed.
Support Network Creation
Integrated care helps in creating a reliable support network for afflicted individuals. This approach helps assure individuals suffering from dual diagnosis a long term treatment plan, with experts and like-minded peers ready to help when the time arises. Prioritizing ongoing support as well (even after the rehabilitation period for patients in residential treatment setups), relapse is further prevented.