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The Integrated Treatment Approach for Dual Diagnosis

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The treatment of patients suffering from a comorbid dual diagnosis — that is, both a psychiatric disorder and a substance abuse problem at the same time — is a tricky undertaking that can change from patient to patient.

While a dual diagnosis can sometimes be difficult to ascertain because of overlapping symptoms and misdiagnosis, dual diagnosis treatment has become a bit more focused over the years. Dual diagnosis treatment centers now take an integrated treatment approach to treating people who are struggling with both a psychiatric disorder (such as Borderline Personality Disorder) and an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

What Is Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

With integrated treatment, the psychiatric disorder and the drug or alcohol addiction are treated at the same time in a series of phases that are meant to help the patient find new ways of coping with their psychiatric disorder that don’t involve abusing substances. These phases include the following:

  • Trust between the patient and treatment team has to be established before any further progress is made. Trust is the foundation for all of the other phases to follow.
  • Motivational interventions can help demoralized and depressed clients realize the power they have in themselves and the benefits and importance of their goals, as well as the importance of managing their own psychiatric disorder.
  • Therapy helps the patient learn new, healthy coping patterns that don’t involve abusive substances. These involve cognitive and behavioral skills that help the patient deal with the trials and tribulations of their psychiatric disorder.

Through these and other phases, an integrated approach to dual diagnosis treatment can help those suffering from issues with a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as BPD, and substance abuse problem. Of course, dual diagnosis treatment is really only effective with the proper treatment team, the proper support from the patients’ family and friends, and, above all, the willingness of the patient to change their patterns into something more constructive and healthy.

If you or someone you love is suffering from both a psychiatric disorder and substance abuse, you should find a dual diagnosis treatment center that has an integrated approach to a dual diagnosis and get help immediately. Only through a concerted and integrated effort can those suffering from a psychiatric disorder break free of their addictions and find new and better ways of coping with the effects of their disorder.

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