Mental illness and the disease of addiction are two public health problems that are impacting millions of people throughout the United States. For example, more than 40 million people in the country struggle with an anxiety disorder, 17.3 million experience major depression, and 21 million have a substance use disorder.
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Of these millions of people, 7.9 million of them have a dual diagnosis, which is defined as having a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time.
Living with a mental illness or a substance use disorder is extremely challenging, and when the two happen simultaneously, those challenges can multiply and make everyday living that much more difficult. Unfortunately, many of those who have a dual diagnosis are not aware of it because they are consumed by the ever-evolving pace of their condition. Unfortunately, an untreated dual diagnosis can lead to severe physical and mental consequences as well as death by overdose or suicide. When a dual diagnosis is properly treated, however, these repercussions can be avoided and life can become much easier to live.
What Does a Dual Diagnosis Look Like?
Someone who is suffering from a mental illness and a substance use disorder can exhibit symptoms closely related to both issues. While each individual person is different and the kind of substance he or she is using/the type of mental illness he or she is experiencing varies, symptoms of a dual diagnosis often include the following:
- Changes in appetite (eating too much/not eating enough)
- Problems with sleep
- Mood swings
- Social withdrawal
- Inability to uphold responsibilities at work, home, and/or school
- Legal issues
- Financial problems
These are just some of the many outward symptoms commonly associated with a dual diagnosis. Someone who has a dual diagnosis can also experience more internal symptoms of this condition, including:
- Using drugs and/or alcohol as an escape mechanism
- Making attempts to stop using drugs and/or alcohol that contribute to feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, or other negative emotions
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol in an effort to feel “normal”
A dual diagnosis is more common in individuals with a past history of mental illness/substance use disorder both in themselves and within their families.
Treating Dual Diagnosis in Lexington, KY
History will show that up until relatively recently, healthcare providers would not offer treatment to individuals with a mental illness and who were abusing drugs or alcohol until they stopped their substance abuse. Today, we know that sending someone off to get sober before even addressing the mental illness is ineffective and usually only perpetuates the continuation of the condition. The way we treat dual diagnosis in Lexington, KY is on par with current standards of care that encourage addressing both the substance use disorder and the mental illness simultaneously. Depending on the needs of each patient, we develop an individualized treatment plan that can help address the most pressing concerns related to this specific condition.
At our facility, we offer outpatient services that are designed to help individuals who are experiencing several different types of issues including a dual diagnosis. Our outpatient programs can meet the needs of those individuals with a dual diagnosis who:
- Do not need to detox from drugs or alcohol
- Do not have medical or psychiatric needs that require 24/7 care
- Have a stable home environment and a strong support system
- Have a reliable source of transportation
- Are able to commit a good amount of time to their recovery
We offer both an intensive outpatient program and an outpatient program, both of which can accommodate individuals with a dual diagnosis. Our intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is an excellent option for those who require professional treatment that is not as intense at inpatient treatment but provides more stability than outpatient treatment. Patients of our IOP will go to our facility almost every day per week and spend the majority of their day there. During this time, each patient will participate in various therapies that are able to help address their substance use disorder and their mental illness at the same time. The IOP is a great way to treat dual diagnosis in Lexington, KY and is also ideal for those who have completed inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program but require a step-down form of care.
Our outpatient program is very similar to our IOP, however, it does not require as strong of a time commitment. Patients in the outpatient program will go to the facility a few days a week for a couple of hours at a time. They will also engage in therapy during the time they are there and can return home in between treatment. The outpatient program is a great option for those who are transitioning out of a higher level of treatment or who are experiencing a mild dual diagnosis and who can balance their personal and professional lives with their treatment.
Within each one of our outpatient programs, all individuals with a dual diagnosis will receive care that treats both issues at the same time. Additionally, should it be necessary, medication will be prescribed and administered to help improve upon the mental illness that is occurring.
Get Help for a Dual Diagnosis in Lexington, KY Today
If you are struggling with a dual diagnosis or a substance use disorder, reach out to us right now. We can help you determine if you have a dual diagnosis and provide you with the appropriate treatment if you do. Do not wait any longer. Call us right now. We can help.