There are many studies by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and other concerned groups that show that about 15% of the general population uses drugs, but that 50% of those with an underlying mental illness participate in drug use as a means of coping with the symptoms and effects of their mental illness. Many individuals with mental illness or some other underlying condition that use drugs mistakenly believe that help is not available to them if they wish to stop using drugs. Others feel so ashamed at the destruction that drug use has caused in their lives that they give up and resign themselves to a downward spiral of devastation and possibly death. Thankfully there are now new treatments to help those with mental illness or other health issues to combat their addictions and learn to live without using drugs or other substances. Regardless of the substance used, the particular mental illness or other factors, there is a dual diagnosis program that can help them fight their addiction and live addiction free.

In a dual diagnosis program, the addict will be evaluated at the start of their treatment. This evaluation will often consist of laboratory tests and meetings with psychologists, and other specially trained personnel to determine what substance the addict is addicted to, the nature of any underlying mental illness or other disease, and the safest way to begin treatment for both the addiction and the co-occurring illness. Underlying disorders that complicate addiction treatment include common mental complaints such as PTSD, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Anorexia or Bulimia, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and more. Each of these disorders requires individualized care and affects treatment for addiction in different ways. Since the addict is receiving treatment for more than one illness, their progress at becoming addiction free and learning how to cope with addiction may be much slower than others who are only facing addiction without the added stress of a mental disorder to complicate their treatment.

Regardless of the whether an addict has a co-occurring mental illness or not, treatment in some ways is still similar to what other addicts face when receiving therapy to help them combat addiction. Addiction treatment in Dual Diagnosis will treat the underlying illness, but will also feature some sort of abstinence from the addictive substance and detoxing from the effects of the drug. Individual and group counseling are often used to get at the reasons underlying the addiction, and additional counseling is often given to teach the addict about both the disease of addiction as well as their other health conditions. Addicts undergoing dual diagnosis treatment in texas often have a greater need for additional support to re-enter society and there is often a great focus on counseling both inside of the facility and after they return to living outside of a treatment center, as well as often needing greater assistance with occupational therapy, housing assistance, and job training and placement services.

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