With the increase of drug use and the diagnosis of mental illness in individuals in Texas and across the nation, there is now a greater need than in the past for effective treatment options for both mental disorders and drug use. It has been proven that treating drug addiction in the mentally ill has the greatest chance of success when both illnesses are treated together at the same time with an integrated approach and using the same provider for both conditions. While there are certainly fewer facilities and treatment plans available that offer dual diagnosis to treat addicts who are mentally ill, they can be found with some diligent effort and creative use of technology. It can be difficult to find addiction treatment centers that also treat underlying mental disorders in Texas and elsewhere, but with the increase in availability of technology, many people start their search online by searching under the terms “Dual Diagnosis TX” to find addiction treatment programs that also accept the mentally ill. Others start their search by contacting their local physician, nurse practitioner, counselor or other health care professional to locate referrals to dual diagnosis facilities.

Whether someone is located in Texas or another state, if they have a mental illness they are more likely to also abuse drugs and other substances, and their drug use can affect treatment of the addiction. The mentally ill are more susceptible to the effects of drugs and other substances. The severely mentally ill are also more likely to become violent, suicidal or experience other extreme behaviors during the withdrawal phase of detoxing from the addictive substance. Due to all of these reasons, it is important that the staff treating the addict who is also mentally ill have extensive training and knowledge in both areas of mental illness and addiction. Oftentimes it is necessary to provide medication for the underlying mental illness while the addict undergoes detox. This can slow the time it takes the addict to successfully complete the detox portion of drug treatment, but it is often necessary. Due to the special needs and stresses that addicts with mental illness face, these addicts must be allowed to progress towards addiction recovery at their own pace, which is in direct contrast to other drug treatment programs that offer rapid detox, and push the addict to complete the drug treatment program on a certain schedule. Additional family support and community involvement is also necessary to better help those with dual diagnosis re-integrate into society when they complete the in facility portion of their dual diagnosis treatment.

While it can be difficult to successfully treat dual diagnosis patients to become free of their addictions and it can also be hard to locate facilities that offer dual diagnosis treatment, these difficulties should not be allowed to become permanent barriers to treatment. Research has shown that addicts with dual diagnosis who receive treatment have far better outcomes in all areas of their lives than those who do not receive treatment.


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