Indicators For Dual Diagnosis - Sovereign Health Group
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11-01-12 Category: Dual Diagnosis

When people in a state of acute distress manage to admit the need for intervention and to seek help, it is of utmost importance that their needs are correctly addressed so that they can be effectively treated.  When someone’s problem or medical issue is misdiagnosed, treatment will be ineffective and the process of recovery will be frustrated.  Thus, it is helpful to know what to look out for when seeking treatment for drug / alcohol addiction, for these types of disorders are often intertwined with mental health issues that also need to be resolved.  Failure to properly identify a hybridized condition, a way of looking at a dual diagnosis, can lead to treatment that insufficiently addresses one but not both problems at work in a single client profile.

Dual Diagnosis Indicators

Here is a helpful list of common indicators of a need for treatment in a dual diagnosis center:

1.      Self-medication:
Does the client use alcohol or other substances to reduce the pain and problems resulting from mental illness symptoms?

2.      Mental Illness Progression:
Does the client exhibit signs that a mental health disorder is more acute or has worsened because of alcohol and other drug use?

3.       Disease progression:
Has a clients substance abuse / use disorder worsened because of mental illness symptoms?

4.      Unsuccessful Treatment:
Has the client in question been unable to improve after treatment for chemical dependency, and has he / she been unable to access care for both diagnoses at prior treatment facility?

5.       Availability:
Depending on geographic location, mental health professionals and peers who understand both diagnoses can be  limited and therefore, a dual diagnosis may have been difficult to attain and an appropriate treatment facility, to access.

This list could be ordered in another way, slightly reversed, as one of the first checks needs to be whether a person has already endured a bout of unsuccessful treatment.  If ascertained to be the case, then the question of access to an in-depth dual diagnosis assessment needs to be brought into the client evaluation.  The first three questions can be posed again in light of the last two inquiries, with the goal being that a finally a client should receive proper medication identification to facilitate effective treatment.

Watch how dual diagnosis clinics can make a difference:

Blog Post By:Jared Friedman

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