Addiction And Mental Health
In simple terms, dual-diagnosis is all about mental health and addiction, it is the occurrence of a mental health problem alongside any addiction problem. These issues are also known as co-occurring disorders by many and it simply means that the two issues must be managed together and correctly in a registered dual-diagnosis rehab or clinic setting in order to find out what the real issues are. Diagnosing a primary psychiatric illness in a chronic substance user (drug or alcohol) is a challenging task because drug use itself can very often induce psychiatric symptoms, making it vitally important to differentiate between substance induced and pre-existing mental illness and then treating them in the correct manner. Those with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis issues inevitably have to face hugely complex challenges. Possessing both the addiction and the mental health problem means that they have largely increased rates of relapse, hospitalization and even homelessness and they regularly find it more difficult to stay substance free. In other words, one often makes the other notably worse and vice versa, leaving behind a confusing mess of symptoms and distress.
Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health
Drug abuse, including the use of alcohol and prescription drugs, often produces symptoms which resemble mental illness and this can make it hard to differentiate between substance induced psychiatric symptoms or syndromes and any pre-existing mental health problems. Commonly, most of the psychiatric disorders among substance users disappear with a prolonged period of abstinence and that is why we always treat our clients with a period in detox and primary rehabilitation first before allowing any diagnosis to be made. The substance induced psychiatric symptoms can often occur during the intoxicated state as well as during the withdrawal so that is why we need a prolonged period of time in which the client is completely substance free. Thankfully, the major symptoms usually disappear, leaving behind the true picture of what requires medical treatment but in some cases these substance induced psychiatric disorders can persist for a long time after detoxing, such as prolonged depression or psychosis after regular cocaine or amphetamine (stimulant) abuse. Severe anxiety and depression are also regularly induced by sustained alcohol abuse and this again, usually goes away after a period of sobriety. Long term benzodiazepine is the most problematic to treat and is the most notable addiction for inducing prolonged withdrawal effects with symptoms sometimes persisting for many years after the client stops using.
Mental Health and Addiction (Dual-Diagnosis) Treatment
The good news is that it is possible to recover fully, if treated correctly. I struggled personally with 25 years of depression and drinking but without the alcohol, life is now very manageable. We work with what is, in my opinion, the best clinic at managing all dual diagnosis issues here in Cape Town and we also have specialist clinics around South Africa. It is common for addiction to exist alongside all of the substance addictions but mental health issues are also common alongside process addictions and eating disorders. Whatever the situation, we assess every client individually and then we find the perfect treatment to suit them.
The Dual-Diagnosis Rehab and Recovery Experience
We have our unique, fairly priced, CapeRecovery Experiences, at only the best hand-picked rehabs, clinics and treatment centres, to cover all dual-diagnosis issues (including depression) combined with any addiction (drugs or alcohol), process addiction (Gaming, Sex, Love, Porn, Gambling, etc.) or eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, food addiction, ED questions, ED rehab, etc.). We look after each of our clients through our individually tailored treatment from Primary Rehab, Secondary (with Tertiary), Tertiary Rehab and extended care to fully supported Sober Living and we look after the family back home by keeping them informed on any progress. We have a ready made social network here with the Cape Town Recovery Community and also a number of Volunteering Opportunities for when our clients are at the stage of easing back into 'normal' life again. It is the only complete rehab and recovery package of its kind found anywhere in the world!