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Treatment of dual diagnosis drug addicts

A dual diagnosis means that a person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs has a psychiatric disorder. It can be both schizophrenia or schizotypal disorder, as well as depression, neuroses, anxiety, and delusional disorders, etc.

According to statistics, about 10-15% of the total number of patients suffer from dual diagnosis. Such addicts have symptoms specifically attributed to addiction, which are characteristic of alcohol addicts and drug addicts. These are symptoms such as aggressiveness, asocial and deviant behavior, manipulative behavior, adaptation difficulties, etc. However, the clinical evidence can be extremely abnormal: it is distorted by a psychiatric illness.

Erroneous diagnosis

Not all physicians can recognize pathological psychiatric addiction. It is necessary to understand that the primary treatment in many cases is the treatment of the symptoms of chemical addiction. As a rule, the addict’s relatives insist on the doctor’s advice, bring a loved one to an appointment, informing the doctor about episodes of frequent alcohol use or symptoms of drug use. The doctor then focuses on the diagnosis, but he/she attributes all the observed symptoms and manifestations only to addiction. However, if you leave psychiatric illness unattended, a patient’s condition can deteriorate drastically. If you are lucky, drug or alcohol addiction treatment will simply be ineffective. In the case of worst scenario, the disorder will keep progressing. This also concerns cases where only psychiatric illness is treated and the signs of addiction are ignored.

For this reason, we stress on the fact that only a highly qualified psychiatrist-narcologist should deal with treating patients with a dual diagnosis. The diagnostic and treatment program should take into account all aspects of the person’s condition. In the process, it may be necessary to make adjustments. Therefore, it’s of vital importance to constantly monitor the well-being of the addict.

Mental health problems as a result of drug use

One of the scenario option is the formation of a psychiatric illness against the background of the use of psychoactive substances. This refers to:

  • psychotic disorders caused by the use of hallucinogens;
  • alcoholic mania or “delirium tremens” against the background of withdrawal symptoms after a long heavy-drinking: its consequences can consist in subacute psychosis, toxic epilepsy, and more;
  • bipolar disorders, etc.

This can be explained by the toxic load on the nervous system and not only. It is important to understand that despite the fact that “psychiatry” in such cases is a second thing, it still requires medical correction! Long-term treatment and rehabilitation should be accompanied by drug therapy for the mental disorder. In case of a severe condition, it is important to take measures to isolate a person and ensure his safety, and in the future, the doctor will prescribe medications to correct this condition.

Drug or alcohol addiction developed against the background of psychiatric disorders

Sometimes the psychiatric disorder is a primary disease that often leads to addiction. It’s not only about diseases a patient and his relatives know about from childhood: sometimes “psychiatric disorders” start appearing in adolescence and even adulthood. The development of the disease can be perceived by the patient himself and his loved ones as eccentricity or his psychological pattern. Many people are afraid to seek psychiatric help or fear being enrolled and diagnosed with a severe disease. They are also afraid of the consequences of drug treatment and condemnation of society. Fears lead to aggravation of a patient’s condition, to a severe disorder that is hard to treat.

Delays can lead to complications of chemical dependencies. The person realizes that he has problems and he rushes to seek consolidation in alcohol or drugs. He can use them to cope with excruciating anxiety, insomnia, and even auditory hallucinations. Many patients try to cope with phobias and neuroses with the help of chemicals. Thus, it forms an addiction that masks the symptoms of the primary diagnosis.

If one fails to recognize a double diagnosis, he/she can end up with the following situation: the patient starts addiction treatment, stops using alcohol or drugs, and thus, the underlying disease begins to manifest itself to the fullest against the background of the complete abolition of psychoactive substances. As a result, the patient becomes depressed; acute psychosis or other manifestations of the underlying ailment start to develop.

That’s why, it is extremely important to consider the psychiatric diagnosis as well in the rehabilitation of such patients, correcting the condition with the help of medical drugs. A treatment course is initiated immediately after stopping the use of psychoactive substances, while detoxification is extremely important in order to prevent an exacerbation of the disease against the background of severe withdrawal symptoms.

We see that giving up taking the substances will not be sufficient enough. It is very difficult to distinguish between the main psychiatric diagnosis and manifestations of addiction, especially with active or even daily use. That is why it is crucial to timely recognize and diagnose a mental disorder in order to choose the correct treatment. Only experienced and highly qualified psychiatrists-narcologists are able to assume the presence of a second diagnosis based on implicit signs: thanks to the attentive attitude and constant management of the patient by one doctor, it enables to develop a suitable therapy program.

Treatment methods for drug addicts with dual diagnosis in Israel

With the timely diagnosis of both psychiatric illness and drug addiction, the prognosis is most often benign. The combination of drug treatment of the disorder and psychotherapeutic methods can improve the condition and well-being, correct the manifestations of the disease, help the patient accept the fact of the disease, and learn to interact with society. A properly selected treatment program significantly reduces the risk of breakdown.

The lost time can be irreversible when it comes to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, paranoid personality disorder. Timely appropriate medical assistance plays a great role in a positive outcome.

The first and most important step in enrolling in a rehabilitation center is comprehensive diagnostics. A qualified doctor will be able to recognize the presence of a dual diagnosis already at this stage.

The treatment program necessarily includes medication, i.e. detoxification therapy and the use of medical drugs to correct a psychiatric disorder. It may also include the following instruments:

  • psychotherapy, which is an obligatory component. It includes art therapy, psychodrama, cognitive-behavioral therapy (showed high results in the treatment of anxiety, neuroses), trainings, etc.;
  • 12 steps: a program that has proven itself all over the world;
  • therapeutic environment: conducting individual and group sessions of psycho-counseling, communication with like-minded people, receive psychological assistance at any time.

It is important to understand that the therapeutic process is strictly controlled by a highly qualified psychiatrist-narcologist. Dual diagnosis requires constant monitoring, since a physician evaluates the dynamics, subjective and objective condition of the patient, and, if necessary, makes adjustments to the treatment program, and changes the dosage of drugs. Subsequently, drug treatment can be abandoned.

Within the framework of the rehabilitation center, it is possible to carry out high-quality and full-fledged treatment of patients with a dual diagnosis. The IsraRehab center physicians can provide emergency medical assistance and psychological support. The staff monitors medication intake with special care. The almost home-like hospital stay conditions allow you to create the right atmosphere for effective treatment.

Besides the psychiatrist-narcologist, experienced psychotherapists, consultants, psychologists are also involved in the patient’s treatment. We use modern medicines of the latest generation with a minimum list of restrictions and side effects. An integrated approach to treatment allows you to achieve impressive results. We have years of experience in treating people with dual diagnosis.

How much does the treatment of drug addicts with a dual diagnosis cost in Israel?

The cost of treating drug addicts consists of several factors: the medical condition and the stage of development of addiction, a range of therapy methods, the period of stay in the clinic, the use of special programs (for a VIP client).

  • Price table
  • Diagnostics

    500 €

  • Treatment and therapy

    from 6000 €

If your beloved one takes alcohol or drugs and has signs of psychiatric illness, it is important to contact an experienced professional in a timely manner. We advise you to reach to the IsraRehab doctors for help: we will definitely show you a way out of a complicated situation.

The article was verified by a practical psychologist

Psychology teacher,
art therapist

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