Some people may not be familiar with dual diagnosis programs, but essentially, they are for those who suffer from mental health issues in addition to alcoholism and addiction. To those who are unfamiliar with how these programs work, there are many reasons that specific considerations need to be taken.
One of those reasons is that, in the case of psychiatric medications, many of these medications can be easily abused. Having someone knowledgeable about their effects and interactions as they relate to addicts and alcoholics is vital if any sort of recovery is to be gained—let alone maintained.
Monitoring the use and potential abuse of those medications is equally important. If you had an arsonist lighting your campfire, needless to say, you’d want to pay a lot of attention to where the lighter was at all times. The same idea applies to meds: used properly, they can greatly improve the quality of a person’s life, but giving them free reign would be a disaster waiting to happen.
Catching People At The Right Time
One of the many of the benefits of a dual diagnosis program is also having professionals who can recognize when someone is in a manic state (for instance). If they are on an upswing, they are going to approach the addict or alcoholic with a much different approach than if they were in a low phase.
Dual diagnosis programs can bring moments of clarity Even for alcoholics and addicts not suffering from dual diagnoses, catching them at precisely the right moment, with the right words and/or consequences is key. Without that moment of clarity, there is always the possibility that a person will go back to drinking and using.
However, these approaches are not just for the sake of the addict or alcoholic—they are also for the benefit of the staff! Depending on the nature of the illness, provoking someone who is freshly off drugs or alcohol and already in an unstable state naturally can be dangerous if the proper approach is not taken. Say the wrong thing, and there can be quite a scene!
Dealing With Multiple Problems
It might sound obvious, but a dual diagnosis means that the staff have more than “just” an alcohol addiction to contend with.
Anyone who has been to treatment before or knows someone in that field know that this is an exceptional undertaking itself, let alone adding another serious condition on top of it.
However, these conditions can also be used to gain better insight into the nature of the addict or alcoholic. If they were on medications before, and they were using a drug to offset the medication’s negative side-effects, the staff knows not only that another medication needs to be used, but also can see why an addict or alcoholic gravitates towards one group of drugs over the other(s). While addiction is addiction, this is an incredibly powerful tool, as alcoholics and addicts are notorious for finding all the loopholes and exceptions to how they do not fit the profile of a “real” addict or alcoholic.