Often people with addiction issues are also simultaneously dealing with mental health issues. It is important when dealing with the addiction to also deal with the underlying mental health issue as this will reoccur if only the initial addiction is treated. Here are some important steps to follow as you seek dual diagnosis treatment.
1. Get the underlying mental health issue treated
An addiction to alcohol or other drugs is sometimes a form of self-medication to treat underlying mental illness. An important part of recovery is to get these underlying issues diagnosed and an appropriate treatment plan formulated. This may include medication, counselling and/or other forms of treatment. This is an important first step in the treatment of a concurrent mental illness and addiction and, with professional support, can happen at the same time or as part of the process of getting help for addiction.
2. Start treating the addiction
A holistic approach is required as addiction is multi-faceted including physical and mental addiction, along with social factors. Treating the addiction requires treating all of these aspects and creating new ways of dealing with the underlying needs. This involves creating some new relationships and reshaping existing relationships with friends and family.
3. Form new, healthy lifestyle habits
Once you have diagnosed any mental health issues and treated your addiction, it is now time to rewrite your life. It’s important to come up with new and healthy habits including productive hobbies, positive relationships and social life, a good diet, and exercise to help you deal with stress and pass your free time constructively.
If you have a combination of mental health issues and addiction, you need to find a dual diagnosis program that can best support and treat your illnesses. Specialist dual diagnosis treatment programs organised through dual diagnosis treatment centres will treat your underlying issues and maximise your chances of long-term sobriety and mental health.