What Are 5 Things Family Members Should Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

What Are 5 Things Family Members Should Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

When family members or loved ones go for dual diagnosis treatment, they are checking themselves in for something that is very important to their health going into recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment focuses on treating mental health disorders alongside addiction. There is nothing to be ashamed of when seeking help for dual diagnosis. There are many ways to support a loved one seeking treatment. Learn about just a few of the best ways to get started in helping someone navigate the journey.

Challenges Ahead

As it may be assumed (or not), family members are in for a long haul with dual diagnosis treatment. Since they have walked the path with their loved ones already, it may be assumed they understand the risk and challenges. However, nothing can prepare a family for the ups and downs, which are unknown, even as the person continues to stay clean and sober. Dual diagnosis is difficult to treat because there is no way to know whether drug addiction or mental illness caused the problem. Depression is a symptom of many things, so the challenge is on medical professionals to find the root cause to treat it.

High-Risk Treatment

Family members should know the risk of treating loved ones for mental health disorders and addiction. There may be situations where detox and coming off drugs make the mental health issues worse, for a time. Although it is ultimately in their favor, it may not seem so at first. Violent tendencies of those with a dual diagnosis can pop up, along with worsening of some symptoms, and change of personality or characteristics while in treatment. It takes time to detox substances from the body so a treatment center should prepare the family for what’s ahead.


The sad reality of people with mental illness is that they are more susceptible to addiction than those without mental health issues. They may have depression, anxiety, and other issues that can escalate into using drugs or alcohol to self-soothe. There is also the possibility they have physical symptoms that make it difficult to function so they medicate with drugs to cope with daily life, not just to deal with the mental aspects. Overall, addiction and mental health issues need to be dealt with by experts who understand the complexities.

Integrated Treatment

Look for integrated treatment programs for loved ones with dual diagnoses. Treating both in the same place, at the same time, means they get a more holistic approach that has more likelihood of being successful for the person with mental health issues. 

Course of Treatment

Treatment may move at a slower pace than people want to see. There is not a quick way to walk through rehab for people with a dual diagnosis. There may be months, even years, of treatment ahead to ensure the person stabilizes and stays clean. The person receiving treatment must feel comfortable and be able to continue receiving services long after initial rehab ends.

The Palmetto Center successfully treats individuals with a dual diagnosis all the time. We specialize in treating individuals from an integrated approach that looks at the whole person and designs a treatment program suited to them. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.