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Don’t Be Fooled! What is a True Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

The term dual diagnosis has been widely used in terms of addiction treatment programs over the past several years. A dual diagnosis treatment program means treating a person’s addiction as well as their mental health issues – before and during an addiction. This practice has become widely accepted as a very successful approach, and because of this the term “Dual Diagnosis” has become a buzzword in the world of addiction treatment. Unfortunately, we have seen it become diluted in its meaning as addiction treatment programs attempt to stay current in their appeal to clients and professionals.

In order to fully understand the scope of someone’s mental health, and to provide a true dual diagnosis treatment program, addiction treatment centers must rely on the expertise of an addiction psychiatrist.

The need for a dual diagnosis treatment program is dire to those experiencing addiction and mental health issues. The “true” dually diagnosed patient is someone who is chemically dependent and who also meets criteria for an independent, non-substance related mental disorder. In these cases, patients should be given a dual diagnosis treatment protocol from their health professional or addiction psychiatrist. Oftentimes those battling an addiction develop drug-induced mental illnesses. Some of these drug-induced mental illnesses include: delirium or dementia, Psychosis, Mood disorder, Anxiety disorder, Sleep disorder and Sexual dysfunction. It is very important for your program to able to decipher a non-substance related mental disorder from a drug-induced one. In order to do so, a psychiatrist must closely monitor a patient during the duration of their treatment. So why be concerned about psychiatric disorders in the substance abusing population? The overall rate of mental illness in substance dependent patients is 53%. Additionally, 70% of substance abusers are at high risk for mental illness.

What should a dual diagnosis treatment program entail?

Those suffering from an addiction as well as a non-addiction related mental illness have many options for treatment. Under the care of an addiction psychiatrist, patients undergo treatment tailored to their specific needs. These treatment options can include detox, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and counseling.

Dual diagnosis treatment programs should change as the patient’s needs change.

For example, once a patient has completed detox they may enroll in an IOP that best suits their work/home schedule. When a patient is enrolled in a true dual diagnosis treatment program, an addiction psychiatrist monitors them during the entirety of their treatment.

Are all dual diagnosis treatment programs equal?

Due to the popularity of the term “dual diagnosis,” many times addiction treatment centers proclaim to have a dual diagnosis treatment program. It’s important to understand the difference between an addiction treatment program and a dual diagnosis addiction treatment program. In order to have a true dual diagnosis treatment program, an addiction psychiatrist must be thoroughly involved in the patient’s treatment through out the entire process. The mental health portion of a dual diagnosis program is limited without the assistance of a psychiatrist.

Do your homework! If you are considering a program for yourself, a loved one, or a client, make sure to thoroughly research the credentials of the staff at your addiction treatment facility.

If there is no psychiatrist, then there is no dual diagnosis program! Addiction can take its toll on our minds and bodies. Even if the person has not been diagnosed previously with a mental health related issue, it is highly recommended that an experienced and qualified psychiatrist performs a thorough evaluation.

Where can I find a true dual diagnosis treatment program?

The Bergand Group, with offices in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, offers a thorough dual diagnosis treatment program. Our co-founder and clinical director, Dr. Giannandrea is personally involved in each patient’s treatment – from first assessment and evaluation to initial treatment protocol and medication management. His expertise is written and presented in the dual diagnosis treatment programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) that are offered at The Bergand Group’s locations in Baltimore and Bel Air, Maryland.

Dr. Paul Giannandrea is a Psychiatrist certified in Addiction Medicine. He previously served as the director of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Outpatient Clinic and the medical director of Pathways Treatment Center in Annapolis. Dr. Giannandrea has treated addiction and mental health for over 25 years.

If you, or someone you know, struggles with an addiction, get in touch with The Bergand Group today at 410.853.7691.

We offer a true dual diagnosis treatment program tailored to meet each of our patients’ needs. For more information on treatment for addiction and mental health issues, such as Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) or detox, call The Bergand Group today at 410.853.7691.

The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center. Our offices are located in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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