Why Are Mental Health, Substance Abuse Patients Not Receiving Proper Help?

Vice President Joe Biden commented recently that the U.S. is on the verge of making remarkable changes in the way it treats people living with mental illness. He was addressing a Boston forum on mental health to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act.  He said the human brain is the "new frontier'" for exploration in 2013.

Most Mental Health Patients Not Receiving Proper Help

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also attended the forum and said that there was still work to be done to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. She pointed out that over half of Americans who are living with mental health issues (60 percent), and nine out of 10 Americans with substance abuse problems are not getting the help they need.

Dual Diagnosis Definition

When a person is dealing with a mental health issue and a substance abuse problem at the same time, he or she has a dual diagnosis. This situation requires specialized evaluation and treatment from a dual diagnosis program. Many people who are living with mental health concerns do not know how to cope with the symptoms of their disorder and turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.

The addiction may come about as a result of the person trying to control his or her symptoms. However it may have started, the process involves dealing with the mental health issue and the addiction separately.

Steps In Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The first step in the process is to conduct a thorough evaluation of the client's condition. If the client is currently using drugs or alcohol, he or she will go through detox to break free from the effects of drugs. Once this process is complete, the client will start to work with addictions counselors, both individually and in group settings. The treatment may also include attending 12-step program meetings. Some clients may benefit from receiving instruction in preparing healthy meals.

Dual Diagnosis And Family

The client's family can play a role in his or her recovery from a dual diagnosis as well. Addiction is very difficult on the family structure, and the family can benefit from counseling to understand how they have been enabling or trying to control the addict. This process will be especially important once the client is ready to leave the inpatient treatment program. He or she will need continuing support to remain clean and sober.

Treating Dual Diagnosis

It's important for clients with a dual diagnosis to find help from a place where they will be accepted. Going for dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona is a good first step to moving toward sobriety and healing from mental illness and drug and/or alcohol addiction. Contact Decision Point Center today and our experts can help you or a loved one start the journey toward a better life.