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Dual Diagnosis With Addiction

2 Co-occurring Conditions Require a Different Approach

For many of us, addiction doesn’t come by itself. Rather, suffering from addiction beings in other issues, such as mental health problems, physical health problems, and any pre-existing conditions that you might not have been diagnosed with yet. Often, the therapy work that we do in rehab unlocks other issues we didn’t notice before – after all, most substance abusers use their drug as a coping mechanism. Unless both conditions are treated, there’s a higher chance that you will return to your old habits instead of breaking free from addictions.

When you have this dual health problem such as dual diagnosis of alcohol and depression, we call it a dual diagnosis, although you may also recognise the term co-occurring conditions. People who suffer from more than one condition need to be treated a little differently. For example, if you have depression with suicidal tendencies, quitting alcohol or drug addiction will need to be carefully managed by your healthcare team. Otherwise, the risk is that you might take an episode and die due to poorly managed treatments. It is important to note that you should seek help immediately and consider an inpatient psychiatric program to get you on the mend.

If you have received a dual diagnosis, our organisation specialises in connecting you with the right resources to help you recover. Whether you want to find a rehab clinic near you or whether you just need a chat about potentially quitting at a later date – we are here for you. Call us as soon as you can, on 0203 955 7700, or log on to our online consultation service and one of our valued team will get in touch.

Let’s examine the dual diagnosis issue in more detail.

What A Dual Diagnosis Means to You?

A Dual Diagnosis is a bit of an umbrella term. If you were suffering from four separate conditions, we would still call that a dual diagnosis. It simply means that you have more than one disorder that you are battling and therefore that special conditions need to be set up during the creation of your treatment plan.

When you call our welcoming and helpful team, here at Help4Addiction, you will be connected to all the resources you need throughout England and Wales that will give you the best chance at recovering. We will ask you a variety of questions to get to the bottom of your personality because only by knowing your hopes and expectations regarding rehab can we begin to find the best service for your conditions. Before you are sent off to rehab, however, you will be seen by a qualified consultant psychiatrist from your choice of centre. They will make an initial assessment and, if you are treating drug addiction or alcoholism as isolated conditions, that will likely be the last time that you are seen by a psychiatrist.

On the other hand, those seeking rehab for emotional problems, coupled with those who obtain a dual diagnosis during that consultation session, will need a more complex treatment plan that is likely to include at least one more trip to the Psychiatrist.

If you think any of this applies to you, remember that we are here to support you through this tough time. Contact us by phone, on 0203 955 7700, if you feel you need extra information or advice.

Dual Diagnoses are Difficult to Recognise

It is often the case that a dual diagnosis isn’t noticed straight away. More often than not, these separate conditions will come to light through the therapies you receive as part of your rehabilitation treatments. At this stage, you are in the best possible place to get that extra help and to adjust your treatment plan to accommodate the change.

Dual diagnoses are difficult to pick up on because they often trigger one another. Being an addict comes with an unmanageable amount of anxiety, for example, not to mention that your addiction might feed the depression you have or give you some other mental health issues. When we drink or do drugs, we are using the substance in order to cope with life situations, normally because we haven’t learned the healthy ways to deal with our problems. While an addict can be taught these healthy coping tactics, it can take a lot longer to learn and be more confusing, if you have an underlying condition that hasn’t been picked up on yet.

If any of this sounds overly familiar, remember to contact our helpline, on 0203 955 7700. Alternatively, you can read about some of the support methods we facilitate, such as online therapy or at home detox kits for alcohol detox. Please note that these are not suitable for drug detox clients.

What To Expect from Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Addiction?

Just because you have a dual diagnosis, doesn’t mean you can’t still get the help you need to break free from your addiction. You will have access to all the support any other client would be given from the outset of your treatment plan, the difference is that the detox process and the counselling sessions you receive will operate on another level.

Detox With a Dual Diagnosis

If you have a dual diagnosis you will not be eligible for one of our at-home detox kits. You will usually need to detox in the presence of medical professionals so that you are supervised. Please remember that this is for your health and safety and not because anyone doesn’t trust you to do it alone.

The detox process will probably need a different set of medications if you have more than one condition. This is due to the different ways in which medications interact with one another. The doctor may need to be careful about any negative impact on your mental health caused by common anti-withdrawal drugs such as Disulfiram or Naltrexone.

It is highly common for a client with a dual diagnosis to be monitored during every step of detox. They will want you to go through detox as an inpatient and to go from there straight into your recovery program.

Therapy With a Dual Diagnosis

Both inpatient services and outpatient rehab services are eligible for therapy. When seen as an outpatient, you can even get online therapy sessions to cut down on travel expenses. When you have a dual diagnosis, however, the therapy, counselling, or psychiatry sessions double in intensity.

The reason for this is straightforward. Let’s use an example. If you were suffering from depression and went into alcohol rehab or drug rehab, your treatment plan would aim to tackle both of your conditions at once. Treating the two as separate entities is tough, complex, and usually can’t be completed because your addiction and your depression are intrinsically linked. They feed each other in the most negative sense of the word. If you are suffering from two conditions or more, your doctors will tackle them as such because otherwise your therapy sessions won’t work as they should.

the-legal-a Dual Diagnosis With Addiction

So those with a dual diagnosis can expect to have to work a little harder in the counsellor’s office. That being said, all of this therapy is going to take your mind off the withdrawal symptoms while you recover, so it isn’t all as bad as it seems. You will emerge from rehab a more rounded person who understands themselves and their outside influences, better.

If you do have that dual diagnosis of addiction and depression, Help4Addiction cover this in a separate page, so head over and have a look if it applies to you.

What If You Can’t Afford The Cost of Rehab?

We commonly find that clients will come to us feeling that they can’t afford the costs of rehab. Typically, we advise them to borrow the money from whatever source possible in order to get the help they need in the present. If you can get yourself sober, you will be able to repay that debt in a year or two. If you never sober up there is a chance you might never make that amount of money again.

Rehab is a personal investment. It allows you to plan for a future which is reminiscent of the “good old days”. You could have that regular life again, with walks in the park, ice cream on a Sunday, and your family around you. It is within your reach.

That being said, there are people suffering from addictions that have been in this cycle for quite some time now. The longer you spend feeding your addictions, the harder it is to break and the more debt you accumulate. If you find yourself with terrible credit and no way to get the initial small personal loan to pay for treatment, you can source a rehab clinic that lets you pay by instalment. You might even borrow from a family member who can afford it and pay them back at a later date. It may sound risky to you, so if you don’t trust yourself with the money get this person to pay the rehab clinic you chose directly. That way you don’t touch the money and all you need to do is show up.

If you are serious about giving up drink or quitting drugs, you will use the borrowed money as motivation to stay away from substance abuse. If you borrow from a friend or relative it is a sign that they believe in you… if you let them down, you are disappointing that belief. If you want more advice or information regarding the costs of rehab, you can visit our page specific to this. Otherwise, give us a call, on 0203 955 7700. One of our advisors would be happy to talk through your options.

Can I be Treated For a Dual Diagnosis as an Inpatient or as an Outpatient?

Just because you have that dual diagnosis doesn’t mean that you can’t choose to have outpatient treatment. The detox process will need to be medically supervised, of course, but there is no reason why you should have your options limited due to your conditions. When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and don’t have a co-occurring condition, you are given the choice between inpatient or outpatient services and you will have that same option.

Other Considerations for Dual Diagnosis Rehab Treatments

There are other things to think about carefully before you choose the right rehab clinic for you when you have a dual diagnosis. You face increased rates of homelessness, statistically higher relapse rates and more complex needs to be filled. You may fine you struggle to hold down a job, especially when going through the rehab process, as your tolerance for extra stress is lower. You have a higher chance of developing eating disorders, becoming suicidal, or having unstable relationships. Mental health conditions are often the result of trauma in early life, which has a direct impact on all that you do in the here and now.

Luckily, rehab clinics use a variety of therapies to combat your dual diagnosis.

Some of the techniques used in therapy include:

  • Integrated group therapy, which puts you in touch with others in a similar recovery situation.
  • DBT – Dialectic Behavioural Therapy aims to open up discussion about your behaviour and change those patterns. Often used in self-harm patients.
  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which teaches you healthier coping mechanisms than substance misuse.
  • One-on-One sessions aimed at discussing the root causes of your addictions.
  • Exploring the causality theory – which looks at the link between drug use and mental ill health.
  • Examining your history of psychiatric drug use to potentially trace mental ill health to this source.
  • Discerning whether your drug use is actually a form of self-medication.

As you can see from the theories and practises used, a dual diagnosis doesn’t mean that it can’t be successfully treated. The issue seems to be that those suffering from dual conditions aren’t always aware of it and therefore don’t seek rehab help. As long as you reach out, you have the same chances at recovering from both conditions as any over addict.

If you are sure you have more than one condition, but you still want to go into rehab for an addiction in England and Wales, contact us now. Help4Addiction will match you to specialist facilities that can get you the help you need. Call us on 0203 955 7700 to get started. We are waiting, all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial.

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Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Diazapam (vailium)


Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Nalmefene
  • Acamprosate (campral)

Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

*based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

Local treatment

Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

Treatment Away

Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.