What is a Rehab Dual Diagnosis

Anyone entering a rehab or a treatment center is likely to come across the term dual diagnosis, as well as a lot of other jargon or terms that are fairly unique or specific to the whole world of 12-step recovery.

Perhaps the term jargon is a bit unfair, but there are certainly a wide range of terms that have some meaning, but can also be used to making them sound more important or more severe as they are.

The term dual diagnosis is normally used to refer to someone who is both an alcoholic, or who has a problem with alcohol, and also has a problem with drugs, narcotics or prescription drugs.

This broadening of the definition of an addict, from alcohol to include drugs, has come about through the growth of treatment centres, and the addiction treatment programs that they offer as a way of helping residents.

A rehab will tend to look at the issue of addiction in a slightly different way than perhaps people who do not work in the field will do, and there are pluses and minuses in this approach.

REHAB DUAL DIAGNOSIS

The majority of rehabs and treatment centers initially dealt with people who had a problem with alcohol, and could safely be described as alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

As the industry grew, it became clear that people who were entering a rehab because of an alcohol problem also had other problems such as drugs, gambling etc.

Rehabs and treatment centres started to invert this process, whereby they began to see the problem as the individual, and the addiction as a symptom of their problem.

This in many ways allowed a rehab in much broader range of client base, but also slightly distorted the real nature of an individual’s alcoholism and other types of addiction.

The value of the term dual diagnosis is often hard to verify, except say that it can flag up an individual has a problem with the hottest drugs or prescription drugs as well as alcohol.

There is a practical issue to this which is hugely important, which is knowing I have individual has a dual diagnosis can seriously affect the assessment, or the need for a medical detox, and that should be carefully monitored and accurately assess both prior to admission and during a treatment undertaken that after.

 

 

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