February 14, 2022 AddictionMental Health

8 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

When you have both a substance use disorder and mental health issues, a dual diagnosis treatment center can give you the best possible chance at experiencing a full recovery.

These treatment centers offer therapies that can help you recover from both disorders simultaneously, so you face a reduced risk of relapse after your treatment program has ended. It can help drug addiction, mental illness, and even family members through a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment.

At Indiana Center for Recovery, we understand that finding the best rehabilitation center can often be an overwhelming and lengthy task. To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled eight vital questions you should always ask when researching your options for dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual diagnosis treatment center offer a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatments that can help recover: substance abuse, mental illness, family members.

1. Is this facility licensed and accredited?

Choosing a licensed and accredited rehab center helps ensure you will receive treatments and therapies that have been rigorously tested for safety and efficacy. It also helps ensure you will receive high-quality medical care, as all accredited facilities are screened regularly and held to highly specific sets of standards. Accredited facilities are visited at random by representatives of the accreditation body to ensure they continue to meet these standards and expectations consistently.

When compiling a list of prospective treatment centers, you should first write down only the names of rehab centers that have valid and up-to-date accreditation. Contact the rehab center directly to ask about accreditation, or look for this information at the bottom of its website or on its “About Us” page. The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities are the top two accreditation bodies for addiction treatment facilities.

Indiana Center for Recovery is accredited by the Joint Commission. You are welcome to contact us any time at (844) 650-0064 to ask questions about our licensing and accreditation.

2. Do you address the root causes of diagnosis?

Many traditional medical treatments focus only on reducing symptoms without addressing the root cause of the health problem. This often leads to long-term intensive treatment that never seems to end because the true problem isn’t being addressed or fixed. Like any other health or medical problem, a dual diagnosis should always get treated in ways that address its underlying causes so you can benefit from improved overall health and quality of life.

A quality dual diagnosis treatment center will often use several therapies to treat the underlying root causes of both your mental health disorder and the substance abuse disorder. For example, if you developed bipolar disorder after years of heavy drinking due to changes in your brain chemistry, your doctors and therapists may focus on alcohol addiction treatments that help you quit drinking for good.

Or, if you become addicted to prescription opioids after misusing them to avoid symptoms of PTSD, your therapists may work with you to overcome your trauma and develop healthier coping methods. Additionally, your doctors may work with you to find other effective non-addicting pain relief methods like daily massage or acupuncture.

3. Does it offer comprehensive care?

Comprehensive care is a treatment method that focuses on whole-person health and well-being, rather than just one aspect of your health, like physical health. A rehab center that offers comprehensive care will work closely with you to ensure you feel good emotionally, mentally, physically, and in some cases, spiritually. It may also offer family programs and family therapy to help you strengthen and rebuild relationships broken or strained due to your mental illness or substance use disorder.

When choosing a dual diagnosis treatment center, make sure it offers comprehensive care and all the therapies you need under one roof. This can prevent you from needing treatment at multiple facilities to address your dual diagnosis.

4. What types of addiction treatment are offered?

Addiction treatment is equally as important as mental health treatment when you have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. You must receive quality treatment for both conditions to achieve a full, long-term recovery.

Addiction and substance use disorders are best treated with a combination of detox, behavioral therapy, and maintenance medications in some instances.

Drug and alcohol detox helps you recover from physical dependence on these substances and reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Behavioral therapy teaches you critical coping and life skills that help you stay abstinent and become more productive in your everyday life. Maintenance medications may reduce cravings for alcohol and opioids to help you achieve long-term abstinence.

When contacting dual diagnosis recovery centers, make sure it offers all these treatments for substance use disorders.

5. Which levels of care are options?

Some rehab centers offer several levels of care to accommodate your treatment needs as you make your way through each stage of recovery, while other rehab centers may only offer one. Levels of care at a rehab center include inpatient or residential care and outpatient programs, including partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).

Inpatient and residential care programs offer the highest level of care, as they involve living at the facility for the length of your program and receiving 24-hour medical care and supervision. Your daily schedule will be filled with individual and group therapy sessions. PHPs and IOPs offer a similar structure as residential programs but take place fewer hours a day on fewer days a week, so you can care for your family and continue going to work or school.

The level of care you need depends on your unique situation and the severity of your addiction and mental health condition. If you need 24-hour medical supervision and a safe living environment, you may be best suited for an inpatient or residential rehab program. If you are working full-time and need only specialized therapy to help you learn how to cope with PTSD and alcohol misuse, then an IOP may be ideal.

Ask rehab centers about the levels of care they offer and whether an admissions advisor or doctor can help with treatment planning or recommend a program for you after speaking with you about your dual diagnosis.

level of care will be determined on the unique situation given the severity of your addiction and mental condition

6. How long does the treatment program last?

Dual diagnosis treatment centers generally offer a variety of programs with different lengths, given how everyone recovers from addiction and mental illness at their own pace. Programs usually last 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days, though some may last 120 days or longer.

Your doctors and therapists will usually recommend a program length during the treatment planning process. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says addiction treatment programs shorter than 90 days are of limited effectiveness, and programs of 90 days or longer pave the way for maintaining positive outcomes. However, the decision is ultimately yours to make, and you can always extend the length of your treatment program if you feel you need more time at the facility or in therapy.

7. What special amenities come standard?

Some dual diagnosis rehab centers are far more appealing than others due to the amenities and accommodations they offer. Amenities are a vital factor to consider if you plan on receiving inpatient or residential treatment, as they can play a significant role in your comfort and happiness level and help you stay occupied during moments of free time.

First, make a list of amenities or special accommodations you may need or that you feel can greatly enhance your recovery experience at rehab. For example, if you have diabetes, you may want to recover at a facility that offers nutritious and specially prepared meals. Or, if you are interested in getting into yoga and swimming while in recovery, look for a rehab center that offers yoga classes and a swimming pool.

Other amenities and accommodations you can look for in a rehab center include:

  • Libraries
  • recreation rooms
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and saunas
  • Fully-stocked kitchens
  • Comfortable bedding
  • Semi-private bedrooms
  • Quality appliances
  • Housekeeping services
  • Computer rooms
  • Comfortable outdoor seating

8. Does the facility offer aftercare planning?

Recovery from a dual diagnosis can sometimes continue for many months or years-long after your initial treatment program has ended. This is completely normal, given how each patient’s situation is unique. That’s why many dual diagnosis treatment centers offer aftercare programs.

An aftercare program allows you to stay connected with the recovery community after transitioning back into your everyday life. These programs may take place once a week or once a month and usually involve group therapy sessions in which you can talk openly about your challenges as they relate to addiction, recovery, and independence. Your aftercare program may also include individual therapy that continues to focus on your recovery from a trauma or that helps you strengthen skills for coping with a mental illness.

Some rehab centers offer alumni programs instead of aftercare programs, where former patients gather at the treatment center or somewhere else to participate in fun, sober activities like volunteer work. Ask prospective rehab centers about their aftercare programs, as these programs can hold you accountable for your actions and help you stay on track with your recovery.