The Three Basic Steps of Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Alcohol Addiction or Drug Addiciton

May 12, 2008

California has a major substance abuse problem, but at the same time, it also has major remedial machinery in place. There are drug and alcohol rehab centers in California in almost every city and region and collectively these places see about 185,000 admissions each year. Certainly this number is astronomical, but California is doing more than its best to rid itself from the substance abuse problem.

California was also one of the first states to begin recognizing drug and alcohol addiction as a mental problem. Due to that reason, drug and alcohol treatment in California usually follows the dual diagnosis method. In dual diagnosis, not only is the physical addiction of the patient treated, but also any underlying mental conditions are looked into.

There are three basic steps that are followed in the treatment of alcohol or drug addiction in California by the dual diagnosis method.

1. The patient is first sent for a detoxification program. This is where the toxic materials that are collected in the body of the patient are purged through chemical methods. Withdrawal occurs at this stage, but a part of dual diagnosis is to help the patient overcome the withdrawal.
2. Once the detox is done, the patient is examined for mental conditions. This is done through diagnosis and interviews, and then the right mode for treatment of the condition is analyzed. It is important that before this diagnosis, the patient should be fully out of withdrawal or the symptoms could overlap.
3. Thirdly, the patient is provided continuing care which involves counseling for addiction treatment as well as psychiatric counseling for the mental condition.

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