Outbreak Epidemic & Dual Diagnosis
TWIN RIVERS LOCKDOWN & ADMISSIONS HELPLINES:
David +27(0)828 633 159
Richard +27(0)722 789 193
Tom +44(0)747 103 6484
Liam +44(0)747 108 1994
Vincent +44(0)758 656 1958
All are available on Whatsapp✅
COVID-19 AND DUAL DIAGNOSIS
We fully appreciate that most of our clients suffer from a Dual Diagnosis in that they have an addiction and mental health disorder that may well have become worse due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sometimes it can be established that the depression, for example, promotes the need to abuse alcohol or vice versa, but it’s not always that straight forward and so it’s our responsibility to assist clients with the management of their uniqueness.
Having abused drugs/alcohol for years or having gambled away a fortune will undoubtedly leave a person feeling depressed. At the initial stages of recovery, a client like this will be deemed as having a dual diagnosis. A doctor prescribes medication that will address the depression and hopefully help the client to be able to engage in therapy as opposed to being distracted by their depression. On the other hand, clients who are given medication may feel better but struggle to express their feelings because of the medication! Therapists are aware of the impact medication can have and so streamline their expectations and approach accordingly.
MEDICATION & DUAL DIAGNOSIS
A therapist’s objective is to assist each client in learning to ‘manage’ their diagnosis. In other words, it’s important that clients put some faith in their doctor and therapist, in that they best understand the clients signs and symptoms and can prescribe suitable medication and individualised recovery programme. It can sometimes take a few months to fine-tune a client’s medication which is why it should be reviewed at least twice a year if not three times!
Some clients are only on medication for the short-term to help them reduce their anxiety for example affording the client a better opportunity to engage in individual and group therapy. Some clients may be on medication for months or even years depending on the severity of their disorders and response to therapy. Should a client exercises regularly and continues to address their addiction effectively then medication may be reduced or in some cases, fall away completely. For some clients though, medication is imperative for the long-term which due to the nature of the depth of their mental health disorder such as GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) or Bi-Polar Mood Disorder.
It is important to appreciate that some clients ‘learn’ how to present certain signs and symptoms so as they can remain on medication which I am suggesting would be mostly a conscious process! Manipulation on this scale is not uncommon especially as the nature of addicts is generally to be lazy and take the ‘easier’ route rather than take responsibility.
By attending Twin Rivers programme a client can begin to understand and even appreciate that their mental health deteriorates when they abuse mood-altering substances. Therefore, it’s so important to address the addiction as well as the mental health disorder both of which may have worsened due to the impact of the coronavirus. Twin Rivers can pave the way for clients to acquire a more balanced approach to their recovery encouraging them to take seriously a holistic approach and to continually address their individualised addiction and mental health disorders.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process