Co-occurring disorders, the one-two combinations made of addiction and another mental health problem, are unique from person to person. Hence, the treatment should be unique as well. If one is to stick to the traditional approach in treating addiction and mental health challenges, the sufferer will most likely be back to square one.
The Traditional Approach
Before the existence of integrated dual disorder treatments, co-occurring disorders are tackled one at a time. This fact means that a person should be sober first before the mental health challenge is addressed. Sadly, this approach caused a lot of substance abusers to fail the path to sobriety.
Why the Traditional Approach FAILED
The traditional approach failed to hit two birds with one stone. If addiction is left unattended, it will cause a plethora of mental health challenges. Likewise, the mental health challenge can result to the exacerbation of substance abuse disorders. Thus, if not taken down at the same time, the remaining villain will simply revive the other. In fact, failures do happen up to this day, due to the noncompliance of patients and rehabilitation centers. The former can be seen in a study published in September 2016 which aimed to understand the point of view of professionals about the management of patients with dual disorders.
What is Integrated Treatment?
Integrated treatment is the counterpart of sequential treatment. Sequential treatment requires patients to address co-occurring disorders one after the other. On the other hand, integrated treatment addresses both problems at the same time. This drastically improves the chances of returning to sobriety.
Integrated methods mean integrated specialists as well. Hence, professionals are knowledgeable not only about the rehabilitation process but also the interaction of the substance use disorder with the existing mental health problem which further mitigates the chances of further mental and physical health damages. For instance, interactions between the substance abused and the medications used for the mental health challenge will be addressed.
What if I can’t afford Integrated Treatment?
There are plenty of options that will help you pay for the treatment. For one, health insurance plans will most likely cover integrated treatment, as required by the Affordable Care Act and MHPAEA. There are also facilities who offer the option to pay through sliding scale fees wherein the amount you will pay is proportional to your financial status. Sliding scale fees scale with your assets and income. Hence, it is a cheaper option if you’re in the low wage border.
Why Invest in Integrated Treatments?
Integrated treatments are WORTH IT. In fact, it is a must for a sufferer.
If the addiction and mental health problem remain unaddressed, things can worsen and even be fatal. Added to this is the stigma faced by a drug abuser. Such stigma will contribute further to the worsening of the situation hence tightening the grasp of addiction and mental health problems.