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Choose dual-diagnosis treatment center for addiction and mental health

Everyone should have an individualized and compassionate approach to dual diagnosis treatment. A treatment approach that frees the body, mind and spirit from alcohol, drugs and behavioral dependencies is the best approach to achieve a superior quality of life. There are innovative and proven treatment models that can offer a gateway from a life spent in addiction, to a life spent in healthy sobriety. All who are suffering from addiction or mental health issues deserve to receive this kind of help from a dual diagnosis treatment center.


Do find a treatment center that offers a compassionate and individualized approach

No two people are exactly alike, and so no two people will need the exact type of program. You want a treatment center that will work with your individual needs and tailor make a program just for you. After researching the different types of treatment centers online, call them and ask them how your treatment plan is created after admission. Ask them if everyone receives the same treatment plan in their treatment center or if they create one based on your individual needs and issues. Ask about who makes your treatment plan? Is it the therapist? A counselor? Do they take my individual needs and issues into account?

Do ask the important questions

Do your research on different kinds of treatment programs and find out how long they have been in business and what kind of clinical program they have. Important questions to ask are, “How many therapists do you have working there?” “How many times a week will I be able to see my therapist?” “Is it an individualized program?” “Is there a psychiatrist that will see me and regularly evaluate and assess my medication and treatment?” “Are the counselors certified alcohol and drug counselors?” Are the clinicians experienced in the field of dual diagnosis? What are their specialties? Trauma? PTSD? Mood or thought disorders? Bipolar?

Do find a program that will fit your needs

Do your research based on what kind of program will fit your needs: Dual Diagnosis, 12 step based, non-12 step based, Spiritual, Holistic, Eating Disorder Treatment, Substance Abuse only, Intensive Psychotherapy, Medical Detoxification, etc.

A dual diagnosis program is going to treat substance dependence on alcohol or drugs as well as any co-occurring disorders such as:

  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Illness
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Food Addiction

It is very important to have these issues accurately diagnosed as it is possible that these might be amplifying any addictions that you have. An expert team of clinicians will be able to deal with these underlying issues and sort out the causes and effects to reduce the chance of relapse. A sound and individualized treatment program will help you to change your addictive behavior patterns.

Do talk to others who have been in treatment or any professionals that you may know

If you are currently seeing a therapist or psychiatrist, find out what their recommendations are for you. Ask them if they have any dual diagnosis treatment centers that they work with and find out who they recommend. Often, professionals have worked with dual diagnosis treatment centers for many years because they have had good results with them. A therapist is often more than happy to provide you with some referrals. Additionally, If you know anyone who has been in dual diagnosis treatment, talk to them and find out what worked for them. Ask them what they liked best about the treatment program of their choice, how they felt it helped them, and in what ways. If you do not know anyone or do not feel comfortable discussing it in this manner, an admissions counselor at a dual diagnosis treatment center will happy to talk to you about your options.

Do talk to an admissions counselor

Call the treatment centers you are researching and ask to speak with an admissions counselor. You want an admissions counselor that is available to answer all of your questions to your satisfaction and be available to walk you through the process. You do not want to be rushed through this process, you want the admissions counselor to be patient with you and make sure that all of your questions are answered and if it turns out that the treatment center you called is not a good fit for you in some way, the admissions counselor can offer some other options for you. If the treatment center is a good fit for you, a helpful admissions counselor will walk you through the process of admission every step of the way. There are often steps to take to be admitted and an admissions counselor will work hard to make certain you understand those steps and do not feel alone.


Do not do this alone

Don’t try to do this alone. If you have family and friends that are willing to support you, utilize them for a network of support. They can often help you in ways that you would not imagine, they might be willing to make calls for you or help you arrange your affairs so that you can check into treatment. If you do not have anyone, that is ok. An admissions counselor is a very helpful resource, so do not be shy to call them and ask for help in assisting you through this process.

Do not think a fancy website makes a good dual diagnosis treatment center

Don’t chose a treatment program based on what their website looks like. Call them and talk to an admissions counselor to find out if the center is a good fit for you as far as the clinical program is concerned. If you have time to visit them before you check in, ask them to arrange a tour for you of the facility. This will not show you the clinical program, but it can give you a feel of where you will be staying and also demonstrate the willingness of the staff to make certain you are comfortable making your decision.

Do not believe false promises

Don’t believe false promises that offer cures and guarantees. There isn’t such a thing. A valid and successful treatment center is not going to make you empty promises, but instead is going to evaluate your needs and give you an honest and real assessment of the best kind of clinical program that will work with your individual needs and issues.

Do not give up

Don’t ever give up hope. There are many others who have felt like you before and have been able to get help to lead happy and successful lives. It can be done, and a diagnosis treatment center can help you get there. In my 25 years experience working with dual diagnosis clients, I have seen thousands of people recover and go on to do great things with their lives.

Do not put off getting help

At the root of all addictions are underlying issues that can be resolved with the proper clinical work. You deserve to receive this kind of help and to find the freedom from addiction and recover from mental health issues.

Jumping cartoon

You want to find a dual diagnosis treatment center that is going to carefully listen to you and your needs. When you do your research and call an admissions counselor; you want them to understand where you’re coming from and walk you through the process of admission with experience and professionalism. Talk to as many as people as you can and find out what treatment programs they know of and ask them what worked for them. If you are currently under the care of a therapist, psychiatrist or other professional, ask them to give you some recommendations. When you determine what kind of treatment center you need, there are many to choose from. Many treatment programs offer different levels of care and many different treatment modalities. Talking to an admissions counselor will assist you in choosing the best one for your individualized needs. Research them online and then call them to ask your questions. Remember, you do not have to do this alone, and calling the treatment center and asking for help from an admissions counselor is the first step in receiving the help you deserve.

Many other have walked this path before you, so there is no need to feel alone and hopeless. There is help out there and a new life free from addiction and other companion disorders is waiting.

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Photo Credits: Photo provided by Dr. Morteza Khalegi; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Morteza Khaleghi, PhD Founder and Executive Director of Creative Care

Creative Care is one of the first recovery centers in Malibu, CA, and the first to treat dually diagnosed individuals. Its founders Dr. Morteza Khaleghi and his wife Dr. Karen Khaleghi have been guiding patients to lasting sobriety since 1989. T...

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