If you are struggling with a mental illness and substance abuse at the same time, it often makes sense to treat both concurrently. Most dual diagnosis treatment centers allow you to do so, enabling you to get well as quickly as possible, but it may be difficult to choose a clinic. One of the first details to consider is whether you need a detoxification program, as some centers offer this, along with medical professionals who oversee the process. You should also get to know what activities are offered, as it is often best to fill your days with a mixture of counseling and fun things that can also further your recovery. Finally, it is a good idea to find out whether the centers that you are checking out provide ways to prepare you to face the real world after recovery, such as through continued counseling once you leave.
Most dual diagnosis treatment centers feature detoxification from drugs and alcohol as the first step of the program, allowing you to get the physical help you need quickly. Reputable centers usually ensure that this step is overseen by medical professionals, as complications sometimes occur during detoxification. If you are physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may want to choose an inpatient center that has this feature. On the other hand, if you have already detoxified, or do not have a problem stopping your substance abuse anytime, you can likely choose an outpatient center, instead. This way, you can skip the detoxification step, and just schedule the counseling you need to treat the mental issues that may have led to the substance abuse.
Nearly all dual diagnosis treatment centers feature plenty of time for counseling, but some also try to add interesting activities into the day. If you are going to be living at the center, you might want to fill your free time with activities that are both fun and therapeutic. For example, some dual diagnosis treatment centers allow patients to play sports, take relaxing walks, or participate in group activities that teach trust while allowing patients to get to know each other. If this sounds interesting to you, consider asking whether these features are available at the centers that you are checking out.
Some dual diagnosis treatment centers try to ensure that patients are fully prepared to deal with the temptations and challenges of the real world before they leave the clinic. This way, they are usually less likely to relapse once on their own, requiring them to start the program all over again. For example, some centers offer apartments for patients to live in toward the end of the program. Since they are still on the premises with constant access to staff members, patients can get an idea of what it is like living on their own without actually having to leave the center. Of course, most also set patients up with regular counseling sessions once they leave, so make sure that the centers that you are considering offer this feature if you are interested.