Dual Diagnosis describes a practice that treats people who suffer from both an addiction and a psychiatric disorder. The dual nature of the affliction of many addicts remains largely undiagnosed, untreated and is highly responsible for the sky-high incidence of relapse.

There are reasons that people self-medicate with alcohol and the contributing factor of an individual’s mental health needs to be diagnosed and treated. At Horizon Rehab we will help you in gaining coping skills for both addiction and mental health.

You will need to be able to participate in the programme whilst here so if you feel your mental health is really poor then you may need to seek help in your own country first. We can support you through this in the admissions process as you will be asked questions around your mental health.

We will support you fully whilst here and if you need referrals before you leave we will support you. Very common problems we see with addiction are depression and anxiety. People medicate with alcohol, but alcohol will only contribute to more depression and anxiety.

Following acute withdrawal (a few days) from alcohol some people will experience mood instability, fatigue, insomnia, poor memory, cognitive impairment and low concentration. Protracted withdrawals are often called post- acute withdrawal syndrome.

Horizon Rehab is a good choice because you will be in a safe environment, with professionals who are trained to deal with this as you go through the cessation of alcohol. Alcohol needs to be stopped first to clearly assess a person’s mental health needs.

Substance-induced disorders are distinct from independent co-occurring mental disorders in that all or most of the psychiatric symptoms are the direct result of substance use.

We often see that people’s mental health improves significantly after a couple of months with us. The correct diet and nutrition including vitamins can play a vital role in improving an individual’s mental health and that’s why we take this seriously by providing the correct nutrition.

Common co-occurring disorders

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

Difficult symptoms from PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, sleeplessness, mood instability and paranoia. Many PTSD sufferers turn to readily available drugs or alcohol for relief and to numb themselves.

OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)

There are theories that this imbalance of brain chemicals also causes alcoholism and drug abuse, so the two are tightly interrelated. OCD sufferers also use substances for relief from obsessive thoughts, and regular use can lead to the development of addictions.

Depression

Depression is very common with people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol is used to block out painful thoughts and emotions. As we said before, alcohol can bring on more depression so they feed off each other.

Bipolar disorder

Also known as manic-depressive illness is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energised behaviour (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

Treatment at Horizon

Integrated treatment coordinates substance-abuse and mental health interventions, rather than treating each disorder separately without consideration for the other.

Counselling will help to address any underlying mental health disorders. Our group therapy sessions involve education in the role alcohol plays on mental health problems.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches coping skills and how to respond to negative thoughts and actions. It teaches individuals to replace negative behaviours with positive ones. CBT has been proven effective in modifying addictive behaviours.

Recovery planning before you leave will include looking at your support network. We will guide you to look for professional support in your recovery and we can inform them of what you worked on in treatment.

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