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Choosing a Psychiatric Medication Treatment Facility

Many drug and alcohol rehab programs use behavioral therapies, counseling and education in order to help patients recover and stay clean and sober in the long run. Some rehabs may use psychiatric medications as well, especially dual diagnosis facilities. Dual diagnosis facilities were created for those who suffer from both a substance addiction and a mental health condition.

These types of facilities are becoming more and more present, as having a dual diagnosis is more common than you may think. According to Mental Health America, 53 percent of drug users and 37 percent of alcoholics have a mental illness. Of those who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder, 29 percent use drugs or alcohol.

Common Mental Illnesses That Coincide With Addiction

The most common mental illnesses seen in patients being treated for drug or alcohol use include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When a person has a mental health condition and an addiction, both problems should be treated at the same time. Detox is necessary, however, to cleanse the body of drugs and other toxins. The detox is done in a rehab facility under medical supervision to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. After detox, both problems are then treated. Treatment for the mental illness may include appropriate psychiatric medications. Psychiatric medications may not fully cure the person of the mental illness, but they help them feel better so they can function without uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms.

In a dual diagnosis facility, a doctor or nurse is often on staff 24/7 to administer psychiatric medications and handle any side effects that occur. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, psychiatric medications are administered based on factors such as the mental illness, age, body weight and genetics. Antipsychotics are typically used to treat schizophrenia and related disorders. They help alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia within a week or so. However, they should not be discontinued if the person feels better. It is best to reduce the amount of medicine gradually.

Antidepressants may also be used in a rehab facility for those with depression or bipolar disorder. They work to balance the number of neurotransmitters in the brain so the person feels happy again.

*Medications Used to Treat Alcoholism

Psychiatric drugs are not the only medications that are used in a drug and alcohol rehab. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are several drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alcohol dependence. They can be used during the alcoholism treatment process to help reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. These drugs include the following:

  • Naltrexone:  Reduces cravings for alcohol
  • Disulfiram: Causes physical discomfort, such as nausea and heart palpitations, when alcohol is consumed
  • Acamprosate: Reduces alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Topiramate: Currently used as a medication to prevent seizures; still in clinical trials for use as a treatment for alcoholism

Find a Facility That Works With Psychiatric Medications

If you have a substance abuse addiction as well as a mental illness, there are many dual diagnosis treatment facilities that can help with both conditions. Treating only the addiction will not be beneficial, so it is important to find a treatment facility that will focus on both. Need help finding one? Call us today to get help. We can connect you to various options in your area.