Adolescents are often referred to treatment for substance abuse but are not referred to a program for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of any underlying cause for their drug and alcohol use. The issue is that many teens have symptoms of a mood disorder that may in fact lead to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Families know how difficult it is to find treatment for an adolescent who abuses drugs or alcohol but also is diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder; i.e., ADHD, depression, or bipolar disorder. Traditionally, programs that treat a mental health diagnosis do not treat teens with substance abuse issues, and programs for substance abusers are not programmed for people with mental illness. Adolescents are often caught in this treatment or services gap.
It is important to find a program that is designed and staffed in a way to treat adolescent with a dual diagnosis. you should ask the fallowing questions when looking for a dual diagnosis treatment center:
-Do you have a Medical Director and what is their role?
-How much time does your Medical Director/Psychiatrist spend working with your child?
-Are your therapists licensed professionals (many programs save money by using inexperienced trainees)?
-Are your clinicians at the facility full time?
-What is the facilities daily staff to client ratio?
-How many staff are actually on site at any given time?
-Does the program provide neuropsych testing?
-Does the program provide weekly clinical supervision meetings for the case management of your child?
-Do your therapists, counselors and Medical Director work together as a team?
Not everyone is a candidate for residential dual diagnosis treatment programs. It all depends upon the severity of the problems. For people whose drug or alcohol addiction is not severe enough to warrant residential treatment, an outpatient treatment program in might be the solution.
If you or a loved one needs dual diagnosis treatment please click here- underlying cause.