Dual Diagnosis Residents
Individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder and other comorbid mental health disorders are referred to as “dual diagnosis.” Many people develop mental health disorders as a direct result of their habitual substance abuse. In fact, studies show that individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol have far higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. However, the reverse is also often true. Many individuals turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of escaping from the painful symptoms of mental health conditions. The result is a vicious cycle, wherein a person suffering from symptoms of mental illness engages in substance abuse for temporary relief, only to exacerbate their conditions over the long term and fortify patterns of addiction.
For dual diagnosis residents, getting sober can be somewhat more complicated. As such, it requires a higher degree of care. Merely receiving addiction treatment is rarely sufficient for someone also suffering from mental illness. No matter the quality of addiction care a person receives, if their mental health disorders remain untreated they will continue to be at a high risk for relapse. The reverse is also true. Treatment programs for mental health are unlikely to be effective if an individual continues to engage in destructive substance abuse, which inevitably worsens mental health conditions over time. It is crucial for dual diagnosis patients to receive treatment concurrently for all comorbid conditions. Because of this we work with outside outpatient programs to help assist with these residents.
Design for Recovery works with each of our residents to help ensure that all of their individual needs are met. Initial life skill questions are used to determine the best supportive recovery services for each resident. While resources within the sober living home are generally sufficient for most residents, it is sometimes necessary to coordinate with outside professionals, including doctors and psychiatrists. If pharmacological or other forms of treatment is necessary, Design for Recovery works with other facilities to help ensure that residents’ needs are met and supported.
The Need for Medication Monitoring
“I had a very busy schedule and dealt with a lot of anxiety,” one resident who wished to remain anonymous said. “Sometimes I would forget to take my morning meds, which led to a manic episode, right about the time I was supposed to take my afternoon meds. It was just a lot and very confusing at times.”
What is Medication Monitoring
Needless to say, Design for Recovery recognizes the need for proper medication monitoring. With a dedicated staff on call 24 hours a day, every medication is diligently monitored, counted, and tracked in a well-organized filing system.
Staff members also remind each client when they are suppose to take their medications. Design for Recovery requires each client to initial on an Excel sheet—containing the names of every client and their respective medications—after a medication is taken. This ensures that every medication is taken at the proper time and at the correct dosage.
Design for Recovery also handles medication refills and billing issues. Additionally, every new prescription Is delivered personally by a staff member to a nearby pharmacy.
Long Term Sobriety and Mental Health
During the course of an individual’s addiction recovery, their pharmacological needs, often change. We coordinate with outside professionals to oversee that. Young men often make amazing progress during the first few months in addiction recovery; during newfound sobriety, many find that their symptoms of depression and anxiety lessen considerably.
It is also a fact that many young men arrive at Design for Recovery believing that their only problem is addiction, despite suffering from undiagnosed mental health disorders. After spending years abusing drugs and alcohol as a means of self-medication for these undiagnosed conditions, getting sober and facing the reality of mental illness for the first time can be both painful and revelatory. It is also a fact that many young men arrive at Design for Recovery believing that their only problem is addiction, despite suffering from undiagnosed mental health disorders. After spending years abusing drugs and alcohol as a means of self-medication for these undiagnosed conditions, getting sober and facing the reality of mental illness for the first time can be both painful and revelatory.