The problem of drug addiction has affected society for the longest time. People turn to drugs for a whole variety of different reasons. However, with any person who gets into drugs the end results remain the same, as the addiction leads to a host of vices that are a problem to society as a whole. Drug addiction treatment centers can be found in many areas so drug addiction may not be a very difficult issue to handle. However drug addiction becomes a complex matter when it is combined with or co-occurs with mental illness.
Mental illness can of course occur without the use of drugs. But the abuse of various drugs can lead to mental illness. It is very difficult to differentiate how these two conditions occur and their treatment is even more of a challenge. The field of mental health has been studied in depth but the studies had not identified the possibility of dual diagnosis until recently. The traditional methods of treating mental illness are not effective in dealing with dual diagnosis because they tackle only one aspect of the condition and ignore the other. This kind of treatment leaves the patient with problems. Patients of dual diagnosis leave very difficult lives and their pain spreads to their families and to society at large.
Dual diagnosis centers offer integrated treatment for cases of dual diagnosis. The integrated system of treatment attends to the co-occurring conditions simultaneously. The end result of the treatment leaves the addict free from both conditions and ready to face life like an ordinary person again. There are, sadly, many dual diagnosis patients who lack access to the treatment facilities.
This is because facilities with an integrated system are so few. Some of these patients seek treatment in drug addiction rehab facilities but they are often disappointed as these facilities may turn away drug addicts with extreme mental conditions. Others look for help in psychiatric institutions but these too are poorly equipped in terms of personnel to deal with both problems simultaneously.
Due to the sensitivity of dual diagnosis the treatment of these conditions should be effectively carried out in specialized facilities. Here the patient is treated for both mental illness and drug addiction at the same time. The traditional methods of treating mental illness are not used in the integrated system as they are considered to be ineffectual in dealing with dual diagnosis. The old methods, when used to treat dual diagnosis, often overlook one aspect of the condition. This leaves the addict no better as the part of the problem that has not been treated will still be there.
The lack of enough specialized integrated facilities has eroded the faith of patients in the ability of the health system to cater for their specific health needs. This may be the reason why there are so many people who go on living with dual diagnosis. These people are a burden to society as there are many vices that are associated with the abuse of drugs. Society in general will continue to suffer from increased crime rates, violence and the breakup of marriages as a result of drug abuse.