If you’ve ever been in mental health outpatient treatment, but you’re not sure what outpatient addiction treatment is all about, you’re not alone. Many people wonder if addiction outpatient treatment in Florida is similar at all to mental health outpatient services in general. The short answer is yes, both therapies are very similar, and many mental health therapies will overlap with addiction treatment.
When someone has a mental illness such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder, they rightfully and wisely seek out treatment sometimes. Having a supportive family can make it easier to reach out for help without feeling “off” about it. In this modern era, mental health treatment should be discreet, easily accessible, and comforting to the patient, not something they’re ashamed of.
Addiction sometimes develops independent of a mental health disorder, but almost 50% of people who have a mental illness will also have a substance abuse disorder. Clinicians sometimes call this “self-medicating” in order to treat the symptoms of a very uncomfortable mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse are a tragic and sometimes deadly combination. For example, since alcohol is a depressant, it can make clinical depression worse, and yet someone with a serious mental disorder will often try to mask their symptoms by using alcohol or another drug.
Mental health outpatient services are capable of treating both conditions at once so that there is a broader understanding of what’s going on within the patient’s mind and body. If someone with clinical depression has developed a serious substance abuse disorder, they may need more intensive outpatient therapy. A therapist may order a drug screening once in a while to help the patient feel like they have accountability within their treatment (this is up to the patient and contingent on the privacy policies of the facility treating the addict).
Similarities in Outpatient Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment
Outpatient treatment usually begins with something called an intake. Here the therapist gets to know the patient and learns their mental health history. They might ask about prior diagnostic results, medications the patient has been on in the past, and whether or not there are any inpatient hospitalizations for either condition. A good substance abuse counselor isn’t just going to focus in on the substance abuse right away. They want:
- A complete mental health history
- A strong rapport with the patient so that honesty is the rule
- Strong trust from the patient
- Highly specialized approaches that treat both problems at once
How Treatment Might Differ
The approach a counselor takes with a patient may differ a little bit if there’s a substance abuse disorder that is interfering with their life, but they will always treat the substance abuse disorder in combination with the mental illness. This is for the good of the patient because having a mental illness can exacerbate substance abuse conditions and having a substance abuse condition makes it difficult for a patient to confront a substance abuse disorder, especially early on in treatment.
Dual-diagnosis treatment can help put a patient more at ease as they go into an outpatient treatment setting. Just knowing that you’re not alone is sometimes a very healthy feeling to have. Millions of people have suffered from both mental illness and substance abuse conditions, and millions in the history of the world have recovered from both and gone on to have productive happy lives. The important thing is to get into treatment as soon as possible.
Why You Need to Seek Help
If you or someone you have has a mental health condition and a substance abuse disorder that’s ongoing, it’s vital to get into at least an outpatient setting for evaluation. With strong family support, it’s more likely that the patient will stick with treatment, but even without strong family support, there’s help out there to be had.
For someone already suffering from a mental illness, it can be scary at first to go into treatment. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a scary process. When you’ve got a professional counseling team on your side, you can confront any co-occurring disorder with confidence and success. Once you’re in outpatient counseling, life begins to really look up and you realize there’s hope for recovery from both mental illness and substance abuse problems.
If you’re ready to reach out for help today, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 844-639-8371.