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Double diagnoses

SolutionS Belgium / Addictions / Double diagnoses

Double diagnosis

Nowadays a double diagnosis problem in mental healthcare is a topic increasingly under discussion. People with a double diagnosis have to cope with a psychiatric disorder and are also addicts. The abuse of substances and the psychiatric disorder reinforce each other and make treatment more difficult. It can even be the case that the psychiatric disorder makes it attractive to start using alcohol or drugs. The use of substances leads to an increase in the symptoms of the psychiatric disorder.

Most clients with a double diagnosis have problems in all areas of their lives: work and daily activities, social relationships and family and also their finances. It is difficult to break out of the circle.

Causes

The causes of the combined psychiatric disorder and addiction are difficult to find. It appears from research that psychiatric disorders and addiction problems occur widely and that the symptoms of this double diagnosis reinforce each other.

Addiction and psychiatric disorders

Addiction can also cause several psychiatric disorders. Some drugs cause confusion and psychoses. Alcohol abuse often leads to feeling sombre, numb and forlorn.

It can also be the case that psychiatric disorders cause people to become more sensitive to addiction. For instance people can be angry or lonely or feel ashamed because of their depression and therefore resort to alcohol or drugs. This makes them feel temporarily stronger but this use often leads to an aggravation of their loneliness or anger.

Treatment of double diagnosis problems

Many clients already have a long history of treatment behind them. SolutionS knows that in order to treat double diagnosis problems it is important to address the psychiatric disorder as well as prioritising the addiction. Addiction is not considered to be an autonomous problem.

SolutionS thinks it is important that there is an integrated treatment offer including medical attention but also psychiatric and psychological attention for both problem areas.

SolutionS offers an intensive clinical process that is practically always necessary. Often there are even two phases: primary and secondary care. This is followed seamlessly by synchronised thorough after-care treatment on an extramural basis.

The treatment of both disorders at the same time leads to a reduction in the psychiatric symptoms and a complete discontinuation of the active addictive behaviour.

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