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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for the LGBT Community

Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe the co-existence of addiction to the drug or alcoholism along with the presence of a psychiatric disorder. Many pieces of studies have shown that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community suffers from a higher incidence of drug addiction or alcoholism with a mental disorder than the general population, with the same holding true regarding depression and other mental health issues. This is not surprising when one takes into account all of the challenges the LGBT community encounters. Individuals with psychiatric problems are more prone to drug addiction and alcoholism, and research has found that almost 50 percent of people treated with drug addiction or alcoholism experience a psychiatric problem of one kind or another.

With this in mind, it can be very challenging in the early stages of alcohol or drug rehab treatment to correctly diagnose the presence of a dual diagnosis. The reasoning behind this statement is that while in the drug detox program and withdrawing from addictive substances, many of the symptoms people exhibit and experience mimic symptoms of a psychiatric illness. While every patient in drug or alcohol addiction rehab is provided with a psychiatric consultation to rule out or acknowledge the existence of a psychiatric disorder, it has been found to be in the best interest of each patient to try and wait until they have completed the drug detox program and are medically stable before making any firm diagnosis.

If a patient reports a high level of discomfort, accompanied by symptoms, the experts address their situation on an immediate basis. It is not unusual to find that many addicts and alcoholics in the LGBT community, knowingly or unknowingly, used drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with an untreated psychiatric disorder. What they did not realize was that continued use would become an addiction, turning any already complex situation into an even more complicated one.

Therefore, the dual diagnosis treatment program is designed to treat the co-existence of drug addiction and a psychiatric disorder in the LGBT community. In order for dual diagnosis treatment to be effective, experts believe both disorders must be treated concurrently. In conjunction with a variety of group, individual, family, and experiential therapies, medication management, relapse prevention, and psychiatric follow-up are essential components of a dual diagnosis treatment program.

As soon as you decide to join a treatment center, you are supposed to make sure that the rehab center has a panel of board-certified therapists and other paramedic staff, which is trained in addiction medicine to evaluate all of the patients according to their individual needs. For the LGBT community, the dual diagnosis treatment centers have an addiction treatment staff skilled in dealing with the LGBT community members. In this way, it will be much easier for you to persist with the treatment process.

If you suspect someone in your family or friends is a victim of addiction, persuade them to join a rehab center to avoid things going worse. The sooner, the better!