In dual diagnosis treatment each disorder is given full priority. Treatment services for addiction and PTSD will be integrated and smoothly coordinated to make sure each day spent in a residential treatment center is productive, bringing the patient one step closer to a dual recovery.
After the evaluation and diagnosis stage has been completed, for many patients detox for drug or alcohol dependency will have to be administered first. The detox program, which will take place in a hospital-like setting, may last for a few days or possibly a few weeks, depending on the depth of the drug/alcohol addiction and the patient’s progress through withdrawal.
Once detox has been completed treatment for the co-occurring disorders can begin. Working with psychological counselors, physicians, medical specialists and addiction treatment experts, the patient will participate in an extensive menu of recovery-related activities.
This will include some combination of one-to-one, group and family therapy, plus life-skills classes, mind-body healing courses, possibly medication (in some cases but not in all) and a host of customized activities designed to meet the unique needs of the individual.
With PTSD one-to-one counseling sessions will be especially critical, as those suffering from this condition need a safe, comfortable and peaceful environment to work through their stress issues constructively and proactively.
When the patient’s stint in rehab is finished, he or she should emerge feeling refreshed and invigorated, clean and sober and ready for a life without drugs and alcohol—and free from the iron grip of the worst symptoms of PTSD. Aftercare services will of course be provided to help the patient strengthen their commitment to permanent healing.