Long-Term Care for a Dual Diagnosis

The term “Dual Diagnosis” refers to people who have both a mental illness and an addiction issue. Mental Health America suggests that this pairing is relatively common, as of all of the people diagnosed with mental illnesses, 29 percent also abuse either alcohol or drugs. People like this can get better, but they might need longer stays in treatment programs in order to make the necessary life changes that can lead to a robust recovery.

woman in long-term care

Recovering from a Crisis

People who have a Dual Diagnosis often start their recovery process in detox programs. Here, they work with medical professionals to soothe the transition from intoxication to sobriety, and when this program is complete, they’re ready to move into intensive therapy programs that can help them change thought patterns and habits. In a study regarding the length of time people spend in care like this, conducted in Santa Clara County, researchers found that some people spent only about 70 days in care, while others spent 130 days in care. Studies like this seem to suggest that some people can recover from their issues just a little quicker than their counterparts, and they might transition out of their programs with speed. There are some people, on the other hand, who need more help and longer periods of time in treatment programs.

Longer Changes

Some long-term care programs provide people with residential support. In a program like this, people have access to:

  • A sober environment
  • Sober living companions
  • Structure
  • Supervision

There are no substances of abuse allowed in facilities like this, and people are required to follow a specific set of rules in a certain way in order to stay in facilities like this. The rules might pertain to addiction care, meaning that people would need to attend all of their appointments and progress with their therapies, but the rules might also apply to employment, family visitation, sleep/wake times and housework. This kind of rhythm can add structure and stability to a person’s life, and teach that person how to develop a healthy way of living in the future.

Long-term care can also be provided in outpatient settings. Here, people continue to live at home with their families, inside the communities they know and love, but they might continue to attend therapy sessions on a regular basis, and perhaps even attend special conferences or lectures from time to time. Alumni meetings, group gatherings and more all allow the person to stay connected and continue learning, and this can also help the person learn how to maintain the gains made in the original treatment program.

At The Oaks at La Paloma, we provide residential followup care for people who need structure in order to maintain their sobriety, but we also provide outpatient options for those clients who have strong families they can lean on at home. We also offer an alumni program that can link our clients with local resources, and our alumni connect with one another to provide ongoing support on rough days when the motivation to use seems too strong to ignore. If you’d like to know about these programs, please call us.