Seeking Treatment for My Client
Have you been working with a client and discovered they have been self-medicating with illicit substances for their mental health disorder? Have you been assigned a client for case management and do not know how to treat them based on their substance use disorder needs?
Getting people the right kind of help becomes even more complicated when they have a dual diagnosis for a mental health and substance use disorder. How do you help a client with multiple issues find the proper treatment for a substance use disorder? No matter what problems your client may have in their life, they will not improve until they receive the appropriate treatment for their substance use disorder.
Do They Need Help?
No one wants to assume a client has a substance use disorder. However, you can look for signs that might indicate you need to talk to them about it or possibly intervene:
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Your client may have used the substance regularly for some time. For example, physical dependence may develop for an opioid painkiller in just weeks. The body grows so used to the presence of the substance that it feels withdrawal symptoms in its absence. These may be very mild, but in severe cases could be dangerous.
Your client may have found that a substance, including a prescribed one, no longer works at the usual dose. They need to use more to get the same effect. People naturally develop tolerance to any substance they regularly use, including harmless ones.
If your client reports that they spend a lot of time getting and using the substance or that they have been seeking the substance all the time despite adverse consequences, they may have a substance use disorder requiring treatment.
Where Do We Start?
No recovery program will work unless your client feels comfortable there. You can help them explore different options available to them with their insurance. Attempt to guide your client toward choosing a facility with a good reputation, explore their criteria for admission, and talk it over with your client.
Your client may become nervous learning about the programs and realizing the commitment they may be making. Explaining the different aspects of each program and the therapy they will receive may help to ease their nerves while making this imperative decision.
How Do We Choose the Best Treatment?
An ideal recovery situation would have strong support from clinically trained staff, activities to stimulate the body and mind, and therapy programs that produce real success. Look for a program with activities your client might enjoy or offer a type of therapy you know your client would benefit from.
The overall choice for a treatment facility should be based on the quality of clinical care. You should look for an excellent staff-to-client ratio for individualized care, therapy provided by clinically trained staff, and a comfortable setting that encourages the recovery process.