Treatment centers for dissociative disorders and substance abuse are often inpatient services that provide 24-hour care to patients needing additional help for their disorder on top of addiction rehab and recovery treatment. Dissociative disorders are difficult to manage because patients may not understand what they are doing - or even who they are in some cases. These disorders may involve the breakdown of memory, awareness, perception or identity. Moreover, because dissociative disorders are rare, it may be difficult to find a treatment center that can treat both substance abuse and a dissociative disorder. Individuals struggling with dissociative disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate symptoms directly and indirectly related to the disorder. For example, many individuals who develop dissociate disorders, particularly dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder), have been sexually or physically abused. These individuals often have depression in addition to dissociative symptoms and are at an increased risk for substance abuse.
If you or someone you love is struggling with this kind of condition, contact our 24-hour hotline at 1-888-319-2606. Our hotline is available seven days a week, so you can receive the information you're looking for at any time. Remember, rehabilitation centers for dissociative disorders and substance abuse should have staff members who are knowledgeable and able to treat dual-diagnosis patients.
Dissociative Amnesia and Substance Abuse
Known as psychogenic amnesia, this condition causes a lack of recall memory, which is thought to be brought on by traumatic events or stressors. It is considered to be one of the most common types of dissociative disorders. Individuals may turn to alcohol and other drugs out of frustration about forgetting memories, or it may be a response to the traumatic events that led to the onset of the disorder. During stressful periods of time, people with this condition may take drugs or alcohol with no recollection.
Dissociative Fugue and Alcohol or Drug Abuse
Dissociative fugue is often marked by wandering and unplanned traveling. People will find themselves in cities, states, and even countries other than from where they last remember being. The amount of time this lasts varies, and it can be caused by early, stressful life circumstances. The very act of coming to consciousness in a different place without realizing how you got there is also very stressful and can spur alcohol or substance abuse to cope with the stress and confusion.
This disorder is characterized by the symptoms of detachment from oneself or their surroundings. This experience may seem unreal, or a person may feel aware without actually being aware. Depersonalization is common in other psychiatric disorders like PTSD and borderline personality disorder, but individuals with only depersonalization disorder do suffer from symptoms of another disorder. Some people may use drugs or alcohol during an episode of depersonalization or they may use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the unsettling depersonalization experience.
Effective Treatment for Dissociative Disorders and Substance Abuse
Managing early symptoms can help address dissociative disorder itself, any trauma that underlies the disorder, and help prevent further substance abuse. According to one study, patients with dissociative disorders were more likely to use drugs than alcohol, and often they used more than one substance.1 This can lead to serious issues like withdrawal, overdose and a worsening of psychiatric symptoms.
Patients with a dissociative disorder seeking treatment for substance abuse should find a facility that will treat dual diagnosis. Some treatments and therapies to consider include:
- Detoxification for drugs or alcohol.
- Talk therapy.
- Behavior therapy.
- Group therapy.
- Art therapy.
- Music therapy.
Dissociative disorders are both rare and controversial. While psychiatrists may prescribe medication to lessen symptoms accompanying a dissociative disorder, the majority of therapists are not able to treat patients because they are not familiar with the disorder. It is important to check with treatment facilities you are considering to make sure they employ staff trained in treating and managing patients with dissociative disorders. If you cannot find one in your area, you may want to address substance abuse issues through a rehabilitation center and receive therapy for a dissociative disorder on an outpatient basis (outside of the rehabilitation center).
As most facilities that treat dual diagnosis patients will be inpatient services, you can expect to choose from some of these options regarding length of stay and level of service:
- 30-day programs.
- 60-day programs.
- 90-day programs.
- Halfway houses.
- Outpatient services after inpatient program completion.
The type of program you choose may be based on things like whether you feel 30 days is long enough to get your addiction and dissociative disorder under control. However, extended programs are often used to accommodate two or more co-occurring conditions.
A 24-hour rehabilitation center for dissociative disorders and substance abuse is normally the best choice. The patient receives care around the clock and is provided a host of effective treatment options. The first step will be to complete detoxification and manage any withdrawal symptoms. Once this step is complete, the patient will address addiction management and their dissociative disorder through medication and/or behavioral therapy. A host of other options such as exercise and creative pursuits are often also offered to help the patient build confidence and engage in healthy behaviors.
Call us at 1-888-319-2606 if you or someone you know has been looking for a treatment center for dissociative disorders and substance abuse. Our 24-hour hotline can help you find the right clinic for your needs. There are clinics all over the world, so we can direct you to one that will suit the position you are in.
. Karadag, F., Sar, V., Tamar-Gurol, D., Evren, C., Karagoz, M., & Erkiran, M. (2005). Dissociative Disorders Among Inpatients With Drug or Alcohol Dependency. Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, 66(10), 1247-1253. doi:10.4088/JCP.v66n1007
. Morgan III, C. A., Hazlett, G., Wang, S., Richardson Jr, E. G., Schnurr, P., & Southwick, S. M. (2015). Symptoms of dissociation in humans experiencing acute, uncontrollable stress: a prospective investigation. American Journal of Psychiatry.
. Najavits, L. M., & Walsh, M. (2012). Dissociation, PTSD, and substance abuse: An empirical study. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 13(1), 115-126.
. Loewenstein, R. J. (1996). Dissociative amnesia and dissociative fugue. In Handbook of dissociation (pp. 307-336). Springer US.
. Simeon, D., Guralnik, O., Hazlett, E. A., Spiegel-Cohen, J., Hollander, E., & Buchsbaum, M. S. (2000). Feeling unreal: a PET study of depersonalization disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157(11), 1782-1788.
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