Most physicians will treat both issues simultaneously, since they are often linked. The first step in the treatment process, which is common for any substance abuser, is detoxification. This process will allow the body to cleanse itself of the alcohol or drug and physically heal. Ideally, the process of detoxification will take place with medical supervision, and it can take many days or even weeks to complete. With new developments in medication, doctors can reduce the pain of going “cold turkey” and ease substance abusers through the withdrawal period.
It’s very common for a dual diagnosed patient to relapse, and many believe this is part of the recovery process. Setbacks happen and patients must remember that it’s not about the setback, but how he or she will recover. Many physicians recommend peer support, which is proven to help with the recovery process.