One of the most difficult issues that arises for both individuals suffering from addiction and mental health, as well as the professionals who treat them, is getting adequate time to receive an accurate clinical diagnosis for what they are suffering from. Unfortunately, for many individuals dealing with substance use and/or mental health disorders, they often find themselves either in crisis situations or where the issue has become acute before they seek help. At that point in time, it is often difficult for a medical or therapeutic provider to have enough time with the patient to both get an accurate diagnosis, as well as the time to make sure a plan of action for both medication and therapeutic services is in place to support the patient to overcome or manage their issues.
Unfortunately, while often more than capable of making an accurate substance misuse, mental health, or co-occurring diagnosis, individual therapists, counselor, psychologists, psychiatrists, or other medical professionals often simply do not have enough time with a patient in order to do so. Typically, outpatient providers see a patient or client at most once per week for an hour, and sometimes less. This simply doesn’t make it possible to get an accurate clinical diagnosis on a patient, begin the process of managing symptoms, and then make an informed recommendation for ongoing treatment.
It is imperative that a patient suffering from addiction, mental health issues, or co-occurring disorders seek a comprehensive health evaluation both from a medical and therapeutic perspective. This process takes time. It is also vital that the patient receives clarity on their diagnosis and creates a therapeutic relationship with the medical provider providing the diagnosis, so that they may then trust the plan of action to move forward. Many patients don’t simply suffer from a single diagnosis, such as an alcohol use disorder or a generalized anxiety disorder, but instead deal with a dual diagnosis, meaning that they are dealing with at least one substance use disorder and mental health disorder at the same time. In fact, many patients are dealing with a multitude of issues, for example a polysubstance use disorder (where they are misusing or abusing multiple types of substances) along with suffering from anxiety or depression.
There is also the possibility that patients have already been diagnosed or misdiagnosed in their past, and need clarity as to whether the previous diagnosis is accurate. For example, many patients seeking treatment have been diagnosed as a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or as bi-polar. Sometimes these diagnoses are accurate, but many times they are not, as they were diagnosed after a single visit as a child and that diagnosis has followed them around into adulthood. It is imperative that an individual seeking help for addiction and debilitating mental health issues makes sure that all previous diagnoses are accurate, and that they get a current diagnosis to plan for the necessary follow-up care.
Fortunately, here at Innovo Detox, we are able to offer patients the necessary and valuable time to be evaluated, assessed, and diagnosed. Typically, a small window of 1-3 weeks allows our medical, psychiatric, and clinical staff the necessary time to meet with a patient, create a detox protocol, allow a baseline to begin appropriate medications, collect all necessary information based on biopsychosocial, substance use, mental health, trauma, nutritional, and medical/physical assessments, and then make an informed and appropriate recommendation for treatment. This longer-term, informed recommendation can be made to both the patient and family, but is also valuable for any medical or treatment professionals that they may have been or are currently working with, including a psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, psychologist, primary care physician, medical specialist, interventionist, or case manager. It can also be helpful in legal proceedings for an attorney or the courts, as well as for an employer or employee assistance program (EAP). Bringing all stake holders together around an accurate diagnostic evaluation and assessment, and an informed referral for a plan of treatment and support, offers both the patient and all supportive parties a roadmap that leads to recovery.
When seeking an evaluation and assessment for both addiction and mental health issues, it is important to recognize several important items:
- A comprehensive assessment needs to not just find where a patient meets criteria for substance use or mental health disorders but rather identifies an accurate diagnosis.
- Time is necessary to achieve an informed diagnosis.
- A comprehensive assessment for drugs, alcohol, or mental health is not necessarily a linear process, therefore ongoing evaluations and reevaluations may be necessary.
- The evaluation and assessment, once achieving an accurate diagnosis, works with patients and stakeholders to make an informed decision on ongoing treatment placement and support and an ongoing treatment recommendation based on diagnosis and clinical needs of the patient.
Our team at Innovo Detox, working in synergy, identifies and addresses the medical, clinical, psychiatric, therapeutic, and social aspects of a patient’s life, through necessary time is able to achieve the desired outcome of an accurate diagnosis, begins the treatment process, and with all concerned parties, creates a comprehensive follow-up treatment plan to best support a blueprint for best-in-class care with the ultimate goal of recovery and quality of life.
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.