Dual Diagnosis Heroin and Depression: How Free Drug Rehab Centers Can Help
Nearly 9 million Americans have both a substance addiction and a mental health condition. About one third of all heroin users also suffer from depression, which leads to higher rates of relapse, overdose and even suicide. For these “dual diagnosis” patients, recovery is a complicated process that has to address both of these problems at once – and free drug rehab centers can make treatment available to anyone who needs it.
The relationship between substance abuse and mental health is a complicated one. Because addiction and mental health conditions so frequently occur together, it isn’t always clear whether a person who abuses substances does so in an attempt to self-treat a pre-existing mental illness, or whether drugs and alcohol create those conditions because of their ability to affect brain chemistry.
Whenever these two conditions occur together, though, recovery becomes more difficult. That’s especially true for abusers of heroin, which is a powerfully addictive drug that has a severe impact on all aspects of a user’s life. A heroin addict may start using the drug to escape existing depression and other negative feelings, but withdrawing from heroin also triggers depression.
Free Drug Rehab Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
Because depression and heroin use go hand in hand, rehabs and programs aimed at treating people who suffer from both recognize that each condition has to be managed separately in order to provide the best chance of recovery. That means that dual diagnosis rehabs need to have staff with experience and training not only in addiction issues but also in mental health problems.
Because depression could have been present before a heroin user began taking the drug, it could persist long after the user finishes rehab and stops using the drug. Treatment for ongoing depression can help improve the chances of recovery and reduce the possibility of suicide – a very real possibility among recovering and relapsed heroin users who also have depression.
Some free rehab services are offered by nonprofit organizations. Others are available on a limited basis from private rehabs that offer fee waivers and scholarships to a select few. But in general, free drug rehab centers are usually state-funded. Because funding can come from several sources, the services these facilities offer can vary from state to state.
Specialized free rehabs with a focus on treating dual diagnosis patients can often be found by contacting social service agencies or nationwide listings of no-cost treatment programs. Mental health services and professionals, too, may be able to recommend a free rehab for someone with both addictions and mental illness.
Medication and Therapy
Treating both heroin addiction and depression typically involves a combination of medications and counseling. Because heroin is so physically and mentally addictive, medications can help heroin users get through withdrawal, which can trigger depression as heroin leaves the system. And medications to treat depression itself can help resolve the symptoms, so that heroin users can concentrate on recovery.
Medications like buprenorphine and methadone can also help heroin addicts feel better and work toward recovery. Free inpatient rehabs often have a long waiting list for admission, so these programs may offer medication along with counseling to help heroin users stay connected to the program and work toward recovery while they wait for space in a residential center to open up.
Free Drug Rehabs Make Services Accessible
Private drug rehab programs typically charge thousands of dollars for a thirty-day stay. Although insurance can cover most if not all of those costs, and payment plans are available, many people addicted to heroin and other substances have limited incomes and no insurance. Addiction comes with its own costs, too. People struggling with heroin addiction may have spent most of their available money on the drug, or lost jobs due to using it.
Without access to free drug rehab services, many of these heroin users would have no place to turn for help. Whether offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis, state-funded rehab programs can provide the basic services to help people with a dual diagnosis of heroin addiction and depression begin the journey toward recovery.
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