What to Expect if You Are Getting Treatment for Mental Health or Addiction in Pittsburgh, PA


Seeking help for any medical condition can be a harrowing experience. Few things are as scary as seeking help for an addiction disorder. There is a stigma attached to having an addiction disorder, even for people who are seeking help. But you are doing the right thing. Being able to turn away from your old life and to find a new path to the future is a mark of bravery. You are taking the right step. Addiction treatment often takes two forms: mental health treatment and addiction treatment.

What Happens in General Mental Health Hospitalizations? Mental Health Treatment

Mental health treatment consists of several intensities. The most intense program is hospitalization. Hospitalization for mental health treatment usually takes a four-step approach:

  • Admission

During admission to a psychiatric hospital, the facility will take your, weight, height, and other vitals as well as information on what medication you are or have stopped taking. 

  • Evaluation

During the evaluation stage of hospitalization for mental illness, a person is evaluated or reevaluated for treatment and diagnostic purposes. Someone who is going through mental health issues that are unrelated to addiction goes through hospitalization because they: lose contact with reality, stop taking their medication, are being improperly/inadequately treated for their disorder, or have become a danger to themselves and/or others. There are other reasons that someone might be hospitalized for mental health issues but these are the most common.

  • Stabilization

While someone is in the hospital for mental health issues, the person has their medication corrected to better fit with their diagnosis and personal needs. Hospitalization for mental health virtually never means lifetime hospitalization any more. The patient also receives therapeutic counseling and often goes through group therapy. These treatments are designed to give patients insight into their condition and to help them develop strategies to prevent future mental health problems.

  • Discharge

When a patient is discharged from the hospital, they are often set up with a caseworker and referred to a therapist and therapeutic groups within easy distance of themselves. Many caseworkers are willing to travel to different meeting spots like public places near the individual or they are often able to go directly to the person’s home to help them. Caseworkers are wonderful resources and are often able to put their clients in contact with other community resources if they, themselves cannot solve or help solve their client’s problem(s).

What Are the Treatment Options for Addiction vs Other Mental Health Issues?

Hospitalization for addiction is a similar process but if the person goes through an addiction treatment the process can take longer. One of the reasons for this is that addiction is much less medically responsive than other conditions like depression and anxiety. 

Medication can vastly improve mental health disorders like bipolar and there are many treatment options available. Unfortunately, there are no medications for addiction available that provide a similar service as drugs as Abilify or Zyprexa do for schizophrenia.  The only known way to manage an addiction is through complete sobriety. Someone who is recovering from alcohol addiction cannot have even a sip of alcohol no matter where they are in their recovery journey.

Health What is Hospitalization for Addiction Like?

Hospitalization for addiction often follows the same lines as a treatment for other mental disorders. Patients are admitted, diagnosed, treated, and discharged. However, hospital-related treatment for addiction lasts much longer than hospital-related treatment for other mental disorders. 

Both people who have addiction disorders and those who have other mental health disorders can relapse, though for different reasons. Many scientists and doctors consider addiction a mental health disorder, but they have been referred to as separate in this article for clarity. 

  • Admission

The first step in treatment for addiction treatment is often also hospitalization. The drug rehabilitation center takes you weight, height, asks what drugs you are/have been addicted to, and other basic information. They also ask what substances you have taken and currently take.

  • Evaluation

The evaluation covers things like what the underlying reasons for the addiction are and whether other mental health disorders are also present in the patient. Evaluation can be an ongoing process. During treatment, as the patient starts to feel more comfortable expressing their situation to doctors, therapists, and other mental health personnel the treatment plan for the patient evolves.

  • Treatment

During treatment, the patient receives a wide range of health care services including, but not limited to: individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy if the patient consents, equine therapy, etc. Treatment for addiction is an ongoing process. The patient continues treatment with therapists, and/or group therapy such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and/or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) after they complete their aftercare program. 

This is no different than how someone with other mental health disorders would need to regularly see a therapist who specializes in their field of mental health. However, AA and NA groups are often more prevalent than other specialized mental health groups in many areas. Addiction is a nation-wide problem. You are not alone. If you currently live in Pennsylvania and plan to move to a different state you can continue with AA and/or NA after your discharge if you still want to move. AA and NA are nation-wide organizations.

  • Discharge/Aftercare

Some rehabilitation programs offer robust aftercare programs. Here at DreamLife Recovery, we offer to pair you with a caseworker, continued group therapy, continued individual therapy, group activities to further encourage a strong social/support network among recovering patients, and many more support activities. Your discharge is carefully planned out between you and your health care team to ensure success.

What Are Some Questions I Should Ask About the Treatment Program at my Addiction Facility?

While all reputable rehabilitation centers will offer an assortment of treatment options, here are some questions you should ask as you work to find the right program for you:

  • Does the facility provide dual diagnosis care?

Sometimes, patients who enter rehabilitation centers have other underlying mental health issues that they are unaware of until they are diagnosed. It is important to find a recovery center that will be able to provide you with proper medical treatment no matter what your situation is.

  • What are the qualifications of the team treating me?

It is important to find a facility with personnel that is qualified to treat you. If you have a dual diagnosis like PTSD and addiction then it is important to have a treatment team that is qualified to treat your PTSD as well as your addiction.

  • Will the center provide an aftercare program?

Having a good aftercare program is vital to recovery success. Many people who are recovering from addiction feel bewildered if they are simply told to go home after living in the hospital. They do not know what to do with their new life. We, at DreamLife Recovery, provide a year-long aftercare program.

What Should I Look for in an Addiction Facility?

Here are some more questions that will help you choose a facility that will be beneficial to your personal needs:

  • What kind of activities will I be involved in?
  • When will I be able to discuss my treatment/treatment plan with my doctor?
  • Will, I have to share a room with someone or are single rooms available?
  • Will I be able to leave the treatment facility grounds during my stay?
  • Is there a set bedtime? When will this be? Is it flexible if I have insomnia or other conditions?
  • What will my daily schedule be?

What Does an Addiction Clinic Allow?

 Some personal comfort questions to ask are:

  • Can I place calls to friends?
  • Can I call family members?
  • If I can call friends and/or family when can I call?
  • If I have dietary restrictions like veganism or celiac disorder will I be accommodated?

 What are Some of the Restrictions in Addiction Clinics?

 A few more institutional related questions are:

  • What happens if I leave the treatment center grounds without permission?
  • What happens if I am caught bringing drugs and/or alcohol into the facility?
  • What happens if I violate treatment center rules like sneaking out at night to visit other people in the facility if I do not leave the center?
  • What happens if my family and/or friends try to come to see me without the center’s approval?
  • What happens if my friends and/or family try to sneak drugs and/or alcohol into the center for me with or without me asking them?

Is Choosing the Right Addiction Clinic Hard?

Choosing the right mental health and addiction care facilities can be bewildering. There are a lot of options available. The most important thing is to choose a clinic that can provide you with the care you need. Dual diagnosis clinics provide treatment for both addiction and other mental health disorders. Roughly 50% of people who have a serious mental health disorder also have an addiction disorder.

Here at Dreamlife Recovery, we encourage you to make the right choice. Getting help for a mental health disorder like addiction is hard. It is even harder to seek help when you do not know the root cause of your addiction.

We are here to help you stand up to your addiction and say, No, you do not control me anymore.

Contact our website or call us at: (844) 402-3592.

References

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2017/11/addiction-brain-disorder/

https://secure2.convio.net/dabsa/site/SPageServer/?pagename=education_brochures_understanding_hospitalization

https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/hospitalization

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/hospital_admissions/article_em.htm

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/substance-abuse-and-mental-health.htm

 

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