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Greenfinger
New Contributor

Where is a facility that treats dual diagnosis: drug addiction and mental illness?

Hello to all you brave battlers. I too feel brave most of the time, but feeling a little battle weary going into this next round. 

My daughter is in her late thirties and has been in and out of hospital over the past four and half years. Similar to a revolving door, doctors treat her for pyschosis, come up with a diagnosis: the latest being schitzo-affective discorder and other disorders, along with co-occuring marijana addiction. Then out into the wider community she is sent, only to be re-admitted again in about 8 months on average, with out receiving the therapy or rehabilitation that was/is necessary to gain a better quality of life. The window of time available where she can see she needs help is so small...the clock keeps ticking. It is never long enough for her to want to engage with a programme before she succumbs to smoking marijuana again, which sends her right back into pscychosis and back to the revolving door again. I am losing count but I think this is the seventh admission. This is just me connecting the dots, as I am only part of the recovery process, usally being shut out at some point. My daughter makes up her mind to do it alone, isolating herself from a large, loving family in NZ, which makes helping from a distance incredibly difficult.

It is not my daughter's fautlt that she has this illness, but it is her responsibilty for her recovery. At times she would agree with this, and other times, lay blame at every one's feet except her own.

Two questions to start with (I have many):

Can I gain a legal authority if she chooses not to sign a consent form?  Some kind of reform is necessary I feel as the law as it stands is not always in the best interests of our loved ones.

Does any one have experience of a long term recovery plan for dual diagnosis which includes a stay in a remote facitly? Far away from the temptaions and pressures of the city; a stay long enough to build confidence, self estem, and much needed life skills, to list a few. Therapy which deals with her drug addiction and at the same time therapy with a focus on her mental illness. The two being inextricably linked.

Of course coming up with a plan does not mean she will agree to it of course. I feel the holding pattern has repeated often enough to slap the medical professionals in the face. Surely there could be a different course of action this time which might have a more positive outcome. If I can see this, surely they can elude to it as well?

If she stays with my husband and I for at least a month, after a 6 week admission, I notice a big improvement (she has not done this every time). I hope each time she will keep going in the right direction of recovery. But then she slips into secretive seclusion and the contact and communication drops away until it is gone completely. All I know is that this time, some thing needs to change. I will keep searching for a way forward for her.

3 REPLIES 3

Re: Where is a facility that treats dual diagnosis: drug addiction and mental illness?

Hi there,

welcome to the forum @Greenfinger here are some links that you may find interesting...@Appleblossom some of these members are experiencing similar issues.

Re: Where is a facility that treats dual diagnosis: drug addiction and mental illness?

Hello @Greenfinger and welcome to the forum HeartHeart

@Appleblossom

Re: Where is a facility that treats dual diagnosis: drug addiction and mental illness?

Re: Dual diagnosis

HI

My son also has a dual diagnosis and has been hospitalised many times over the last 10+ years.  Finally, he has been admitted as an involuntary patient to a public rehab facility.   This was a great relief to us, as he has never agreed to go in the past, even when it was offered to him.  He has been in hospital since May this year, with 12 weeks of that time spent in the rehab.  He is doing very well and wants to stay clean but he is yet to experience the real world in his different form. He is to be released quite soon, so the anxiety starts to build again.

Unfortunaltely, there seems to be only 2 public facilities available for involuntary patients in New South Wales.  I understand the reason being that this type of incarceration can affect mental health as it takes place in a psychiatric facility for long periods.  However, I believe there is a great need for this type of care as so many people with dual diagnosis are sent to gaols and we all know that is not effective.  The situation also reaches a point for families where they are helpless to effect any change for the kids/loved ones or friends.

The facility that my son is in is called the Henley Unit, Macquarie Hospital at North Ryde and there is another one in Orange called Bloomfield.  

It takes an enormous effort for this treatment to happen, we have had 2 hospitals working on it for over a year now.

I empathise with your situation and I guess that you can only ask hospital staff the question about this option but be aware that it is not easy and magistrates are reluctant to ok it.

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