Dual diagnosis sober living

Old 01-17-2012, 06:00 AM
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Dual diagnosis sober living

My daughter is 22 years old and is suffering from both a mental illness (bipolar disorder) and addiction. She is currently in a dual diagnosis rehab facility. When she's ready to leave the rehab facility I'm not sure whether she should come home or go to a sober living house; mainly because both time she’s been out on her own (i.e.; away at school) have been complete disasters. Adding to my confusion is the fact that sober living homes seem to be focused solely on the drug addiction aspect and don’t seem to be setup to help her deal with her mental illness; which deeply concerns me since her mental illness seems to have been a catalyst (in part) for both disasters. That brings me to my questions - How important is it to find a sober living home that deals with dual diagnosis clients? What I mean by "deals" is that they would hold her accountable for dealing with her mental health issues just as they would do for her addiction issues.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:37 AM
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My son is 26 and there now in a half way house on campus of the hospital. It is the best place for him and could not imagine him coming home, as we do not have the skills to treat addiction and the mental issues is suffering from as a result of the addiction. It was ruff no doubt in the first two weeks, calls, him saying he was signing himself out as he felt he had more of a mental problem then addiction. We had to drive up state and sit with him that late night and explain he was in the best place, no other place could treat dual issues.
It has turned out to be a God Sent place for him. The few that do go to the half way house after detox and rehab are truely the Lucky Ones we think. Now mind you my son is 26, all we can do is write the checks we have no communication or updates of any kind from the facility. That was hard to deal with also in the first couple weeks, the thoughts of what are they doing?? Why is he not being treated this way that way and every other thing we would read about?? But after the weeks of family classes that we had to attend we began to understand the process and journey he is dealing with. The refering doctor in the beginning of this journey said if it was him " he would mortgage the house to get his loved one in" the place was that skilled.
It has now worked out so well for Him and Us as a family that we offered the opportunity for him if he chooses to stay another month. He said Yes he wanted that. A month ago we would have never thought this would be something he would want. Yesterday when he called my son Thank me again and said I love you. I know a long ways to go and a life time of recovery, but the ray of sunshine yesterday was worth everything we have done as a family.
I wish you and your daughter the best and do what you feel is best.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:42 AM
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Hello dtheobald, and welcome to SR! I am glad that you found us.

I can speak both as the mother of a 33-year-old addict, and I am also an addict/alcoholic in long-term recovery (21+ years).

I know for me, allowing my AD back into my home was an absolute disaster. I am no longer a detox, rehab, or sober living facility. It took less than a month for her to turn my household upside down and really suck her younger sister into her disease.

I think if you read through posts here from other mothers of addicts, you will see that many have also regretted allowing their addicted child back into the home.

Sober living provides a structured environment which allows the recovering addict to slowly readjust to being back in society.

I am also dually diagnosed, and for my recovery from addiction/alcoholism, I am very involved in a program of recovery (AA), and for my mental health issues, I regularly see a psychiatrist and am in therapy.

Although I was diagnosed about 18 months into my recovery, I refused to take any antidepressants as I was pregnant at the time. I finally got proactive in my mental health issues after I had relapsed after 4 years clean/sober, and thankfully got back into recovery. I had to be responsible for my own mental health, and still am.

Alanon was also a lifesaver for me in dealing with my addicted daughter, and has provided me with a better way to live all around. There I found the face-to-face support among those who understood. Alanon tends to be more widely available than Naranon.

"Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is also an excellent book to read. It was a real eye-opener for me in more ways than one.

There are many excellent "sticky" topics at the top of this forum that will help educate your further on addiction.

Again, welcome to SR and please know you are among friends!
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:59 AM
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I forgot to add something that seems so important where my son is. 50 % of all medical staff/doctors and workers there are in life long recovery. When we entered into this new family issue, we had no idea this could possibly be like this.
Now we understand, someone who has been there can offer their hand and the person needing the help will take it easier from one who has been there. The 1/2 way house residents end up being the ones that take the hand of the newbies and show them around. It is such a wonderful thing to see the helping that goes on. Each has a story they can relate too.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:31 AM
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Welcome to SR. I'm glad you found us.

When she's ready to leave the rehab facility I'm not sure whether she should come home or go to a sober living house.
I can't answer your question or give you advice but I can share my own experience with our AS. We allowed him to come home on more than one occasion and it was a disaster. Adult children have a natural desire to be independent. Parents have a natural desire to "help" their children (whether they are adults or not) but they become particularly "helpful" when the child has issues. For us, this was a IMD (improvised explosive device) just waiting for someone to step on it. POW.

If ever given the opportunity again, we will insist on a sober living environment and our home will not be an option. I hope you are able to find one that can help with the dual diagnosis issue. Personally, I believe that many (perhaps the majority) addicts have some kind of psychological issues in combination with their addiction. For us, having someone else who has training deal with even 50% of our son's issues would be better than us (untraining and the whole IED theory) trying to do it.

I'm glad to hear that your daughter is getting treatment at this time. You, your family and especially your dear daughter will be in my prayers.

gentle hugs
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:33 AM
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Bipolar was one of the many diagnosis my daughter received. Diagnosing mental illness in people addicted to drugs/alcohol is hit or miss. Cognition issues and plain ole immaturity are also factors.

Looking for a SLE for dual diagnosis is what first brought me to this forum. I was unable to find a suitable place and brought my daughter home. Things were so dicey with her emotional state at the time that I was advised she would require lifetime medication to remotely function in the real world and that I should seek SS disability for her.

Anyhoo, my daughter relapsed within hours of her return home although I did not know this at the time.

She eventually left when I found evidence that she had relapsed. She also abruptly ceased all medications at that time, too. I expected her to be one of those street people talking to a garbage can. To my surprise, this did not happen.

In time, she decided she was done with drugs and cleaned hersef up. She will likely never process and store information in a normal way and likely will be prone to emotional regulation issues. She has matured considerably and continues to learn how to compensate for her cognitive challenges.

She is 23 and responsible for her own mental health and sobriety.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:55 PM
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Hi - that is great that your daughter is getting the help she needs. Like the others giving good ideas here, I can not give you advice but can only share from my own experiences. My ex husband was diagnosed with bipolar before we met. He also had previous addiction issues - drug of choice - cocaine. He went into a rehab facility last year, came out and lived on his own (I didn't want him back in the house and we eventually divorced). He then relapsed for another 6 months or so.

He is now in sober living and doing quite well "the best he has ever felt" he says. He is working his recovery for his addiction well, however, I do know that he isn't taking his bipolar meds and says he is meeting with a counselor that is focusing on his addict/alcoholic. Im not sure of the long term success of this, but I think if you found a facility that could help provide resources for both, it could be a great find.

Best of luck to you and I hope the road to recovery is on its way for you and your daughter.
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