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The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) statistics points out that around 37% of individuals with alcoholism and 53% with drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness. If you have co-occurring conditions, dual diagnosis treatment is needed.

In many dual diagnosis treatment cases, physicians may find it difficult to identify the problem that came first. The substance use problem may have preceded the mental illness, or the latter problem must have prompted the person to abuse drugs. Having a reputable dual diagnosis treatment program at your disposal can make identifying and treating the disorders easier.

For more information on dual diagnosis treatment, please call Drug Rehab Centers San Diego at (833) 324-0298.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term given to patients who are suffering from a substance use problem and a mental illness. Substance use can worsen the symptoms of the mental illness. For example, studies have shown that using cannabis may be associated with developing schizophrenia.

Addiction is common in people with mental health disorders. People with alcohol and drug problems experience a range of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression at higher rates than the general community. If a mental health problem is untreated, the substance abuse problem may get worse, and vice versa. Problems include:

  • Eating disorders and addiction
  • OCD and addiction
  • Depression and addiction
  • Anxiety and addiction
  • PTSD and addition

Significant pairing is observed with regard to co-existing disorders, as for example alcohol and depression; or opiates and OCD. Studies based on twins have revealed that the things that drive people to become alcohol addicts also increase the possibility of developing depression. At least one common gene has been discovered, the variations in which can put people at risk for both depression and alcohol misuse.

People with obsessive compulsive disorder tend to turn to opiates to reduce the oppressive symptoms of OCD. Drugs tend to slow the processing center of the brain and make it difficult for the person to hold on to disturbing thoughts. They also help to slow the heart rate and breathing rates, thereby making the person calmer and more relaxed.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis programs are offered at treatment facilities licensed to treat both mental illness and addiction. Treatment can be obtained on both inpatient and outpatient basis and the medical team would include psychiatric as well as addiction specialists. They will carefully evaluate every substance the addicted person is consuming to ensure safe treatment. Treatment protocols are mainly:

  • Psychopharmacology: A person diagnosed with a psychiatric illness is provided the most effective psychopharmacology treatment available, irrespective of the status of the co-morbid substance disorder. Special considerations apply when it comes to utilizing benzodiazepines and stimulants that have an addictive or potentially addictive nature. Disulfiram, naltrexone and opiate maintenance are appropriately used as additional treatments irrespective of the status of the co-morbid mental illness, for the diagnosed substance disorder. The individual’s cognitive capacity and disability are taken into account.
  • Psychotherapy: This treatment protocol involves educating the patients about the mental illness and making them aware of how their beliefs and behavior influence their thoughts.
  • Behavioral management: This refers to CNT or Cognitive behavioral therapy that is designed to help patients change their unproductive thought processes.

Importance of Aftercare after Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment at professional drug rehab and alcohol treatment centers in the United States will provide addicted persons an opportunity to get back to a fulfilling life. Each individual is different and treatment outcomes may vary according to individual circumstances.

The recovery process includes clinical as well as personal recovery – the former helps eliminate/manage symptoms to enable social functioning and the latter helps develop a positive identity to enjoy a satisfying life.

We are here to help addicted patients find the right treatment for co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorders. For help now, call 833-324-0298