Dual diagnosis is a term for when a person experiences both a substance abuse addiction as well as a mental illness. Mental illness can make substance addiction difficult to treat and vice versa. However, disclosing both illnesses is important for a person undergoing treatment to create an effective dual diagnosis treatment plan.
Dual diagnosis treatment is available to new patients in reputable drug treatment centers. Call Boston Drug Rehab Treatment Centers at 617-517-6448 for more information.
There are many ways a dual diagnosis may occur. For example, a person may first develop a mental health disorder and turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to self-medicate. Others may begin to abuse drugs and alcohol, which can cause mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, substance abuse can affect a person’s brain chemistry, which can lead to neurotransmitter imbalances that trigger mental health disorders.
Whatever the cause and effect relationship, dual diagnosis can make treating both illnesses worse.
Numerous mental health disorders exist, including mood, anxiety, psychotic, personality and adjustment disorders. An estimated one-third of all people with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Common mental health disorders that occur with substance abuse include:
An estimated one in eight emergency department visits in the United States is related to a mental health and/or substance abuse disorder, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The most common reason for these visits is a mood disorder, followed by anxiety disorders.
Certain groups of people are more likely to experience a substance abuse addiction and mental health disorder. This includes men, military veterans, those with a high number of chronic medical illnesses and those of lower socioeconomic status, according to NAMI.
There are many different dual diagnosis treatment approaches. This combination of approaches enables a person to find those that work best for him or her. Treatment examples include:
Mental illness and substance abuse addiction are each conditions that require continued treatments to ensure a person can stay as well as possible. These conditions cannot be cured, but they can be managed through a combination of wellness approaches. Examples include group therapy, 12-step programs and continued individual counseling.