You might be shocked to learn that 9.2 million Americans have a dual diagnosis.
What’s more shocking still is that many people have no idea they are presenting with dual diagnosis, meaning this figure is only scratching the surface of an increasingly serious problem.
Now, it’s unsurprising that many people are unaware they have a dual diagnosis since many people are not even clear what dual diagnosis is.
Today, we’ll be outlining the best courses of treatment for dual diagnosis along with a look at the best dual diagnosis treatment centers so you can take heart that it is perfectly possible to manage problems like this with the right treatment.
First, though, what is dual diagnosis and why should you care?
Dual Diagnosis: What Is It?
If someone is suffering from a substance use disorder and a mental health problem simultaneously, this constitutes a dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis is also commonly referred to as a co-occurring disorder.
In a more general sense, anyone suffering from more than one simultaneous illness is diagnosed with comorbidity.
Dual diagnosis encompasses addiction to many substances, including:
- Other prescription medicines
Mental health conditions vary substantially, but commonly diagnosed in the case of co-occurring disorders are:
When someone is diagnosed with co-occurring disorder, it could be either the substance use disorder or the mental health condition that develops first. With so many variations in dual diagnosis and such a range of symptoms, no two cases are alike.
If you’re reading this and suffering from both an addiction to drink or drugs while at the same time struggling with mental health issues, here’s the good news…
Treating dual diagnosis is possible if the correct and personalized treatment is delivered.
Now, before we explore how you can go about getting the right level of care to kickstart your recovery the right way, how can you determine if you might be experiencing a co-occurring disorder without even being aware of it?
Do You Have a Dual Diagnosis?
There are a couple of questions to ask yourself that should clear this up for you…
- Do you often reach for drink or drugs if you feel unhappy?
- Have you suffered with emotional problems for a long time without seeking any form of therapy?
Now, if you answer yes to both of these questions, you could have an undiagnosed mental health issue that’s causing you to use substances to counter low moods.
You should take a moment to assess things realistically, though. Everyone goes through ups and downs. That’s just the way life ebbs and flows. If you’re finding yourself abnormally low, low to the extent you reach for drink or drugs, though, it’s perhaps time to look for help. Many people don’t do this, and a problem like dual diagnosis will not resolve itself.
If, for example, you find your depression suddenly gets much worse and you start drinking a bottle of wine with dinner or smoking a couple of joints to cope, speak with your doctor openly about this. You could be suffering from an underlying health condition like bipolar or PTSD.
By establishing the root cause of your negative thought patterns, there’s a far stronger chance you can control the triggers and stay on track with your recovery.
If you haven’t yet addressed the issue of your substance abuse and accompanying mental health condition, you need to find a specialist dual diagnosis treatment facility to maximize your chances of staying sober.
How can you go about getting that treatment, then?
What Dual Diagnosis Treatment Is Available?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to dual diagnosis.
Someone with a severe cocaine addiction and accompanying PTSD will have markedly different needs to an individual with chronic depression and an uncontrollable drinking habit.
Luckily, a good doctor or psychiatrist can dial in and give you a precise diagnosis.
Most dual diagnosis treatment programs follow broadly similar lines, though.
You’re likely to start with medication-assisted treatment so you can detox from the substance in question while minimizing any withdrawal symptoms. This is likely to take place in a residential setting giving you all the help you need, both on demand and around the clock.
Once you’ve detoxed, you’ll then undergo some form of behavioral therapy, whether in an intensive outpatient or inpatient backdrop.
Therapy is central to outpatient rehab Orange County. Now, depending on the specifics of your diagnosis, therapy could include any of the following:
- Family therapy
- Dialectical therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical therapy
- Exposure therapy
Here at The District Recovery Community, we can help you with a personalized treatment plan using any of the above modalities and more to ensure that the following occurs:
- You, your family, and your carers can access information about the effects of drug use and alcohol abuse on both mental and physical health.
- You can have any mental health problems stabilized, with prescribed medication and/or talking therapy. This could range from anxiety management through to CBT
- You can build the skills you need to manage your alcohol or drug use in the long-term.
- You’ll be encouraged to build different social networks and to focus on different activities and interests once you’ve finished your treatment for dual diagnosis.
- You can safely detox in a controlled medical setting if required.
- You’ll have a chance to address the underlying issues that are triggering drug or alcohol use.
- You can develop a risk management plan to minimize your chances of relapse.
- You’ll have full access to a range of drug services, alcohol services, and self-help groups or 12-step programs like Dual Diagnosis Anonymous.
Why It’s Important To Take Action
This illustrates the importance of your healthcare provider picking up on dual diagnosis early and helping to formulate the right treatment program.
With the opioid epidemic continuing to ravage the United States, getting the right diagnoses is crucial in the fight against addictive opioid painkillers, for many years liberally prescribed with the risk of addiction underplayed.
The global pandemic this past year has also inflamed the number of deaths by overdose in the US, like many other countries.
Underpinning all dual diagnosis treatment is the core idea that you need to learn why you use and abuse substances in order to overcome your addiction and to maintain recovery for the long haul.
This is not straightforward since everyone takes a different path to dual diagnosis.
The issue is further inflamed as it’s not always clear how the problem started…
Substance-Related Mental Health Disorders
It can be hard to identify whether the mental health problem or the substance use disorder came first.
When some substances are used on a sustained basis, they can trigger a mental health condition in an otherwise healthy individual. Marijuana, for example, is associated with triggering latent schizophrenia. While attitudes toward marijuana are shifting, there are still some cases like this where it can be problematic.
Getting an accurate diagnosis for co-occurring disorder is essential as individuals with dual diagnosis are frequently quite treatment-resistant. Additional input is often required – here at The District Recovery Program, that’s no problem whatsoever.
Assessing dual diagnosis can be awkward. Someone could have alcohol use disorder and bipolar disorder in remission. This condition could present, possibly accompanied by psychotic symptoms, after that individual binges on meth for the whole weekend.
It often takes time and patience to accurately establish a dual diagnosis and to formulate the most suitable treatment program, then.
Substance abuse and mental health disorders
Substance abuse and mental health disorders are often closely linked without one necessarily causing the other. These are the areas your healthcare provider will probe with you. You’ll also learn how some substances like meth can provoke psychotic reactions, while others like alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Frequently, drugs and alcohol are used to self-medicate troubling and untreated symptoms of mental health disorders. This also holds true for those wishing to regulate their mood or more easily deal with harsh emotions. While often temporarily successful, the result is that symptoms are worsened.
When abused, alcohol and drugs can raise the risk of mental disorders. The cause of addiction is predicated on many variables from genetics to the environment, so it’s almost impossible to say that abusing substances directly causes mental health problems. If you’re already at risk, though, abusing drink or drugs could be all it needs to tip you over the edge.
Beyond all this, abusing substances can inflame symptoms of an existing mental illness or even trigger new symptoms. Alcohol and drugs also react adversely with many medications from antidepressants to anti-psychotics, making a bad situation even more volatile.
10 Facts About Dual Diagnosis
- Co-occurring disorder is not a rare phenomenon and affects millions of Americans. Some studies show as many as 50% of those with drug or alcohol addiction also suffer from mental illness.
- There are almost infinite combinations of mental illness and addiction meaning that no two cases of dual diagnosis are precisely the same. This, inevitably, makes treatment more difficult.
- Dual diagnosis is treatable, but it’s tough to treat. It’s often hard to determine where symptoms are coming from. Is drug addiction triggering mental illness, or vice-versa? Depression, for example, is a symptom of many factors. With the right medical professional and the right dual diagnosis treatment center, though, you can maximize your chances of success.
- Patients with co-occurring disorder are often high-risk with elevated rates of violent outbreaks and suicides.
- Those suffering from mental illness are more vulnerable to developing an addiction. Patients with depression, anxiety, or bipolar frequently find their casual drug use escalating to the point of dependence.
- The above complexities should illustrate why many drug rehab centers are just not cut out to deal with dual diagnosis. The District Recovery Community, can help you get to the root of your problems and conquer them on the road to meaningful, long-term recovery.
- Integrating treatment for mental health issues and addiction is the most successful strategy against dual diagnosis.
- A typical dual diagnosis treatment plan is the antithesis of a quick fix. The nuances of each situation and the depth of therapy often required means that treatment could run for months, or even years.
How to Get Help with The District Recovery Community
If you feel you could have a dual diagnosis, it’s crucial to address this and to seek help from a reputable dual diagnosis treatment center.
Getting the right level of care is central to becoming substance-free and staying that way, even if you’re also battling a mental health condition.
You should be heartened that help is here and that many people out there are maintaining their sobriety throughout a dual diagnosis. You can do it if they can!
To get things started the easy way, call us today at 844.287.8506.