Dual diagnosis is more prevalent than most people realize. The number of people with varying mental health problems who also have a co-existing drug or alcohol problem is at a significantly higher rate than the general population. People with dual co-occurring conditions require concurrent dual diagnosis treatment for both conditions in order for treatment to be effective.
Dual diagnosis treatment can change the way a person receives help for their mental illness and addiction. For dual diagnosis treatment help now, contact Clifton Drug Rehab at (973) 396-1240.
Here are some facts about dual diagnosis and why specialist dual diagnosis treatment may be required for co-occurring disorders.
Dual diagnosis is the term given to someone who has both a substance addiction problem and a co-existing mental health disorder. The difficulty in giving a dual diagnosis for a patient is determining whether the mental health problem was pre-existing and caused the addiction or whether altered brain chemistry as a result of substance abuse triggered symptoms of the mental health disorder.
It’s thought up to 65.5% of people with a drug or alcohol addiction problem may also have at least one co-existing mental health problem. Conversely, around 51% of people diagnosed with a mental disorder had at least one substance abuse disorder.
Despite the prevalence of dual diagnosis, treatments are still administered separately for each of the conditions. Some patients may be treated for the drug abuse problem, but the underlying mental illness remains untreated. In some cases, treatment may be administered for the mental health issue, while the substance abuse problem goes undetected. Unless specialist treatment for co-existing treatment is conducted concurrently, the risk of relapse is greatly increased.
Several studies have been published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that show people with alcohol abuse disorders may also have a co-occurring mood or anxiety disorder. The National Comorbidity Survey indicated that alcoholics were up to 3 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder, compared to a non-alcoholic person.
People diagnosed with depression may also have a higher incidence of addiction. Studies show that people with a history of alcohol dependence are four times more likely to have a major depressive episode.
Depression is also strongly linked to opioid addiction. Many people with symptoms of depression may turn to prescription painkillers or even heroin in an attempt to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately, prescription narcotic painkillers may also increase the risk of developing major depression.
The most common types of mental health disorders that may also be associated with a drug or alcohol problem tend to include:
Treatment for dual diagnosis must be carefully considered for each individual patient. Specialist rehab centers need to address addiction treatment options that also take into account simultaneous treatment for the patient’s co-existing mental illness in order to achieve optimal results.
Psychopharmacology, or administering specific medication, is often used to treat the mental disorder. At the same time, the patient need to undergo medically supervised detox to reduce the physical dependency on the substance of abuse. Once the detox phase has been completed, a treatment program consisting of behavioral treatment or psychotherapy can commence to simultaneously treat both disorders.
Each year almost 8.9 million Americans are affected by dual diagnosis. Of those people with co-existing substance abuse problems and mental health disorders, less than 7.5% of them receive the correct treatment.
In order for both disorders present in a dual diagnosis to be treated properly, it’s important the patient seeks assistance from a specialist treatment center.
Long term after-care services for mental health and addiction treatment improve the chances of long-term sobriety and reduced issues as a result of mental illness. Ongoing treatment options may include counseling and group therapy sessions. In some people, ongoing medication may be prescribed to treat the mental health issue and to reduce the risk of returning to substance abuse.
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