An individual who struggles with both a mental illness and a substance abuse problem is said to have a dual diagnosis. It's fairly common for people who battle drug or alcohol addiction to experience mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although a dual diagnosis can make it difficult for an individual to succeed in their career and personal relationships, integrated dual diagnosis treatment has been proven to help both conditions.
If you or a loved one are seeking dual diagnosis treatment programs, contact Drug Treatment Boca Raton at (561) 962-0348.
There is a strong relationship between substance abuse and mental illness, regardless of which condition occurred first. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that almost 9 million American adults with substance abuse problems also suffer from a psychiatric condition.
For some individuals, an addiction may develop first; in these cases, the painful emotions and challenges associated with drug or alcohol abuse can lead to depression and anxiety. A person who is genetically predisposed toward mental illness is more likely to have their substance abuse trigger a disorder.
When a person first develops a mental health disorder, they may attempt to numb the emotional symptoms of the disorder with drugs or alcohol. Over time, this behavior can turn into a substance addiction, and the continued use of these substances can worsen the symptoms of the mental health disorder.
A few other factors can impact the development of co-occurring disorders in an individual. Research has shown that the use of drugs and alcohol during adolescence can increase the likelihood of developing co-occurring disorders as an adult.
Certain neurological conditions influence levels of neurotransmitters in the brain; this chemical imbalance can lead to mood disorders and addictive behavior. Enduring a trauma such as the loss of a parent or sexual abuse can have profound effects that increase the odds of mental health disorders and addiction.
Co-occurring disorders can exist in many combinations. A person may present with any mental illness along with any addiction to meet the criteria for a diagnosis. Depression and anxiety are disorders that tend to occur alongside an addiction; post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder also occur frequently in cases of co-occurring disorders.
A relationship between addiction and eating disorders has also been observed in many women. There are multiple reasons for this connection: Some substances are known to suppress the appetite, and substance abuse can numb the difficult emotions that often accompany an eating disorder. Eating disorders are considered a form of behavioral addiction, which occurs frequently among people who struggle with substance abuse.
Only a small percentage of people with co-occurring disorders receive the appropriate treatment for both their addiction and their mental illness. Research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that only 12 percent of adults with a dual diagnosis receive treatment for both disorders. Over 50 percent of sufferers do not receive any medical or psychological treatment at all.
The most effective dual diagnosis treatment takes an integrated approach, where both disorders are treated at the same time. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers provide traditional addiction treatment but don't have the resources to treat mental health disorders; it's important to select a facility that offers integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders.
A comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment plan will include behavioral therapy, medication and psychotherapy. Some treatment centers also offer alternative therapies such as yoga and art therapy to complement their evidence-based treatments. Once a patient has completed integrated treatment at a rehab center, aftercare services are essential for long-term recovery.