Dual diagnosis occurs when a diagnosed mental disorder and a drug addiction exist at the same time in a patient. Either disorder may be the primary condition. Successful recovery in instances of dual diagnosis requires that each of the disorders must be addressed simultaneously.
If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health issues and drug addiction, please call Drug Treatment Centers Sarasota at (941) 866-2996. We can help you find treatment centers.
In contemplating co-occurring disorders, it must first be understood that addiction is a form of mental illness, or disease. Changes in brain function occur in areas that have already been disrupted, or damaged, by the primary disorder.
Mental disorders are a risk factor for addiction, and the same is true of various addictions being a risk factor for resulting mental illness.
Types of mental health disorders seen in dual diagnosis scenarios:
Establishing a cause and the primary disorder is very difficult. Understanding that each disorder is a potential risk is only one basis for causation. The fact that addiction and mental illness effect the same areas of the brain is another factor.
If there is a deficiency in the brain function due to a change in chemistry from one disorder for example, the effects of the other illness is then heightened, or may further change the pattern of the addiction or illness. For example:
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports that "approximately 20% of the people who have an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder."
Addiction treatments for co-occurring conditions must focus on each, the addiction and the disorder, individually as there are specific psychological and behavioral components to the addiction or disorder that are unique. These components should be addressed and are especially important in terms of relapse prevention, as one triggers the other.
There may be certain psychopharmacology needs addressed along with psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral management being essential to every situation. The concepts learned in treatment and therapy also apply to co-occurring disorders with a pronounced focus:
Drug treatment centers employ skilled medical professionals and trained clinicians who are able to administer psychotherapeutic mediations in the treatment of mental disorders as needed, and incorporate essential assessment and evaluation protocols that increase the chances of recovery. Facilities offering a dual diagnostic approach are uniquely qualified to provide the complex care required.
Aftercare, including mental health management, is built into many treatment programs. The tools and skills required are covered during rehabilitation and ready to be used upon release from the treatment center. Aftercare provides access and support from the treatment facility and incorporates counseling and group therapy.
The goal of aftercare is to support recovery and prevent relapse. Aftercare also helps to support family members through counseling and education. Patients are encouraged to seek community resources, attend AA or NA meetings, and build a support network outside of the treatment facility.