Substance abuse and addiction can be daunting and is even more difficult to overcome alone. Many people may find the process of seeking help intimidating. You face a number of obstacles and concerns, especially with a dual diagnosis.
Dual Diagnosis refers to a condition where one or more mental illnesses coexist with substance abuse. Dual diagnosis treatment effectively treats substance use disorders and mental health disorders that occur together. Substance abuse may lead to or worsen an existing mental illness, while certain mental illnesses may lead to substance abuse. When a dual diagnosis is left untreated, success in addiction treatment can be difficult, increasing a person’s chance of relapse. Thorough treatment may entail various medications and behavioral therapies.
Although Dual Diagnosis exists in all segments of society, studies have shown that men are more likely to suffer from this condition than women. It is also more prevalent in those with lower socioeconomic status, people with medical issues, and veterans of the armed forces. Approximately one-third of those with mental illnesses also participate in substance abuse, with that number increases to 50 percent among people with severe mental health issues. Those who have experienced traumatic life occupancies that they haven’t dealt with through therapy may also be at higher risk. Left untreated, those suffering from Dual Diagnosis often meet with unhappy consequences, including homelessness, alienation from family, friends, and community, prison or jail time, loss of employment, divorce, loss of child custody, overdoses, and even untimely death.
How Are Substance Use Disorders Shaped By Dual Diagnoses?
There is not always a direct link between substance use and mental health disorders, but the connection between them is high. Either disorder may exist first. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that “About a third of all people experiencing mental illnesses and about half of people living with severe mental illnesses also experience substance abuse.” Either disorder can influence others in terms of how they originate or are being aggravated.
For instance, if you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, you may increasingly feel out of touch with life and become overwhelmed by the illness. It is often these very things that precede addiction. As a person deals with the adverse effects and sometimes disabling symptoms of co-occurring disorders, he or she may turn to substances to ease the symptoms.
Many drugs of abuse magnify or worsen certain symptoms of mental illnesses. An individual may continue to abuse the substance in an attempt to conquer these symptoms. People may increase the amount and frequency of abuse until addiction forms. Certain drugs and subsequent substance use disorders may actually create instances of mental illness.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, “Both drug use disorders and other mental illnesses are caused by overlapping factors such as underlying brain deficits, genetic vulnerabilities, and/or early exposure to stress or trauma.”
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Regardless of how each disorder began, one thing is certain: to foster sobriety and improve a person’s state of overall health, an individualized dual diagnosis treatment program is necessary.
Dual Diagnosis treatment provides patients with customized plans designed to address their unique issues. In the past, mental health and addiction disorders were treated separately. Programs were generally one-size-fits-all approaches that failed to take into consideration individual personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Mental health practitioners of the past also commonly believed that it was necessary to treat addictive disorders prior to moving on to psychiatric illness. The modern approach of treating the whole person has been found to produce better results.
Modern treatment options include:
- Traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Art & Music Therapy
- Individual Therapy
- Belief Restructuring
- Techniques for Reducing and Managing Anxiety and Depression
- Counseling for Trauma or Grief
- Detox Services
- Drug Addiction Treatment
- Alcohol Addiction Treatment
- Medication Management
- Hormone Level Testing.
The ultimate goal of treatment is to achieve sobriety. The means of getting there varies depending on the individual and his or her needs. Like the individuals who struggle, each situation is unique.
Hathaway Recovery’s client-centered, holistic treatment, recognizes this. That’s why we integrate a wide range of diverse, engaging treatment methods to ensure your best chance at success in sobriety. With our program, you or your loved one will have the opportunity to address substance abuse and mental health needs with a cohesive treatment plan that’s just for you.
Hathaway Recovery Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center
Treatment Center, MD, LCSW, LMFT, ASAM
Phone: (909) 971-3333
Fax (909) 498-9898
1042 East Belmont Abbey Lane, Claremont, CA 91711