Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Dual Diangnosis

Getting Effective Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a person who has a mental illness and a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. Dual diagnosis is also referred to as co-occurring disorders. The relationship between a mental illness and substance abuse is very complex. It is also more difficult to treat both of these problems together than either illness alone.

Studies have shown that one-third of people with a mental disorder have a substance abuse problem. Half of people whose mental disorder is severe also have a substance abuse problem. Additionally, 30 percent of alcoholics and half of drug users have a mental illness.

Is Mental Illness Correlated with Substance Abuse?

Each addict has his or her own unique situation when it comes to addiction and in many cases, dual diagnosis is often a common occurrence.  This is evidenced by the following:

  • People use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Many people who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental disorders do not receive the proper treatment. That is why they feel the need to use alcohol and/or drugs to lessen the pain. Drugs and alcohol may give a person temporary pleasure. However, they do not treat the underlying condition, and they often cause a person to feel worse.
  • Drugs and alcohol can cause a person to experience the symptoms of a mental illness. Here is an example of such a scenario. After smoking marijuana, a 21 year-old starts to hear voices in her head telling her that she is in danger. This is a reaction to the marijuana. It can also be referred to as drug-induced psychosis. People who take drugs for long periods of time are more likely to suffer from drug-induced psychosis. Lethargy, social withdrawal, violent behavior and changes in emotion are some of the signs of drug-induced psychosis.
  • Substance abuse has a tendency to worsen a mental illness. For example, a person with depression may begin to experience suicidal thoughts after drinking a large amount of alcohol. People may also notice that their symptoms worsen if they attempt to withdraw from the symptoms. A person withdrawing from heroin may begin to experience panic attacks.

Anyone diagnosed with these co-occurring disorders should seek treatment in a facility that is knowledgeable about the intricacies of this condition and can administer the proper level of care needed.

How Many People Actually Receive the Proper Treatment?

Most people with dual diagnosis do not get the proper treatment. In fact, studies have shown that only 12.5 percent of patients with this condition receive treatment for both of their problems. Many patients experience difficulty getting treatment. Some facilities exclude people who have co-occurring disorders.

What Are Some of the Dangers of Having Co-occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are dangerous. If the mental illness is not treated, then the substance abuse problem will continue to get worse. Likewise, the mental illness will most likely get worse if the substance abuse problem is not treated. A drug or alcohol overdose can also result in death. Furthermore, withdrawing from any type of drug can produce harmful side effects. In some cases, these side effects are life-threatening

Pay Attention to Common Symptoms

Depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety are the mental disorders that most commonly occur along with a substance abuse problem. Feeling of hopelessness, weight or appetite changes, anger, concentration problems, loss of energy, reckless behavior and strong feelings of guilt are some of the signs of depression.

Rage, hyperactivity, increased energy, decreased need for sleep and racing thoughts are some of the signs of bipolar disorder. Worry, heart palpitations, nausea concentration problems, headaches and muscle tension are some of the signs of an anxiety disorder.

Who is at Risk for Dual Diagnosis?

People who have a family history of co-occurring disorders are more likely to develop them. It is also important to note that certain groups of people are at a greater risk for developing co-occurring disorders. Studies have shown that co-occurring disorders are more common in men and people who have served time in the military. They are also more common in people who have general health problems.

Admitting That One Has a Problem

It is usually difficult for people to admit that they have a problem. They will insist that nothing is wrong. They may deny their substance abuse problem and mental illness. People will need to pay close attention to the symptoms that they are experiencing while they are sober. It is normal to experience some depression and anxiety after one has stopped drinking or using drugs. However, one may have a mental health problem if the symptoms still occur while he or she is sober.

People will also need to pay close attention to the effects that their feelings have on drug or alcohol use. For example, some people may feel the need to drink while they are depressed. Furthermore, people will need to look at their treatment history. In many cases, substance abuse treatment fails because people are having complications from their mental health problem.

Why Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is the best option for people who are suffering from dual diagnosis. Treating people with co-occurring disorders can be quite challenging, but the professionals at an inpatient rehab facility are able to handle it. Inpatient rehab allows people to get help in an environment that is safe and healthy. Keep in mind that some patients are unable to recover from their disorder because of negative influences.

People in inpatient rehab will get supervision 24 hours per day, seven days a week in a  secure and structured environment. Furthermore, inpatient rehab will give people the tools that they need to stay sober after they leave the facility. Inpatient rehab benefits a person psychologically, emotionally and physically, and in this way, can treat all aspects of a dual diagnosis.

19 Comments

  • Amanda

    This is a very difficult subject to tackle as a lot of people who are suffering from these types of symptoms are the last people that would want to tell you that this is what they are struggling with. It can be very difficult to manage handling a dual diagnosis, and a lot of people are given them as they are self medicating in the first place. I have known people that did this and it didn’t ever turn out good for them. When you are running into something like this the last thing that you want to do is get yourself on some kind of a drug that makes you then go to another drug, it just is not a good idea, but in this day and age it is a very common occurance and it can lead to a lot of problems. This is something that makes what Best Drug Rehab does so special as they can effectively handle the people who are struggling with this type of a thing and it can lead to the patient actually getting off of the drugs that they are on and then onto bigger and better things in terms of reconnecting with family and no longer being subjected to drug addiction. I think this article is on point and should be read by a lot of people who tend to do this and then they need to see that they need to get the treatment that they need so that they can get back on the path to a healthier and happier life without drugs.

  • Kat Thomas

    It’s so hard to see someone with a mental illness turn to substance abuse as a way of self-medicating. It seems to be more common and it’s hard to watch someone go down the path and not get the help they deserve.

  • David Owens

    Just learned about dual diagnosis through this article. Hopefully this blog, along with the care provided by Best Drug Rehabilitation, can help those suffering get the attention and treatment they deserve and need. Keep up the good work!

  • janie kaufman

    getting the right treatment for your issues are the first step to recovery the correct treatment program is very important

  • Jonni Wood

    I think that people diagnosed with co-occurring disorders should be re-evaluated after getting clean and sober. Getting clean and sober can amplify emotional stress. The first few months of recovery is like a roller coaster.

  • Vicncent Balzak

    This article is very informative. I have learnt many things from it.

  • Tommy Fisher

    I always drink alcohol everyday and I have mental illness also. I have gone to see doctor many times, but my illness is still. I also searched the treatment for Dual Diagnosis but there was nothing happened to me until i found this blog Drug Rehabilitation Blog. This is good for my illness. Thank you

  • Abtabuzzaman

    A best solution for dual diagnosis suffered people.

  • Yong Cai

    Knowing more about the symptoms of depression is very useful. This article is very informative in a sense that reading it will help me recognize symptoms of depression and how to spot any changes in the lives of others.

  • c. davis

    Dual diagnosis, it something I’ve never heard of. I understand victims of substance abuse but not two at one time – requiring a dual diagnosis.
    I would think the treatment would be twice as hard to combat and usually need extra care.

  • jeanette bellanca

    The cost of the treatment program sometimes is not covered by all individuals who do not have the insurance to cover the costs.

  • jon

    The importance of this blog says .
    Which is very significance . Thank you for writing a blog !

  • Connie Mastroianni

    I have had psychiatric help in the past. Getting effective treatment is the best option to help you. Its not only the medicine, but talking to someone who cares about your feelings and bad behavior makes you feel good inside. I agree with what the article says all the way to the end.

  • Jack Johnson

    I need something like this. It was really good article for me. Thanks anyway for a masterpiece.

  • Andrea Nunez

    A couple of years ago I was dual diagnosed with a mental disorder which included depression and an anxiety disorder with agrophobia. Yes, at that time I had already been a Marijuana user for years but never really knew why I was needing it and I sure didnt think i was suffering from a mental disorder but when I started concentrating on fixing my emotional issues, I was able to recover from both. What I discovered was the drug was just hiding what I truly was feeling.

  • Ryan Christian

    I was thought I just had a pain killer issue. I was in the ary, got hurt, got on pills. 4 years later I didn even know I was an addict. When the pain was gone, I could not quit….I was clean without ANY drugs for 6 months but could not deal with life…so I go onto Methadone…BIG MISTAKE…now for 3 years I take 100 mgs of methsdone a day….WHAT DO I DO!!!??? I have to work and maintain my life so I cant just take a month off work to be sick..its sites like this I need….I do not have insurance….what do I do???

  • Chad Cappuccilli

    Wow, so happy that I just read this article! I have ADHD, and I’m bipolar, and have been on and off my psych meds due to the fact I could not afford them let alone afford the psychiatrist. I have been self medicating for over 15 years. 9 years ago I almost died from a drug over dose and I decided to go on the Methadone Program… It was VERY VERY hard to come off from beings I was taking 125 milligram daily. Once clean from that I was able to find a good job which then aloud me to afford my ADHD meds. My primary Doctor prescribed them to me since I had a letter from my psychiatrist showing my re diagnosis. 4 years Sober later, lost my job but I now have insurance thru the state (New Jersey Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield /Medicaid) and it does not cover Vyvance nor do Psychiatrist in this state even except insurance of any kind. I’m now back on the streets self medicating, fallen off the wagon for the 3rd time. I need to find a Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation Program that will except my insurance asap before I end up dead. I’m so depressed and scared that one of these days I’ll never wake up, and all I want to do is feel normal and just live! Hopefully by the information of this article it will bring me closer to the Salvation I desperately need

  • Chad Cappuccilli

    Wow, so happy that I just read this article! I have ADHD, and I’m bipolar, and have been on and off my psych meds due to the fact I could not afford them let alone afford the psychiatrist. I have been self medicating for over 15 years. 9 years ago I almost died from a drug over dose and I decided to go on the Methadone Program… It was VERY VERY hard to come off from beings I was taking 125 milligram daily. Once clean from that I was able to find a good job which then aloud me to afford my ADHD meds. My primary Doctor prescribed them to me since I had a letter from my psychiatrist showing my re diagnosis. 4 years Sober later, lost my job but I now have insurance thru the state (New Jersey Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield /Medicaid) and it does not cover Vyvance nor do Psychiatrist in this state even except insurance of any kind. I’m now back on the streets self medicating, fallen off the wagon for the 3rd time. I need to find a Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation Program that will except my insurance asap before I end up dead. I’m so depressed and scared that one of these days I’ll never wake up, and all I want to do is feel normal and just live! Hopefully by the information of this article it will bring me closer to the Salvation I desperately need

  • Emily B.

    Wow, What an informative article. Knowing more about the symptoms of depression is very useful. This is something that makes what Best Drug Rehab does so special as they can effectively handle the people who are struggling with this type of a thing and it can lead to the patient actually getting off of the drugs that they are on and then onto bigger and better things in terms of reconnecting with family and no longer being subjected to drug addiction. I think this article is pretty much on point and should be read by a lot of people who tend to do this and then they need to see that they need to get the treatment that they need so that they can get back on the path to a healthier and happier life without drugs.

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