Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis is a condition where someone simultaneously suffers from substance abuse and a mental health disorder. Generally, when a person experiences a traumatic event (PTSD) or envelopes a behavioral/mental issue like depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder without proper treatment, those affected tend to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Dual Diagnosis is quite common and it’s estimated that over 7.9 million Americans suffer from it.  

Dual Diagnosis is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often overlooked. Besides, it is tough to single out the exact cause of Dual Diagnosis in every person. Even though the short-term effects of illicit drug use or alcohol drown the mental ailment, this overwhelmingly leads a person on a dangerous path toward addiction.  The substances become part of their life, requiring them to function ‘normally’ every day. The only treatment is substance addiction therapy, like what East Coast Recovery Center in Cohasset, MA offers.  Our treatment program for Dual Diagnosis will address the root causes of your behavioral or mental health issues, aligning you with the proper addiction treatment program for a smooth and lasting road to recovery.

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What Causes Dual Diagnosis?

Excessive use of drugs and alcohol increases the risk of mental health issues and can contribute to Dual Diagnosis. The reason is that substance abuse isn’t something anyone would be proud of, and often, people struggling with it will try to quit. In today’s age, the shame of their social image and the stigma associated with their addiction can cause mental health issues.

When mental disorders grow out of control, substance abuse tends to increase heavily, creating a vicious cycle of dependence. This issue can quickly escalate, driving them over the edge and subsequently developing mental health disorders. Besides, those with mental health issues can aggravate the condition more once they become addicted.

Other factors that contribute to Dual Diagnosis are biological, physical, psychological, and environmental factors. These factors are considered the leading causes of concurrent mental health disorders and substance addiction.

How addiction treatment can address substance abuse and mental health together

Environmental Factors

Specific issues, like traumatic events, can contribute to Dual Diagnosis. Chronic stress and post-traumatic stress can lead to mental health disorders and addiction.

Environmental factors predispose someone to Dual Diagnosis is the need to look for quick fixes. Those exposed to violence, deaths, rape, or other problems can develop trauma and can result in drug abuse to “fix” their trauma.

Those experiencing post-traumatic stress (PTSD) or other trauma-induced substance abuse can turn to drugs to give themselves a reprieve from their mental disorders. The same can also be said for those with chronic anxiety. The need to self-medicate, often with opioids rather than seek professional medical help, contributes to Dual Diagnosis. 

Biological Factors

Biological factors, also known as genetic factors, can contribute to mental health disorders, substance addiction, or Dual Diagnosis. 

Genetic factors can predispose someone to develop a Dual Diagnosis, and either the addiction or mental health disorder can occur first. Whichever occurs first, if left untreated, can eventually lead to Dual Diagnosis. How one handles the issues with substance abuse and mental health can be dictated by their genetic predisposition.

Physical Factors

Physical factors, such as physical health and financial issues, can also contribute to Dual Diagnosis. Those diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as cancer can quickly develop Dual Diagnosis if they are not adequately counseled. The use of substances is very prevalent as a coping method.

Addiction or mental health issues can lead to Dual Diagnosis without proper support and counseling.

Besides, economic hardships and financial issues can contribute to Dual Diagnosis. Financial problems may ensue after experiencing job loss, and these concerns can lead to mental disorders and substance addiction. Those facing economic hardships tend to abuse drugs to ‘escape’ their cruel reality.

Likewise, financial problems can lead to depression and other mental health issues, which can easily lead to someone self-medicating. . . 

Psychological Factors

It is common for people with psychological disorders to resort to substance abuse to feel better. This ‘feel better’ concern is often referred to as self-medication. Self-medication leads to addiction because drugs lead to abnormal secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain, making the user feel high. Most people love the feeling, and it can quickly contribute to addiction.

Those with mental issues become addicted because they find a way to escape the pain. They may, therefore, form a habit of resulting in drugs or substances to help ease the mental health disorders, and thereby, they eventually become addicts.


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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual Diagnosis is a condition affecting millions of people all over the globe. However, it is a condition that is tough to spot and can affect anybody unknowingly. Besides the Dual Diagnosis being unpredictable, those surrounding the person can also fail to notice. However, there are signs and symptoms of Dual Diagnosis that might help you identify the condition, which includes:

  • Mood swings
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Mistrust and paranoia, and secretiveness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mental health issues causing substance abuse
  • Withdrawal symptoms

How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Those showing signs and symptoms of Dual Diagnosis should seek medical assistance at a substance abuse treatment center, like East Coast Recovery Center. There are several ways to treat Dual Diagnosis, which include:

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is for those who are mildly suffering from substance addiction and mental health issues on a reporting basis. Those diagnosed with Dual Diagnosis visit our treatment center, receive the treatment necessary from a trained and licensed clinician, and then go home. 

Individual and Group Therapy

Individual therapy involves a session with a professional therapist who counsels the patient on a personal level. Group therapy entails participating in a group with other peers gaining education and working together. It helps members relate to each other and find strength in one another. They encourage one another, allowing patients to find solace in that they are not the only ones experiencing some issues.

Various treatment modalities, such as Cognitive-behavioral therapy, are also practiced to help identify the causing factors that influence the user’s substance abuse. It educates patients on what triggers addiction and how to avoid or manage it.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) can be the first step in your recovery or a step down from inpatient treatment or a residential program for Dual Diagnosis treatment. Our PHP provides various benefits, including a structured support system and continued addiction and mental health treatment that lets you return home each day while attending to other life obligations.

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What Mental Disorders Are Associated with Dual Diagnosis?

Dual Diagnosis differs depending on the individual. . Some common mental health disorders include anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder, trauma/PTSD, OCD, personality disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD, and eating disorders. Each of these mental disorders calls for different methods of treating the underlying condition.

Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a form of mental illness in which the person affected has a fixed and unhealthy way of thinking, behaving, and functioning. Anxiety Disorders

Everyone worries about something, be it our jobs, families, friends, relationships, or finances. Worrying is normal and can be a positive force pushing us to accomplish our goals. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorder is common and manifests in around 3.1 percent of Americans. People diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder are likely to use alcohol, opioids, and other drugs to curb anxiety. It can easily lead to Dual Diagnosis if left untreated.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental disorder caused by traumatic events. These events can either be experienced or witnessed. The main symptoms of PTSD are nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and stress due to uncontrollable thinking. People with PTSD often end up turning to drugs and substances in an attempt to curb those symptoms. If left untreated, PTSD combined with drug and substance abuse can lead to a Dual Diagnosis.

Depression

Depression is expressed by consistently depressed moods, constant worry, and loss of interest in daily activities. People struggling with this issue may lose interest in certain day-to-day activities. It is usual for people with depression to result in substance abuse. They do this to escape the sequence of worry and mood loss they experience in their lives.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by heightened mood swings, reciprocating between lows and highs. The lows are called depression, while the highs are called mania. The affected people will often show signs of extreme happiness or moodiness, reciprocating regularly. People with this mental disorder can result in substance abuse to avoid Bipolar Disorder symptoms.

Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a mental condition where the person affected has persistent problems such as hyperactivity, attention difficulty, and impulsiveness. ADHD often results in substance abuse as a means to control the disorder. Drug Addiction is a Mental Health Disorder

Drug addiction fundamentally changes the brain, rearranging a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and wants and introducing new priorities associated with acquiring and using the substance of abuse.

Addiction changes the brain, disturbing the normal hierarchy of needs and desires.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at East Coast Recovery Center

We understand that Dual Diagnosis patients face enormous struggles with both substance abuse and symptoms of one or more psychological disorders. Our understanding uniquely positions us to treat these patients. We set ourselves apart at East Coast Recovery Center by offering a combination of treatments and therapies designed to help break the cycle of mental illness and addiction.

Each of our patients receives a personalized treatment plan that focuses on their obstacles to recovery. 

Dual Diagnosis patients have to understand how addiction and mental health disorders feed off of one another, it’s equally important that family members understand what their loved one is dealing with. Our family program brings siblings, spouses, parents and children closer together.

Every patient is different, as is their journey to addiction and rehab. Some may have resorted to drug and alcohol abuse to help deal with symptoms of depression. Others may unknowingly be struggling with undiagnosed Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder. No matter your specific needs, our mission is to find the Dual Diagnosis treatment strategy that will most effectively address them.

Help is just a phone call away for you or a loved one who may have a mental health issue and is simultaneously self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Contact our addiction care and mental health specialists, who will craft a customized rehab program tailored to your specific treatment needs. You can learn more about our programs by calling us at 781-381-6057.

 

 

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