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Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis refers to someone with a mental health disorder and a co-occurring substance abuse problem. Until recently, the medical community regarded addiction and mental illness as two separate disorders that required individual treatment. Patients were advised to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment before seeking help for conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. However, new research has shown that treating both conditions concurrently, offers addicts the best chance of recovery and greatly reduces the likelihood of relapse. All modern rehabilitation centers in Ohio, are now trained in dual diagnosis to provide appropriate treatment for patients with co-occurring disorders.

Mental Health and Addiction

According to the American Medical Association, more than 50% of those who abuse drugs, suffer from one or more forms of mental illness. One of the reasons that addiction and mental health disorders are closely linked, is that one often leads to the other. An alcoholic may suffer from depression as a result of their addiction destroying their work and family life, and a person that has an eating disorder may turn to drugs such as speed or cocaine as an appetite suppressant. An addiction to drugs or alcohol can also aggravate the symptoms of existing mental health conditions, making it much harder for the person to recover.

What Are Some Examples Of Dual Diagnosis?

There are many different examples of duel diagnosis, and some patients can suffer from multiple addictions or mental disorders. Since alcohol is a depressant, many alcoholics suffer with depression, which can make it challenging for them to find the motivation to get sober. People who have be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, may become addicted to the numbing effects of opioids, such as heroin or morphine, and use them as a way of blocking out their feelings. Many people that regularly abuse cannabis, may find that they suffer from strong feelings of anxiety whenever they attempt to stop. As a mental illness can increase the risk of relapse after treatment, it is vital that the disorder be treated as part of the rehabilitation process.

What Treatment Is Available For Co-Occurring Disorders?

There are many options for treating patients that have been given a dual diagnosis, and most Ohio rehab centers employ a variety of the following treatments:

Psychopharmacology – Medication is one of the best methods of treating mental illness, as it can provide immediate relief from symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, and thoughts of suicide. Addiction specialists can also prescribe medications for the initial detox stage to counteract any severe withdrawal symptoms. Medication can also become part of a long-term aftercare plan to stabilize the patient’s mental health, making them less likely to return to using drugs or alcohol.

Psychotherapy – Psychotherapy sessions help patients learn more about their mental health disorder and discover ways of coping with different symptoms. Psychotherapists may try to uncover the root cause of illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and help patients deal with any repressed grief or anger.

Behavioral Management – Behavioral management therapies are excellent for breaking bad habits or negative thought processes and learning new ways to act in times of difficulty. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on retraining the mind to act differently in certain situations, such as times of stress or boredom.

Alternative Therapies – Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, or art therapy are constructive complementary treatments that can enhance the benefits of traditional medicine. Many dual diagnosis patients find that alternative therapies can reduce cravings, calm the mind, and lead to a sense of well-being.

If you or a loved one is suffering with a dual diagnosis of addiction and a mental illness, then it is vital to seek help as soon as possible. Contact the nearest addiction treatment center in Ohio today for more information about the available treatment programs and how they can benefit you.