Drug abuse is a significant health problem worldwide. It can make a person feel isolated and reduce their self-esteem. This happens when those around you, such as family and friends, notice symptoms of abuse such as needle marks. Studies show that people who abuse drugs have a high chance of getting a mental illness. Mental illness can vary from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis.
Similarly, people who have mental illness are likely to abuse drugs. When the two disorders co-occur, it is referred to as dual diagnosis. Dual disorders require both disorders to be addressed; treatment is useless if only one disorder is treated. This is because the other disorder could cause a relapse of the other disorder soon enough.
What is dual diagnosis treatment?
Dual diagnosis treatment refers to the treatment offered to patients who abuse drugs and also have a mental illness. For example, you can have alcoholism and also have depression. Similarly, you can use cocaine and have post-traumatic stress disorder. Dual diagnosis aims at addressing symptoms of both the post-traumatic stress disorder and enable you to detox from cocaine use. This form of treatment has revolutionized the field of addiction and rehabilitation by making rehabilitation programs more effective.
Before the 1990s, the medical field separated patients of mental disorders from those with addiction problems, not knowing that the two disorders occur together. You would be denied treatment for a mental illness until you have undergone a rehabilitation program and stopped abusing the drugs you were once addicted to.
After extensive research was done, it was discovered that an underlying mental disorder is the route course of substance abuse. This is why many patients who had substance abuse problems and mental illness always relapsed to their addiction after a certain period. After a few treatment trials on patients with dual diagnosis, it was discovered that the most successful aspect of treatment is one which encompasses treatment for both disorders, dual diagnosis treatment. The need for dual diagnosis treatment has made clinicians working in rehab centers to undergo training exclusive to dual diagnosis treatment so that rehabilitation programs can be more effective. Each dual diagnosis treatment is personalized for every patient depending on the disorders you experience.
Why do addiction and mental illness occur together?
There are three theories put across that explain why substance abuse and mental illnesses co-occur in over half the population of people suffering from addiction. The theories include:
- Some drugs of abuse cause mental illnesses.
- There is a high likelihood of a person who has a mental illness to abuse drugs.
- Both mental illness and addiction have the same risk factors.
Certain drugs of abuse can lead to the development of mental disorders. A drug like marijuana, for example, has been known to cause psychosis in certain patients. Heavy and prolonged use of marijuana is a significant determinant of whether or not you will develop psychosis. When you feel depressed or have anxiety, it is easy for you to resort to drugs that can relieve the condition. People with anxiety often resort to alcohol while those with depression resort to drugs that cause a euphoric feeling such as marijuana and cocaine. If you have been exposed to a risk factor such as sexual abuse, you are likely to fall into depression or have post-traumatic stress disorder. You can also indulge in drugs of abuse to help you forget the traumatic experience. Stress is also another factor that can lead to the two disorders. When you have a dual diagnosis, symptoms of the two conditions exacerbate each other making it impossible for you to completely recover from both symptoms when only one condition is addressed.
What does dual diagnosis treatment involve?
Dual diagnosis treatment encompasses a variety of therapies that help you to fully recover from both conditions and also minimize the risk of relapse. Some of the therapies encompassed include:
- Behavioral and cognitive therapy.
- Medication therapy.
- Interpersonal therapy.
Cognitive therapy involves understanding why you take self-harming choices like drug abuse and addressing those reasons. On the other hand, behavioral therapy involves leaving behind your negative behaviors and adopting positive ones. This involves the use of drugs to treat your mental illness and drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms of your addiction. Interpersonal therapy is all about knowing how to communicate with those around you. You will learn how to manage stressful situations to avoid relapse.
Our clinic In Columbus, Ohio offers dual diagnosis treatment plans for patients with dual diagnosis living in the Northeast United States. However, you are welcome to visit our clinic if you live in other parts of the country and wish to seek help with your addiction and mental disorder. If you are ready to start the program, call us today on 833-820-2922.