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What It Means to Get Dual Diagnosis Treatment

dual diagnosis treatment

The relationship between drug misuse and mental health issues is complex and multifaceted. Unfortunately, his interconnectedness can make it challenging to identify and treat the root causes of addiction or mental health issues. But in recent years, there has been an improved understanding of the link between addiction and mental health, including an increased awareness of the benefits of dual diagnosis treatment.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a person who is struggling with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. Recognition and integrated treatment for such co-occurring conditions has been on the rise, and according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 9.2 million adults in the United States have a dual diagnosis.

Why Substance Abuse and Mental Health Go Hand in Hand

Substance abuse problems and mental health issues have a complex and closely interrelated relationship. While each case is unique, there are several factors that may contribute to their co-occurrence.

  1. Genetics: Research has shown that there is a genetic component to both substance abuse and mental health disorders. This means that individuals with a family history of addiction or mental illness may be more likely to develop these conditions themselves.
  2. Trauma: Traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect, or violence can increase the risk of developing both substance abuse and mental health disorders. Trauma can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness, which may contribute to substance abuse as a way to cope with these feelings.
  3. Self-medication: People with mental health disorders may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or mood swings. However, this can often exacerbate the symptoms and lead to a cycle of addiction.
  4. Chemical imbalances: Substance abuse can alter brain chemistry and lead to imbalances in neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with mood regulation. These imbalances can contribute to the development of mental health disorders.
  5. Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as stress, poverty, and social isolation can increase the risk of both substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Whatever may lay at the root of a person’s co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders, the link between these issues underscores the importance of treating both conditions simultaneously. Dual diagnosis treatment offers a number of advantages over treating mental health and drug abuse issues separately.

Greater Emphasis on Comprehensive and Integrated Care

In recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional models of addiction treatment, which often focused solely on treating the physical symptoms of addiction. Instead, there is now a greater emphasis on comprehensive and integrated care that addresses the complex interplay between addiction and mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment aims to address both conditions simultaneously, with the goal of achieving holistic healing and long-term recovery.

Long-Term Results

Research has shown that individuals who receive dual diagnosis treatment are more likely to achieve and maintain sobriety and experience improved mental health outcomes compared to those who only receive treatment for one condition.

Moreover, dual diagnosis treatment can help reduce the risk of relapse and improve overall quality of life. By addressing the underlying mental health issues that contribute to addiction, individuals are better equipped to manage triggers and stressors that can lead to relapse.

Conditions That Commonly Co-Occur with Drug Misuse 

Not all cases of dual diagnosis revolve around substance addiction, but many do. While circumstances vary from individual to individual, there are several mental health disorders that commonly co-occur with drug misuse. Some of the most prevalent include:

  • Depression: This mood disorder is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
  • Anxiety: This disorder is characterized by excessive worry, fear, and apprehension.
  • Bipolar disorder: This disorder is marked by intense mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows.
  • PTSD: This disorder develops after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event and is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors.

If you or a loved one may be struggling with both a mental health condition and a substance abuse problem, dual diagnosis treatment offers a way to address both issues simultaneously rather than trying to tackle each one by one. Consider discussing the possibility of dual diagnosis treatment with your counselor, therapist, or other medical professional.

How to Start Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Anytime you or someone you know is dealing with mental health concerns or drug misuse, the first step should be to seek help from a qualified treatment provider. This is even more critical if you’re dealing with co-occurring conditions, as one can easily feed into and exacerbate the other. As such, pursuing dual diagnosis treatment may be an important step for your recovery.

Treatment for dual diagnosis may involve a combination of therapies, including medication-assisted treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy. It is important to find a treatment provider who has experience treating both addiction and mental health disorders.

Get the Answers You Need with Countrywide Testing

If you’re worried that a loved one may be misusing prescriptions, alcohol, or illegal drugs on top of a mental health condition, it’s important to get them help sooner rather than later. Dual diagnosis treatment may be the best way for them to handle both challenges at once. And if you need to identify what drugs they may be using, Countrywide Testing has the answers you need. We provide discreet, at-home drug testing kits that will help you get confirmation and help your loved one on the road to recovery.

Countrywide offers an array of drug testing products for workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, law enforcement purposes, and individuals trying to stay clean after rehab.

Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.

Want more information on how Countrywide can support a clean, drug-free lifestyle? Just contact our team today.