In the context of drug treatment, dual diagnosis refers to the co-existence of a mental health and substance use disorder. The term dual diagnosis is often used interchangeably with the term “co-occurring disorder.” A co-occurring disorder, however, requires that a patient is being treated primarily for an addiction disorder.
Co-occurring conditions can be a problem in drug treatment circles, with medical staff having to carefully diagnose patients and find treatment for both conditions. For specialized treatment, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Joliet at 815-531-1829.
There are a range of possible connections between mental health problems and substance abuse, with pre-existing mental illnesses often leading to substance abuse and substance addictions also capable or inducing mental health problems. Dual diagnosis can be very tricky to diagnose for this reason, with medical staff having to differentiate between pre-existing and substance-induced disorders.
Common dual diagnosis conditions include depression disorders and alcoholism, depression disorders and opioid dependency, anxiety disorders and benzodiazepine abuse, and eating disorders and prescription stimulant abuse.
Doctors at drug rehab centers have to evaluate patients for a wide range of possible disorders once they enter a treatment facility, in order to find appropriate medication treatment and direct patients toward ongoing therapy and counseling programs.
While close links do exist between many mental health and substance abuse disorders, causality relationship are much harder to diagnose. Instead of using simple cause and effect relationships as a guide for rehabilitation, clinicians have to evaluate each patient on a case-by-case basis to find the right treatment.
According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 50 percent of all individuals with severe mental health disorders are also affected by some kind of substance abuse. 53 percent of drug abusers have at least one severe mental illness, with 37 percent of alcohol abusers also suffering from mental health issues.
The large numbers of people experiencing simultaneous disorders can be challenging for both mental health clinics and drug treatment centers, both of which are designed primarily to deal with one specific range of problems.
The three mental health problems most often associated with substance abuse are depression disorders, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder.
People suffering from any of these symptoms are at an increased risk of substance abuse and dependence, with specific substances more likely to be associated with particular disorders.
The links between depression and alcoholism are strong, with problem drinkers sometimes “drowning their sorrows” after experiencing a major life stress.
Nearly one third of all people with a major depression problem also have a drinking disorder, with depression often coming first and people using alcohol to self-medicate. Women are more than twice as likely to start abusing alcohol if they have a history of depression, with excessive drinking likely to lead to more depression down the road.
Because alcohol is classified as a depressant, the cycle of depression and alcohol abuse can last for years. Alcohol rehabilitation centers are often needed to break the cycle, with intervention and therapy available to help patients through the entire process of medical detox and recovery.
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