Is there anything worse than having problems with addiction and suffering from mental disorders at the same time? Addiction alone can destroy an individual’s life, what more if it is accompanied by a mental disorder? Let’s discuss the risk of acquiring both addiction and mental disorders, or a dual diagnosis.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis originated more than 20 years ago as an idea. A person that has dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and a struggle with alcohol or drug dependency; they occur in tandem. Approximately half of the people with mental problems will also have a substance use disorder and vice versa.

When there is a deficiency in the use of a drug and a psychiatric disorder, the extent of each can change over time. Compared to people with a particular illness, patients with variations of conditions may have more severe medical and mental health problems and may also take a longer time to recover.

Causes of Dual Disorder

Disorders in mental health and drug consumption result from a combination of factors. Some people have a high genetic risk, but the environment can also contribute to the risk. People with mental health conditions are more vulnerable than people who do not have a substance use disorder.

The DSM-5 states that the increased risk of substance use disorders can be related to certain conditions including bipolar disorders, anxiety, and antisocial illnesses. Certain illnesses correlated with the drug are typically linked with various psychiatric conditions. In the case of opioid addictions, the issue of the use of an opioid can lead to the development of other problems of mental health or exacerbate the pre-existing disorder.

Why Mental Disorders and Conditions Are Correlated with Drug Use?

While these problems sometimes come simultaneously, this does not mean, even if one comes first, that the other is triggered next. Yes, it can be difficult to figure out which first arrived. Researchers believe there are three ways to explain why they take place together:

  • Mental disorders and the use of substances can be contributed to specific risk factors. Genetics, depression, and pain are all influences.
  • Mental disorders can contribute to pharmaceutical and the consumption of substances. For instance, individuals with mental disorders can use drugs or alcohol for a temporary sense of feeling. This is referred to as self-medication.
  • Substance use and addiction can lead to mental illness. Substance use can affect the brain in ways that make mental illness more likely to develop.

Addiction or Mental Disorder: Which Comes First?

In terms of experience with addiction and mental illness, every individual is different. Many individuals begin to experience mental health problems in puberty and adolescence and use drugs and alcohol shortly afterward, both with a question of dependency and serious mental illness.

Others may search for drugs and alcohol to “auto-medicate” a mental health condition that occurs in their early adulthood or evolves during their existence from an accident or trauma. Yet others may create an issue of dependency that becomes more likely to cause problems with mental wellbeing or the emergence of symptoms that otherwise might be dormant.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis/ Co-occurring Disorder

Co-occurring disorder signs include those associated with particular substance abuse and/or disorders of the individual’s mental health. Individuals living with co-occurring disorders are at high risk for numerous other problems, including relapses, hospitalization, financial problems, social isolation, family problems, homelessness, imprisonment, and serious medical conditions.

There are many combinations of co-occurring diseases, each with different signs and symptoms and different treatment procedures. Thankfully, clinics for mental health start using drug and alcohol testing instruments to identify people with disorders that occur jointly. The following symptoms include: co-occurring drug abuse disorder

  • Sudden Mood swings
  • Isolation
  • Abusing substances with knowledge of its dangers
  • Loss of control over the quantity of drug and alcohol being used
  • Tolerance over the substance abused
  • Experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms
  • Cravings of the substance to the point that they take it as a means to be normal

The symptoms can also vary from person to person with mental health problems. But the most serious warning signs are several warning signs, such as confusing thinking, concentration problems, and suicidal thoughts. If someone shows these symptoms of a co-occurring disorder, qualified mental health and substance abuse advisors should provide prompt medical attention.

Treatment for Co-occurring Disorder

A dually diagnosed person has to handle the two conditions. They need to avoid using alcohol or medications for treatment to be successful. Behavioral treatments and medications may be included. Support groups may also provide you with social and emotional support.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests an integrated approach to providing adequate care for co-occurring conditions. Instead of treating each disorder independently without any consideration for the next, integrated treatment co-ordinates substances-abuse and mental health interventions.

Integrated care usually involves methods that can help improve functioning and disease-fitting behavior, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy. These can be used together with medicinal products. Treatment may also include collaboration between physicians and organizations that support the administration of accommodation, safety, and job problems.

Those with co-occurring disorders need to deal with all disorders that contribute to lifestyle choices that may accelerate early death. Integrative care provides the patient with a variety of treatment services to offer the person everything they need to heal at every point. Specific services may differ according to the client’s needs but may provide tools for a lifestyle change, as well as controlled recovery and care in mental wellbeing.

Psycho-educational courses will help raise awareness of condition symptoms and the connection between mental disorders and drug abuse as part of programs to treat co-occurring disorders. Prevention training for relapse can help former addicts understand the problems that make them more likely to abuse substances and develop alternative methods of coping.

Dual diagnosis recovery programs in or outside of treatment centers can play a key role in rehabilitation through the creation of a supportive discussion forum concerning psychiatric symptoms, medications, desires linked to alcohol and coping strategies.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.