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What Is Dual Diagnosis?

In the United States, more than 24 million people are suffering from an addiction, and of these, between 9.5 and 14 million are also struggling with a mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis refers to the presence of both a drug or alcohol addiction and a mood or mental health condition. Even though both conditions are separate and distinct, one can and often does negatively impact the other. Either condition may develop first, but for best recovery results, both conditions should be treated simultaneously.

Just as there are many forms of substance addiction (i.e. alcohol addiction, prescription drug addiction, heroin addiction, etc…), there are also many types of mental illnesses that can occur with an addiction. These might include depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress, and others.

Unfortunately, many people who are suffering from co-occurring disorders don’t get help. In fact, not all addiction treatment centers are equipped like Resurgence Mental Health to provide dual diagnosis treatment. With effective treatment that targets both conditions at the same time, people can manage both conditions successfully.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

What Are the Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders?

Individuals may suspect that they have a co-occurring disorder, but it takes a medical professional to provide an official diagnosis. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of addiction and/or a mental health disturbance, it’s important to seek treatment as both conditions may be chronic and can worsen with inattention. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a co-occurring disorder include:

  • Avoiding family and friends
  • Avoiding activities that were once enjoyed
  • Finding it difficult to focus or stay on task
  • Neglecting personal hygiene or health needs
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Experiencing sudden changes in behavior and mood
  • Being unable to control drinking or drug use
  • Engaging in risky behaviors (i.e. driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • Experiencing relationship problems because of substance abuse
  • Experiencing problems at work related to drinking or drug use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms

If you experience any combination of these symptoms, you should seek a professional evaluation. Once you know that you have a dual diagnosis, you can get the proper treatment you need to get better.

How Common Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

In a given year, as many as 14 million people in the U.S. may be living with a dual diagnosis. That’s roughly 45% of all people with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Consequently, co-occurring disorders are not rare. Researchers study why co-occurring disorders develop frequently. They believe that there are a few different reasons why addiction and mental illness often occur together:

Common Risk Factors

There are many risk factors associated with the development of a mental illness and an addiction. These can include the presence of chronic stress, a trauma or series of traumas, and genetic factors. So, a person with risk factors is vulnerable to the development of either substance addiction or a mental health condition–and sometimes, as we know, both.

Substance Abuse Can Trigger a Mental Health Issue

Sometimes a person who abuses drugs or alcohol can cause a mental illness to develop. This is because drugs and alcohol change the brain’s chemistry. These changes are frequently associated with mood or mental health disturbances.

A Mental Health Issue Is a Risk Factor for Addiction

A person who experiences a mental health issue like depression or anxiety and uses alcohol or drugs to quell the symptoms of their illness is at increased risk for developing an addiction as well.

Although dual diagnosis is common, it’s still not always treated simultaneously in addiction rehabs. Many patients may bounce from clinic to rehab to clinic without ever finding the simultaneous treatment course they need to manage both of their conditions.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Dangers of Self-Medication

As mentioned, abusing drugs or alcohol to ‘self-medicate’ away negative feelings or mental health symptoms can have profoundly dangerous consequences. On its own, a mental health problem as well as an addiction can be difficult to manage. Together, these conditions and their symptoms can cause one to feel overwhelmed.

People who abuse drugs or alcohol usually experience triggers that cause them to drink or use drugs in excess. Often, these triggers are negative emotions like anger or fear. When the negative emotions are associated with a mental illness, they can seem even more powerful. Using an illicit drug or alcohol may temporarily reduce these symptoms, but at the same time, their use is unhealthy and can pave the way to addiction.

Relying on drugs or alcohol to alleviate mental health symptoms is a risk factor for dual diagnosis. There are other ways to combat these feelings that support health. That’s why it’s crucial to see a qualified mental healthcare provider if you are experiencing mental health symptoms that last for longer than a couple weeks.

Dangers of Self-Medication

As mentioned, abusing drugs or alcohol to ‘self-medicate’ away negative feelings or mental health symptoms can have profoundly dangerous consequences. On its own, a mental health problem as well as an addiction can be difficult to manage. Together, these conditions and their symptoms can cause one to feel overwhelmed.

People who abuse drugs or alcohol usually experience triggers that cause them to drink or use drugs in excess. Often, these triggers are negative emotions like anger or fear. When the negative emotions are associated with a mental illness, they can seem even more powerful. Using an illicit drug or alcohol may temporarily reduce these symptoms, but at the same time, their use is unhealthy and can pave the way to addiction.

Relying on drugs or alcohol to alleviate mental health symptoms is a risk factor for dual diagnosis. There are other ways to combat these feelings that support health. That’s why it’s crucial to see a qualified mental healthcare provider if you are experiencing mental health symptoms that last for longer than a couple weeks.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment is comprehensive. That means that it targets both the addiction and specific mental illness at the same time. Too often, treatment that targets only one or the other proves ineffective because the ignored condition can impede the treatment of the other. Clients who enter a high-quality dual diagnosis treatment program can expect:

  • Therapies designed to help them stop using alcohol or drugs
  • Therapies that help them manage their mental health condition
  • Education about how their simultaneous conditions are related and can affect one another
  • Address the roots and triggers of their mental health condition and substance addiction
  • Develop healthy coping methods to manage both their addiction and mental health disorder
  • Learn to identify and then avoid triggers that could impede their recovery from either condition
  • Develop a relapse prevention plan that involves addiction treatment aftercare and mental health maintenance

Resurgence Mental Health provides these types of treatment protocols for dual diagnosis. It’s important to understand the nature of both conditions so that you can take control of their management and maintain your recovery journey long after you complete your initial dual diagnosis treatment program. Remember, too, that many people with either an addiction or mental health disorder attend some form of therapy indefinitely as part of their healthcare maintenance needs.

Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Right for Me?

If you have been diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, you should certainly enter a dual diagnosis treatment plan in order to effectively manage these conditions and safeguard your health and future. Both conditions are serious but together, their symptoms can be heightened. Without support, it’s unlikely that either condition can be managed well or at all.

When you enter a mental health or addiction treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment, you can expect a careful evaluation. This step isn’t mere formality. It’s extremely important. Not only do clinicians need to understand the type of addiction you’re suffering from–and the length of time you’ve been addicted; they also need an accurate diagnosis of your mental health disorder. That’s because treatment will necessarily vary. If you have bi-polar disorder, you may need a different type of therapy than if you have generalized anxiety disorder.

A thorough assessment allows your clinicians to develop a dual diagnosis treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific needs. This is a hallmark of high-quality dual diagnosis treatment. Once your plan is in place, you can begin simultaneous treatments for both conditions. Your clinician may also recommend medication or some alternative treatments like yoga or physical fitness to complement your plan’s therapy sessions.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Dual Diagnosis Programs at Resurgence Behavioral Health

Resurgence features personalized treatment of dual diagnosis. Each client arrives with a unique set of circumstances that we address during therapy sessions. We take care to treat the whole person, as well–not just their illnesses. Dual diagnosis can take a toll on a person’s mind, body, and spirit. So, we rely on both medically sanctioned and holistic forms of therapy to help people manage their co-occurring disorders. Clients who enroll in our dual diagnosis programs can typically expect:

  • Clinically supervised detox
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication management
  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Support group participation
  • Family therapy (when applicable)
  • Aftercare planning

Our clinicians and therapists are highly trained and specialize in both addiction medicine and mental healthcare. They work together to provide the individualized support that every client needs and deserves.

Our dual diagnosis programs have strong disease management and relapse prevention components. We help clients understand that these conditions are usually chronic. For instance, there isn’t a cure for addiction other than abstinence. So, we provide them with the skills and resources they need to manage their co-occurring disorders for the long term. Certainly managing them can become easier with time, but with our robust level of support, we help them to take control of their health so they can identify the stages of relapse and stop it from occurring before they experience a mental health crisis or turn to drugs or alcohol.

Contact Resurgence Mental Health and put your health first. We feature renowned dual diagnosis programs. If you suspect you have co-occurring disorders, we can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan designed especially for you.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.