Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Treating dual diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and addressing underlying mental health disorders is all a part of setting clients up for success. A thorough mental health analysis identifies opportunities for treatment. Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. Proper treatment leads to change for better, healthier living. This is all possible at our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders) can vary between institutions. It is generally defined as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with having a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. There is no distinction of whether the mental disorder led to substance abuse or vice versa. Addiction treatment professionals understand that mental health and substance abuse have a complex and deeply intertwined relationship that is difficult to extricate from one another. Trying to resolve drug addiction in isolation is often ineffectual; it fails to look at the whole picture and results in a relapse.
The origin of the term first came about in the 1980s following the realization of how closely substance abuse was tied with mental health. Addressing a mental disorder is crucial not only for identifying key causes or triggers of substance abuse but because physical addiction is rooted in biochemical imbalances just as many mental health deficiencies are. Particular neurochemical imbalances could result in certain individuals have a biologically higher risk of developing an addiction – something that no amount of behavioral therapy could cure on its own.
Dual Diagnosis Statistics
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 7.9 million adults suffered from co-occurring disorders in 2014. The administration assessed the following groups as being at the highest risk of dual diagnosis:
- The homeless community
- Those in the criminal justice system
For the populations who are homeless or in the criminal justice system, the causal relationship may be different than with veterans, and it should be noted that there is some significant overlap in these three groups.
In fact, there’s reason to believe that there’s a causal relationship between many mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. For example, according to a study published on substance abuse among veterans, 11 percent of veterans who visited a VA treatment facility for the first time met the criteria for a substance abuse disorder. Veterans are also more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to alcohol abuse and opioid prescriptions that lead to substance abuse.
A report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggested that there is a reason why people with mental disorders are up to two times as likely to develop substance abuse disorders:
- Certain drugs can cause abusers to suffer one or more symptoms of another mental illness.
- Mental illness may precipitate or hasten substance abuse. An individual suffering from symptoms of a mental illness may attempt to self-medicate.
- Drug use disorders and mental illnesses are caused by overlapping factors; genetic, deficits and otherwise.
Simply, people who struggle with mental health disorders either seek clinical medication or self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. People that get prescriptions for their condition are less likely to develop abuse disorders, but often the medications that they get access to have high abuse potential, creating more risk.
People that self-medicate for their mental illnesses often start early, and the use of drugs or alcohol as a way to escape becomes a natural part of life.
The reverse order can also be true, in which a mental disorder is caused or worsened by the use of drugs or alcohol. For example, some common pairings:
- A study found that cocaine use can cause paranoia and anxiety
- Alcohol and antisocial personality disorder
- PTSD and opioid abuse
Where Mental Illnesses Turns To Self-Medicating
Bipolar disorder is a treatable brain disorder marked by extreme shifts in a person’s mood and disposition. Periods of intense mania are followed by bouts of severe depression, often with periods of normalcy in between. While on either end of the spectrum, sufferers of bipolar disorder often find it difficult to concentrate and maintain functionality sufficient for leading a productive life. Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression, can be managed with medication. It is characterized with intense manic or “high” periods in which the individual becomes overly enthusiastic or optimistic and may begin tasks or plans that are not feasible. These high periods are followed by crashes and intense “lows”, which can involve sleeping all day, feeling hopeless, suicide attempts, and other symptoms shared with depression.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a condition brought on by a traumatic event or period in one’s life. As the name implies, (post-traumatic stress disorder) fits of stress come, often triggered by a stimuli that relates to their trauma, delivering a surge of emotions and unpleasant memories associated with the event. PTSD patients report that sometimes they are suffering from uncontrollable anxiety, sleepless nights, and unrealistic dreams by nature. This can lead to short-term memory loss, which may cause long lasting psychological issues. It is recommended to treat those having undergone a traumatic experience as early as possible in order to avoid complications. When it is confirmed that the affected person is behaving in a dangerous way, it is important to address the issue so the sufferer will no longer be affected by the traumatic event. To deal with the bouts of stress brought on by PTSD, many patients begin self-medicating with depressants to numb their pain, or any other drug that allows them to find an ‘escape’ from their experiences.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) and/or Panic Disorder
Fear is your body’s natural reaction to a lot of outside stimuli. It is normal for the body to react in such a way as to become anxious or fearful because this often protected our ancestors from a lot of problems and harm. It is not normal, however, for our bodies to be overtaken with fear to the point that physical symptoms begin to arise because of it. When this happens, it is usually the sign of a larger problem. Panic attacks are unique from a normal fear in that there is no real danger the body is protecting the sufferer from. Most people experience a couple panic attacks in their lifetime, without recurrence. If, however, panic attacks are more regular, it may debilitate the person and alter their behavior in anticipation. Sufferers may try to self-medicate their condition using depressants, rather than seek proper medical help.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a variety of different things. Those suffering from GAD might anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. Those with GAD find it extremely difficult to control their worries and fears. As with Panic Disorder, sufferers also have a high likelihood to self-medicate to find escape the feelings of anxiety
Depression is a serious mental illness that is very common in young adults. It is characterized by feelings of extreme helplessness, hopelessness, and is not nearly the same thing as “feeling blue” or being “down”. The grave nature of depression affects millions of Americans and is directly correlated with suicidal ideations, as well as over, or under-eating, over, or under-sleeping, and is marked by drastic mood-swings. Depression is not something that people can just “get over” or “snap out of”, and may in fact require medication or therapy or a combination of both before the individual begins to see a lifting of their symptoms. The symptoms of depression can come and go, and are similar but slightly different from the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
The Bottom Line
As the addiction treatment community begins to realize that addiction is itself a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dual diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all. Our dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida is one of the facilities that has the professionals trained to help treat co-occuring disorders concurrently. This type of tamdum treatment provides some of the best success rates.
Get treatment for individuals stuggling with a substance abuse and mental health disorders. Call (855) 976-2776 Today!