Dual diagnosis is a medical term that refers to a co-occurring mental illness and substance addiction that is prevalent among individuals in recovery. To simultaneously treat a dual diagnosis, addiction treatment centers utilize various therapeutic and pharmacological approaches. In order to effectively treat a dual diagnosis, treatment for both conditions is necessary.
Do you have a history of mental illness like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, etc? If you had received treatment earlier in life for a mental health problem, then it’s possible that mental illness may be impacting your substance abuse.
Addicts suffering from crippling anxiety or crushing depression, among other mental illnesses, abuse drugs and alcohol in an effort to self-medicate, to temporarily forgot about their emotional pain. It is unclear whether sustained substance abuse causes mental illness or whether mental illness contributes to drug addiction. Regardless of which came first, substance abuse therapy and relapse prevention tackles both issues.
Addiction in and of itself is a mental health issue and should be treated accordingly. The disease of addiction is akin to other medical ailments such as diabetes for instance. When an individual is diagnosed as diabetic, medical authorities prescribe appropriate medication and lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-sugar diet, to combat the medical condition.
Addiction to drugs or alcohol radically changes the brain of the addict, making the use of the drugs the prime priority of the individual. The addict loses the ability to control impulsive behavior, despite the countless negative consequences of compulsive substance abuse. It’s not difficult to understand how so many men and women find themselves in the downward cycle of drug abuse and dependence.
The statics regarding drug addiction and mental disorders show those individuals who suffer from mood disorders like bipolar and depression or anxiety disorders are twice as likely to also suffer from substance abuse or dependence.
There are also biological gender differences that affect addiction. Males struggling with personality disorders are more likely to suffer from substance abuse and dependence. Females who wrestle with mood or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for substance abuse.
Mental disorders also put individuals at a higher risk of relapse because the addict will self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol in order to briefly escape his or her mental and emotional state.
It’s crucial to recognize that the disease of addiction is a complicated and complex mental illness. It’s defined by the compulsive repetition of behaviors that seek out and abuse drugs and/or alcohol in spite of disastrous consequences to the addict’s physical and mental health. These uncontrolled, obsessive behaviors and thoughts are related to changes in the brain brought about by drug and alcohol dependence.
Addiction recovery treatment aims to remedy these structural brain changes through a comprehensive approach that compasses all methods of therapy.
Treatment centers in New Haven, CT encourage you or a loved one to open a dialogue with addiction specialists about how mental illness impacts your or a loved one’s substance addiction. Struggling with drug abuse or dependence with no end in sight is a condition no one should have to deal with alone.