What is Dual diagnosis and addiction?
Many people who regularly abuse drugs are also diagnosed with mental disorders and vice versa. The high prevalence of this dual diagnosis has been documented in multiple national population surveys since the 1980s. The term “dual diagnosis” describes two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Dual diagnosis also implies interactions between the illnesses that can worsen the course of both.
Addiction and ADD – Numerous studies have documented an increased risk for drug use disorders in youth with untreated ADHD, although some suggest that only a subset of these individuals are vulnerable: those with comorbid conduct disorders. Given this linkage, it is important to determine whether effective treatment of ADHD could prevent subsequent drug abuse and associated behavioral problems. Getting help early, can make all the difference. Dual diagnosis and addiction can be treated at a Drug Rehab Centre.
The high rate of dual diagnosis between drug use disorders and other mental illnesses calls for a comprehensive approach that identifies and evaluates both. Accordingly, anyone seeking help for either drug abuse/addiction or another mental disorder should be checked for both and treated accordingly.
Several behavioral therapies have shown promise for treating comorbid conditions. But practitioners must know what they are doing. You can’t just have an ‘ex-addict’ with no professional and recognised treatment qualifications, handling these issues. Make sure whoever you get help from has a degree or similar under their belt, not just a history of addiction experience. These approaches can be tailored to patients according to age, specific drug abused, and other factors. Some therapies have proven more effective for adolescents, while others have shown greater effectiveness for adults; some are designed for families and groups, others for individuals.
When a patient is diagnosed with both a substance abuse disorder and a mental health issue, then it is termed a Dual Diagnosis. Common mental health disorders that tend to occur alongside addiction include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Moderate to severe depression
- Personality disorders
- Mood disorders
In many cases, symptoms of the mental health disorder appear first. As they become more and more overwhelming, the patient may attempt to “treat” those symptoms by using different drugs. For example, a patient who struggles with depression may attempt to improve their mood by taking heroin or prescription drugs. Patients who are living with anxiety may try to calm themselves by smoking marijuana. Conversely, someone dealing with an eating disorder may attempt to further their weight loss attempts by abusing stimulant drugs like cocaine or crystal meth.
When two disorders or illnesses occur in the same person, simultaneously or sequentially, they are described as comorbid. Dual diagnosis also implies interactions between the illnesses that affect the course and prognosis of both.
In general, addiction involves several different treatment methods that vary from one person to the next. Call us and talk about your concerns or needs for yourself or another. We are here to assist.