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Dual Diagnosis Putnam (860) 207-8360

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Substance abuse addiction does not always occur on its own. Instead, a person can experience an addiction along with a mental illness. This is known as a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring conditions.

Dual diagnosis presents a treatment challenge because each condition requires treatment to overcome the other. Co-occurring conditions are common, yet some drug treatment centers do not offer a program for both conditions.

Find a rehab program that can address both addiction and mental illness when you call Drug Treatment Centers Putnam at 860-207-8360.

The Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Connection

Nearly one-third of all people with mental health disorders will abuse drugs or alcohol, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The reasons why this number is so high can vary. Some people may use drugs as a means of self-medication and to escape their feelings. Others may have experienced the first symptoms of mental illness after first abusing a drug or alcoholic substance.

Both conditions are complicated, but they can be treated with the right approach.

Mental Health Disorders Commonly Associated with Addiction

While a variety of mental health disorders exist, some are more commonly associated with addiction. If a loved one experiences these conditions along with symptoms such as developing a tolerance to a substance, going through withdrawals when not consuming the substance and using a drug on a daily basis to get through the day, these could be signs of a dual diagnosis.

  • Eating Disorders: An estimated 50 percent of people with an eating disorder also have a substance abuse problem, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Alcohol abuse is especially common in those with eating disorders, as is abusing prescription medications, such as psychostimulants like Ritalin that can also suppress appetite.
  • Depression: An estimate one-third of all adults that suffer from substance abuse also have depression, according to the “Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.” A person with depression may abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a means to escape or numb thoughts and feelings.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): OCD is a form of anxiety disorder. An estimated one-fifth of all people with anxiety also have a substance abuse disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Those with OCD often use drugs and alcohol to escape obsessive or anxious thoughts and feelings.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD and alcohol abuse as well as illegal drug abuse are common occurrences. For example, anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of Vietnam Veterans undergoing treatment for PTSD also have alcohol abuse problems, including alcoholism.

How Prevalent is Dual Diagnosis?

An estimated 109,000 residents in Connecticut have a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. However, many of the state’s residents do not seek treatment for their illnesses. Less than one-fourth of those with a mental illness are currently receiving treatment in the state.

What Treatments are Available?

Treatments are available to help a person struggling with a dual diagnosis. These include:

  • Psychopharmacology: Psychopharmacology involves administering medications both to help reduce symptoms associated with drug withdrawal as well as to balance brain chemicals that may be contributing to a mental illness.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy or talk therapy is typically best approached after a person has undergone withdrawals or detoxification from a particular drug, according to NAMI. This therapy can help people work through their emotions related to their diagnoses.
  • Behavioral Management: Behavioral management involves working with a person to identify healthy patterns of behaviors, responses when faced with drug temptations and ways to identify relapse.

Continued Treatments for Dual Diagnosis

Both mental illness and substance abuse are diseases that require extended periods of care to truly manage. While a person may never be “cured” of either condition, they can live a happier, healthier life free from harmful thoughts and harmful substances. Examples of continued treatments include 12-step programs, group therapy and family therapy.

For more information on dual diagnosis treatments speak with the experts of Drug Treatment Centers Putnam. Please call 860-207-8360 now.

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