Those who struggle with substance abuse disorder often have a comorbidity that is exacerbated by their drug use. Often that comorbidity is a struggle with mental health and the patient may not even be aware. Mental health and substance abuse disorders go hand in hand because they often share many of the same root catalysts.
There may be a genetic predisposition to one or both disorders fueling the propensity to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Mental health and substance abuse disorders both cause similar changes in neural communication in the brain, usually precipitated by exposure to trauma.
More than 25 percent of adults living with a serious mental health condition also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. These types of issues require the help of experienced professionals trained in treating patients with a dual diagnosis. The special medical professionals found at a dual diagnosis treatment center have extensive training in the complexities of co-occurrences and their root causes. There are certain mental conditions that are commonly linked with substance abuse in dual diagnosis situations.
Common Mental Health Conditions
Some patients may suffer from a mental health condition or a substance abuse disorder independently of each other. However, there are certain mental health conditions which occur more commonly with substance abuse disorder.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
Certain mental health conditions impact the same areas of the brain as substance abuse disorder. Physical addiction and substance abuse disorder cause permanent changes in the brain. Consequently, there is a high rate of co-occurrence between mental health conditions and substance abuse disorder. A dual diagnosis treatment center is the best option for those struggling with these disorders.
Difficulties Diagnosing Co-Occurrences
The dual diagnosis treatment center is a facility that specializes in treating those who have been clinically diagnosed with a mental health condition as well as a substance abuse disorder. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one illness to be diagnosed and treated as the other goes undetected. This can happen due to both illnesses exhibiting similar social, psychological, and genetic components. One must also consider other influences such as geography, stress, and trauma. A dual diagnosis treatment center employs medical professionals who have been specifically trained to identify and treat the complex symptoms of comorbidities.
Choosing A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Even a dual diagnosis treatment center should tailor treatment to each individual and their struggles to encourage and promote full, wholesome recovery. That recovery should be simultaneous for both mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders. Treatment should never be a run-of-the-mill one-size-fits-all program and there should never be shame or stigma associated with getting treatment.
When choosing a dual diagnosis treatment center, it is important to ask about treatment modalities, staff to patient ratio, and transition after treatment. It's also important to research staff credentials and empirical data supporting program effectiveness. Ultimately, you’ll need to make the decision that feels best for you or your loved one.
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