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Dual Diagnosis
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Dual Diagnosis

People with substance abuse and dependence problems are more likely to struggle with mental health issues than the general population. Dual diagnosis is the term used to describe the co-existence of a mental illness and a substance use disorder, with dual diagnosis conditions known to manifest in numerous ways. Also known as co-occurring disorders, common examples of dual diagnosis include depression disorder and alcoholism, anxiety disorders and prescription drug abuse, and drug induced psychosis. Some drug treatment centers in Colorado specialize in co-occurring disorders, providing people with the guidance and support they need to tackle this serious issue.

Problems with dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis conditions can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Doctors and clinicians often face difficulties defining a primary disorder and working out an appropriate treatment plan, with co-occurring conditions often feeding off one another in a chaotic and complex fashion. For example, the symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse often mimic each other very closely, with doctors often unable to obtain a clear diagnosis. The bi-directional nature of these conditions are a constant hurdle for staff at mental health clinics and drug treatment centers.

Dual diagnosis patients also face a range of institutional problems related to their condition, with mental health facilities and drug treatment centers historically separated and difficult to integrate. People living with a dual diagnosis also face a wider range of social problems when compared to the general population, including greater rates of homelessness, hospitalization, unemployment, and general social stigma. People in Colorado who are living with a dual diagnosis are advised to find treatment as soon as possible.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Patterns

Before treating a dual diagnosis case, doctors will normally try to diagnose a single primary disorder and apply an appropriate treatment pattern. Common treatment patterns include primary treatment, parallel treatment, sequential treatment, and integrated treatment. Primary programs treat a single condition, parallel programs treat both conditions separately but at the same time, sequential programs treat the secondary condition when the primary disorder has been stabilized, and integrated programs make no distinction between disorders. While each of these patterns has its advantages, integrated treatment is generally believed to be the most comprehensive and sophisticated approach.

Depression and Addiction

Depression disorder is closely related to substance abuse, with people who abuse drugs more likely to face depression and depressed people also more likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol. The connection between depression disorder and substance abuse can create a viscous circle, with clinicians often struggling to diagnose a single primary condition and find an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment for this dual diagnosis typically involves cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of psychological support, with medication treatment also required in some cases.

 

Anxiety disorders and prescription drug abuse

Anxiety disorders affect millions of Americans each year. The most common anxiety disorders in Colorado are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with roughly 40 million adults affects annually. People with anxiety issues often turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, with some drug addicts also likely to develop anxiety issues as a result of their addiction. Comprehensive medication and behavioral therapies are required to treat this serious dual diagnosis.

Get Professional Help

If you’re considering addiction treatment call your local rehab facility to start your journey to sobriety. Living with a mental illness and substance use disorder is a daily struggle, but help is attainable.