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Dual Diagnosis

Over the years, professionals in the field of addiction treatment found that a high rate of patients struggled with a mental health condition that co-occurred with their substance use disorder. Experts began developing programs in Nevada that could effectively treat both the mental illness and the drug or alcohol dependence simultaneously. These programs are used in rehab as an approach known as “dual diagnosis treatment,” which provides higher rates of recovery among those suffering from co-occurring disorders.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term used in addiction treatment to describe the presence of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. These two conditions often affect each other, with some individuals using drugs or alcohol to control the symptoms of their mental illness and others developing problems with mental health as a result of long-term substance abuse. Because one disorder derives from the other, the two must be treated simultaneously in order to carry out a lasting recovery. If only the addiction is addressed in rehab, it is likely that the person will later relapse and return to using drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with symptoms of the mental health disorder. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to help patients manage both disorders and restore health and wellness for a lifetime of recovery.

The Connection Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

The relationship between mental health and addiction can be very complex. In many cases, a person with a mental illness will attempt to “self-treat” the symptoms of their condition with drugs or alcohol and eventually develops a dependence on the substance over time. In other cases, ongoing use of an addictive substance rewires the brain and its chemical structure, leading to the onset of severe depression or anxiety. Sorting out these issues takes professional assessment and evaluation. In addition, finding the most effective treatment can take some time and trial. This process must be accomplished alongside therapy for the addiction to help the patient achieve the best results for their recovery.

Addiction treatment specialists discovered that not only do mental health issues contribute to addiction, there are also specific conditions linked with substance abuse. Mental health disorders that commonly co-occur with addiction include:

Eating Disorders and Addiction: Individuals may use alcohol to control eating or stimulant drugs to reduce appetite.

Depression and Addiction: People struggling with depression may use alcohol to lift their mood or make them more social. They may also use stimulant drugs to increase their energy levels.

OCD and Addiction: Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder may use opiate drugs to control their repetitive behaviors.

PTSD and Addiction: Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder may use alcohol to reduce feelings of isolation, or they may use opiate drugs to help with sleep problems.

Anxiety and Addiction: Individuals with severe anxiety may use opiates to control their emotions to allow them to function in normal situations.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Drug Rehab Centers Nevada

Drug Treatment Centers Nevada offer comprehensive assessments of patients for possible mental health problems, so that their treatment can be individualized for their specific needs. Psychological counseling and medications help to stabilize patients so that they can make the most of the treatment for their addiction issues.

Psychopharmacology: A variety of medications are available for the treatment of mental health conditions, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and anticonvulsive medications that can help these conditions.

Psychotherapy: Some patients benefit from intensive psychotherapy that explores the sources of the problem and the changes patients can make to better manage their symptoms.

Behavioral Management: Many individuals with mental health issues also require behavioral management training to help them deal with problems they develop because of their condition. This training may involve certain activities done to relieve anxiety, counteract feelings of depression or treat other matters.

Aftercare can be particularly important for dual diagnosis patients. They may require additional counseling to help them manage their mental health condition and may benefit from special support groups that understand the unique problems of dual diagnosis patients. An aftercare plan that includes agencies in the community that can assist these patients when they require adjustment of medication or other services can help these individuals succeed in their recovery.

If you are struggling with addiction and feel you may also have mental health issues that have not been addressed, contact a treatment center in Nevada today to discuss dual diagnosis options for your care.