Dual Diagnosis of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

Dual diagnosis may include the following:

  • Severe/major mental illness and a substance disorder(s)
  • Substance disorder(s) and a personality disorder(s)
  • Substance disorder(s), personality disorder(s) and substance induced acute symptoms that may require psychiatric care, i.e. hallucinations, depression and other symptoms resulting from substance abuse or withdrawal
  • Substance abuse, mental illness and organic syndromes in various combinations.
  • How can you treat Dual Diagnosis?
  • Successful dual diagnosis treatment includes the treatment of the addiction and treatment for the mental condition. Treating one or the other will not result in a long-lasting recovery. Too often the addiction and the mental condition will contribute to one another.
  • Drug Rehab and Dual Diagnosis

In your studies on addiction and abuse, or at your treatment center, you might have stumbled upon the idea of dual diagnosis. This is something that has stricken many people, and it is often something that goes undiagnosed for a long time, which may contribute to a greater surge in addictions.

Dual diagnosis means that a person has two different illnesses. They have a mental health or behavioral condition, and they also have an drug addiction, alcoholism, or a substance abuse problem. When a person has dual diagnosis, both of these factors are contributing to their standard of living and the amount of time that they spend below the standard, or where they should be living.

Dual diagnosis is going to take a toll on much more than just the parts of a person’s life that are affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Mental health issues are going to prevent a person from holding down a job or relationship that they might be able to hold down if their only problem was the addiction. Mental health issues add so much to addictions, and in turn, addictions add so much to mental health issues. It is a vicious cycle, made even worse when someone introduces the idea of trying to hold down a life.

Dual diagnosis is something that many people have. Studies have shown that almost half of the people who have an addiction will also have a mental health issue as well. Unfortunately, many times the mental health issue does not get addressed during drug rehabilitation treatment.

When an addiction treatment center only deals with addiction, and fails to deal with the actual mental health issues, the mental health problems are going to lead right back to addiction after the person has been in recovery. This happens more often than we are aware of, and it could be one of the biggest contributors to chronic relapse.

When it comes right down to it, mental health and addiction issues should be treated together. A person cannot get rid of one of these problems without hurting the other, unless they are being treated for both. If a person with depression gets treatment for alcoholism but not for the depression, the depression will get worse without the alcohol, and will probably lead them right back to drinking. If a person with both of these gets treatment for the depression but does not stop drinking, there is going to be no way that they are actually going to get any better. The only successful treatment for dual diagnosis is drug treatment that incorporates both of the problems into one.

If you have gone through addiction treatment and have gone back to using, you might have a mental health condition that is preventing you from getting any better. Perhaps there is depression, or other mental health issues that are keeping you from staying on the path to recovery. Ask your doctor about dual diagnosis, and have him or her decide if this is something that you should be treated for as well. Many times after a person has relapsed, they have realized that they also have a mental health issue. Once they have been treated for dual diagnosis, they are much more likely to be able to make a full recovery and stay on the correct path for the rest of their lives without a higher chance of relapse. If you think that this might be something you are dealing with, talk to your doctor today. You can get into a drug rehab or an alcohol rehab treatment program that will treat both your addiction and your mental health problems at the same time and get better much faster.