One of the most common misconceptions regarding drug addiction and substance abuse problems, is that they are mental health disorders. In reality, these disorders are both mental and physical. This common misconception also downplays the fact the mental health (also known as mood disorders) can occur alongside drug and alcohol addictions and substance abuse problems, a situation known as dual diagnosis. In order to fully understand how important it is to recognize dual diagnosis when it occurs, you need to get to know the definition, the common mental health disorders that co-occur with addiction problems, and the treatment options available.
If you are currently suffering from both a mental health disorder and a drug addiction, a health professional with Drug Treatment Centers Lakewood can evaluate you and create a treatment plan that is personalized towards your individual situation. Many addicts have mental health disorders that go unrecognized and that can prevent treatment from being successful.
Doctors and psychologists with Drug Treatment Centers Lakewood are trained to recognize the common disorders that co-occur with addiction and can help you achieve a lasting recovery. Call us today at (732) 730-5450.
The term dual diagnosis simply refers to a situation in which one or more mental health disorders co-occur with a drug or alcohol addiction. This term defines the simultaneous occurrence of these two health issues but in no way implies that one causes the other or that one came before the other. Most people presume that an addiction occurs as the result of a mental health disorder. And while this can be true, an addiction can just as easily create a mental health disorder, or the two conditions can occur independently of one another.
Certain mental health disorders co-occur with alcohol and drug addictions more often than others. However, it is important to remember that virtually any mental health disorder can occur at the same time as an addiction.
Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by excessive worry, a rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, insomnia, and restlessness. An anxiety-ridden person tends to have difficulty relaxing and tends to have obsessive thought about disastrous scenarios and situations. Because of the nature of anxiety, many people turn to depressants to treat their disorder. These medications may be prescribed legally to treat the disorder or may be obtained illegally. Such drugs and medications can include Xanax, Valium, alcohol, marijuana, Klonopin or other anti-anxiety medications.
Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health disorder characterized by lethargy, extreme sadness, exhaustion, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, and a lack of energy. A person who is depressed often becomes withdrawn, does not attend to housework or other important tasks, and attempts to isolate themselves from the outside world. People suffering from depression (almost ironically) often develop alcohol abuse problems or addictions.
This is in large part to the idea of using alcohol as a social lubricant making situations in which the person has to interact with other people more tolerable. Alcohol is also often used to attempt to numb the feelings of sadness and to induce sleep. People suffering from depression may also develop addictions to stimulants such as cocaine or crystal meth to stimulate a person to feel euphoric and energetic.
The treatment options for patients with both mental health disorders and drug addiction problems need to allow for the treatment of both disorders simultaneously. In the past, treatment protocols called of one disorder to be treated at a time, one after the other, but this was largely unsuccessful as the two health conditions often affect one another and interact causing overlap in symptoms and treatment needs.
Psychopharmacology is the use of prescription medications to regulate and correct chemical imbalances that occur as a result of mental health disorders. However, because addiction to drugs used to treat mental health disorders is so prevalent (Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, etc…), this treatment must take into account the addictive nature of some medications and closely monitor the use and dosage of such prescriptions to prevent relapse or the development of further addictions.
The behavioral management treatment option relies on therapy in group and individual settings to help patients recognize and control behaviors they engage in that are either directly related to their drug or alcohol addiction or that may trigger a chain reaction toward addictive behaviors. Once the behaviors are discovered, the control factor comes from coping strategies that this treatment helps recovering addicts and mental health patients to develop.
Dual diagnosis, while complicated, is readily treatable if you know what to do and what to expect. So, contact a dual diagnosis treatment center or counselor as soon as possible to get your treatments started. If you or your loved one are suffering from alcoholism or drug dependence as a result of self-treating a mental illness, call Drug Treatment Centers Lakewood today and we can help you overcome these illnesses (732) 730-5450. You are not powerless and we will support you on the journey of recovery.