Dual Diagnosis in New Smyrna FL 386-206-3250

A dual diagnosis is made when a mental illness accompanies a substance addiction. Because a dual diagnosis involves two separate illnesses, the treatment for each must be separate but integrated.

To learn how to find effective treatment help, call Drug Treatment Centers New Smyrna at 386-206-3250.

Mental Illness and Addiction

Also known as a co-occurring disorder, receiving a dual diagnosis is far more common than previously believed. Recent research found that one-third of people with any mental illness and one-half of those with a severe mental illness also suffered from a drug or alcohol addiction. Conversely, one-third of those with an alcohol addiction and one-half of those with a drug addiction were also diagnosed with a mental illness.

The primary reasons behind the prevalence of dual diagnoses include the fact that:

  • People with a mental illness often use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Abuse can quickly lead to addiction, especially if a mental health condition is present.
  • Drugs and alcohol can cause the onset of a mental illness that didn’t exist before, such as alcohol causing depression or methamphetamine causing paranoia or delusional thinking.

Types of Mental Illnesses in Co-Occurring Disorders

While anxiety disorders and clinical depression are two of the most common mental illnesses cited in co-occurring disorders, a wide range of mental illnesses may accompany a substance addiction.

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) results from being the victim of or a witness to a traumatic event. This condition causes nightmares, flashbacks, emotional instability, and anxiety.
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive or ritualistic behaviors that help ward off intrusive thoughts.
  • Eating disorders are marked by a destructive relationship with food and/or exercise. These conditions stem from low self-esteem and a skewed body image.
  • Bipolar disorder causes alternating periods of mania and depression. During the manic episodes, those who suffer from this illness often engage in risky behaviors.
  • Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by a skewed perception of the world and causes intense social anxiety, impaired social functioning, psychotic episodes, and delusions.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis

Three main treatment therapies are involved in treating each illness in a co-occurring disorder.

  • Pharmacotherapy is the use of medications to control the mental illness and alleviate its symptoms.
  • Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for various “talk therapies” that help patients learn about their illnesses and become aware of their own personal issues contributing to each illness.
  • Behavioral therapies help patients become aware of their own thoughts and actions and learn to replace harmful behaviors with healthy ones.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

An addiction treatment program that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders can help increase the chances of successful lifelong recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment centers integrate the treatments for each illness, and treatment is a collaborative effort among the various treatment teams.

Treating a co-occurring disorder starts with medical detox, during which the physical addiction is broken. Withdrawal symptoms are treated with medications administered by physicians, and mental health professionals assess patients for underlying issues including secondary addictions and mental illness.

Treatment for both the addiction and the mental illness follow detox and draw on a variety of therapies to ensure a holistic approach to treatment and recovery that addresses the mind, the body, and the spirit.

An aftercare program is individualized and set in place after the successful completion of treatment. Aftercare programs include ongoing therapy, participation in recovery groups, and other programs that address individual needs and promote skills and strategies to help patients cope with stress, identify and avoid high-risk situations, and manage cravings.

To begin your recovery safely, contact Drug Treatment Centers New Smyrna at 386-206-3250.

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