Magnolia Medical Group provides dual-diagnosis treatment in Denver to help you find freedom and recovery from substance abuse. Call us today!
If you have a suspicion that your anxiety disorder, bipolar diagnosis, or recurrent depression is closely linked to your substance abuse disorder, you may be correct. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, those with a mental illness have a much higher risk of having an addiction problem — and vice versa.
The high rate of comorbidity between substance abuse and mental illness is so common that outpatient treatment programs at Magnolia Medical Group anticipate that a large portion of individuals seeking help for addiction will also be struggling with underlying mental health disorders. Having both addiction and mental illness is often referred to as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Read on to learn more about dual diagnosis, how it is treated, and why it is crucial to address both aspects of a person’s healing process in an addiction treatment program to prevent relapse and ensure long-lasting recovery.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Having a dual diagnosis means that a patient is dealing with two or more disorders at the same time. In this case, we mean both a mental illness and an addiction to a particular substance. They can be treated together, which is often essential for successful treatment and to improve the physical and mental health of the patient.
Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Patients considering dual diagnosis treatment centers may be learning about their mental health condition at the same time they realize they need help for addiction — or they may have been with mental illness such as depression for a prolonged period, but now it’s taken a turn for the worse. This may have led this person to cope by using drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medication to get their symptoms under control. Below are several conditions that have been linked to drug and alcohol abuse.
Dual Diagnosis Conditions
People drink and use drugs for a wide variety of reasons. If you have a diagnosis that makes it difficult for you to calm down, concentrate, or regulate the sensory input your brain receives, you may be more likely to drink than those who do not. Those who are dually diagnosed may be struggling with one of the following mental health conditions or personality disorders:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Borderline Personality
Why Dual Diagnosis Care Matters
If the root cause of an illness or addiction goes untreated, outpatient and professional treatment programs for other issues will be less effective. Ignoring a mental illness such as severe depression in favor of only attending group therapy for alcohol abuse may lead to a deeper depression and/or relapse. Likewise, focusing on a patient’s addiction over the panic attacks they self-medicate for may eventually lead to greater substance abuse problems.
It’s important to care for the whole person when addressing an addiction and substance abuse problem. Treating a mental illness, providing counseling for ADHD symptoms, or addressing long-standing PTSD may be the key to breaking the addiction cycle for many patients.
Why Do Mental Disorders and Addiction Go Hand in Hand?
Researchers believe that many components of both addiction and mental health conditions are genetic. According to a large study at Washington University’s School of Medicine, scientists found one particular gene that raises the risk of developing both types of conditions. They found several other genes that may also be linked to the development of alcohol use disorders.
These researchers also concluded that many of the same genes influence both conditions, and they linked disorders such as ADHD and schizophrenia to addictive tendencies. Other types of addiction, like cigarette smoking, may be linked to these genes as well — but these researchers are still figuring out how much and how strongly these genetic components influence activities such as smoking cigarettes and cannabis.
In short, if your parent was an alcoholic, this means that you have a higher chance of developing an addiction yourself — and it may mean that you are more vulnerable to mental illness, too. Mental illness may also increase the vulnerability to addiction as drugs and alcohol. are frequently used as a first attempt at self-medicating the loneliness and emptiness of depression, the rapidly shifting moods of bipolar disorder, and the symptoms of panic and insomnia frequently accompany PTSD.
Important Facts about Dual Diagnosis Treatment
It’s crucial to note that while counseling for addiction may not help your co-occuring mental illnesses, the reverse is also true: Medication alone will not make the cravings for an addictive substance disappear. Those with a dual diagnosis need comprehensive treatment of both disorders to recover. Severe depression or anxiety may have driven you to drink, but treating it is not the only step to recovery. Several options, including medication-assisted treatment programs that utilize naltrexone and suboxone, can help you decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Magnolia Medical Group Is Here for Addiction Recovery
Get in touch with Magnolia Medical Group today if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or difference or suspect that you are a good candidate for a thorough mental health assessment. Our team can help you navigate the diagnosis process and integrate your mental health condition into your unique treatment plan for addiction.