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6 Things to Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment aims to create a treatment approach that incorporates the latest in addiction care together with proven methods to manage and treat the other mental disorder. Co-occurring mental disorders affects around 7.9 million people in the U.S., based on a 2014 estimate by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 06 2023 | Updated Jan 24 2024

6 Facts About Co-Occurring Mental Disorders and Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In this article, six facts about dual diagnosis will be discussed to help you better understand the condition.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

What is dual diagnosis? Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a situation where an individual is diagnosed with two co-occurring mental disorders with one of them being addiction, which is considered to be a mental disease. The co-occurrence of two mental health problems, such as addiction coupled with bi-polar, present a unique challenge in treatment as the mental disorders often interact with each other.

The following looks at six interesting facts about dual diagnosis treatment.

1. A Wide Spectrum of Disorders

To be diagnosed with dual diagnoses, a person can have a wide spectrum of mental disorders with a variety of different addictions. Dual diagnosis treatment is not limited to just one pairing of disorders. An addiction to gambling, drugsalcohol and sex among others can occur with mental disorders including depression, bi-polar, PTSD, eating disorders and anxiety disorders among others.

2. Dual Diagnosis is Common

At dual diagnosis rehab centers, as much as half of the people with addiction that are treated also have an additional mental disorder. The co-occurrence of mental disorders is in fact very common among drug and alcohol addicts.

3. Mental Illness Increases the Risk of Addiction

A person with bi-polar, depression or another mental disorder is at a much higher risk of developing an addiction than an average person. This is partly due to the person using drugs or alcohol as a way to treat their disorder. Mental disorders also make a person more prone to other dysfunctions, such as addiction.

4. Not All Rehabs are Equal

Not every rehab is able to properly treat a dual diagnosis case. Only dual diagnosis rehab centers that are specifically geared toward treating such a condition should be used help make the treatment more successful and prevent relapse. Since the mental disorders in a dual diagnosis treatment often work off each other, such as depression causing alcohol abuse, not treating both at the same time can cause a relapse.

5. Dual Diagnosis Can Take Longer to Complete

Since there are multiple disorders present, the treatment becomes more complicated and thus more time consuming. Rehab is not a quick fix for addiction, and certain mental disorders can take months to properly manage. Patience may be required to see the treatment to its completion.

6. Difficulty in Treatment

As previously stated, the co-occurrence of mental disorders makes the treatment plan more complex. Additionally, some of the symptoms may be difficult to diagnose, such as separating depression as a withdrawal symptom from depression due to a mental disorder. These challenges are better met with patience and a qualified treatment facility in order to work through the intricacies involved with improving a patient’s mental health in the long-term.

Co-occurring mental disorders may be common in addicts, but it is perfectly treatable through the right kind of treatment program. Better Addiction Care is able to help you find the ideal rehab center that is able to help you with your or a loved one’s needs. Call them today at (800) 429-7690.



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