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Drug addiction and substance abuse problems often co-occur with other health conditions and disorders. Dual diagnosis, or the co-occurrence of a mental health disorder and a drug addiction or substance abuse problem, is far more common nationwide, than anyone may think. When a person has a dual diagnosis, simply treating one condition or the other is not going to be sufficient to fully recover.
At Drug Treatment Centers Milford, we specialize in providing our dual diagnosis patients with integrative and comprehensive treatment options. To find out more about these treatment programs, call (203) 713-2573.
As previously noted, a person is dual diagnosed when they simultaneously have a drug addiction or alcohol abuse problem and a mental health (mood) disorder. The key to being dual diagnosed is that the conditions occur all at once. However, it is not implied that one of those conditions began before the other, or that one caused the other. That can go in either direction. Addiction can come first and/or cause a mental health disorder or a mental health disorder can come first and/or cause an addiction.
Any mental health or mood disorder can occur at the same time that a person is suffering from a substance abuse problem or drug addiction. However, because of the effects that certain drugs have on the body as well as the characteristics of certain mental health disorders, some occur together more often than others.
Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that involves the distortion of reality or abnormal perceptions of reality. A person with this disorder may experience auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations such as hearing voices, seeing people who are not there, or even feeling objects or people who are not there. Other symptoms of schizophrenia include an inability to concentrate or focus, an inability to feel or experience pleasure, and movement disorders involving either repeated movements or catatonia (a lack of movement or response entirely).
Depression is one of the most commonly found mental health disorders in the country in general, and is also one of the most commonly seen mental health disorders co-occurring with substance abuse problems and addiction. This mental health disorder is characterized by intense and prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, lethargy and a lack of energy, and even physical aches and pains.
A person who is dual diagnosed should receive simultaneous treatments for their mental health disorder and their drug addiction. These treatments can include:
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses both individual and group therapy sessions. It is designed to help a person learn about their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This learning process helps the person who is dual diagnosed deal with both their mental health disorder and their drug addiction by figuring out how all of these elements caused and relate to both disorders. Once a person learns what feelings and behaviors contribute to their conditions, they can develop alternatives and coping mechanisms to deal with their issues and recover from addiction and their mental health disorder.
Psychopharmacology is the use of prescription medications to treat a mental health disorder. When used as a treatment for a person who is dual diagnosed, this treatment is also carefully designed so as to avoid the development of further addictions or substance abuse problems. This means strictly controlled doses and medication types, as well as frequent check-ups with a doctor or psychiatrist.
Behavioral management techniques work on identifying patterns of behavior that lead up to abusing substances or having mental health episodes (such as poor eating or sleeping habits), and coming up with ways to replace those behaviors and cope with them that serve to avoid worsening feelings or behaviors.
Having a dual diagnosis does not mean that you cannot receive proper treatment for your drug addiction and/or your mental health disorder. Drug Treatment Centers Milford can help you to get treatment for both disorders. Call today at (203) 713-2573 to get started.
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