Dual diagnosis is defined by the coinciding, organized treatment of those with both substance abuse issues and mental illness. Statistics from the Journal of the American Medical Association show approximately 50% of individuals with serious mental disorders are also affected by substance abuse. Twenty-nine percent of people diagnosed with mental illness also abuse either alcohol or drugs.
Treating behavioral health issues and substance issues concurrently is the best method to overcome either. The rate of recovery is radically better when co-occurring disorders are treated simultaneously. Sustained rates of recovery are significantly better when mental health and substance abuse treatment is rendered from the same source, to avoid mismatched treatment plans and inconvenience.
Pacific Medical Care specializes as a dual diagnosis treatment center in San Diego – aiding women and men who suffer with drug, alcohol, and other addictions that are co-existing with mental health issues including, anxiety, depression, PTSD, bi-polar disorder, trauma and more. Our compassionate and understanding staff provides guidance and support so that patients can began to heal from their root issues.
Upon beginning treatment at our premier facility, patients go through a comprehensive clinical analysis to determine where they are in the addiction process. Psychological, medical, and substance abuse histories are assessed to cultivate an individualized program designed to achieve long-term recovery. Patients will participate in a combination of individual and family therapy, behavioral health group therapy, and relapse prevention sessions.
Patients afflicted with mental illness and substance abuse must be given the opportunity to recover in their own time, although a modest pace of recovery shouldn’t prohibit beginning treatment. Pacific Bay Recovery treats patients with dual disorders with exemplary care that extends beyond ordinary counseling or medication, thus improving the odds for lifelong recovery and a happy and fulfilling life.
FAQs on Dual Diagnosis and Treatment
‘Dual diagnosis’ is the medical term used to describe an incident where a person has both a mental health issue and a substance abuse problem. Dealing with addiction is not easy, and it can be extremely difficult for people who struggle with a mental health problem. However, treatment can help.
What mental health disorders are often seen along with substance abuse?
Many people suffer from mental health problems. Commonly occurring issues include anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
What causes dual diagnosis?
With a dual diagnosis, both the substance addiction and the mental health issue have their own unique symptoms. These symptoms affect the person’s ability to function, relate to others, and handle life’s difficulties. These co-occurring disorders interact and affect each other. If the mental health problem is not treated, the substance abuse issue can get worse. The same goes for substance abuse, which makes the mental health issue worsen.
Addiction is very common among people with mental health issues. However, one does not directly cause the other. Alcohol and drugs are often used by people to self-medicate anxiety and depression symptoms. However, these mental disorders are caused by a complex interplay of the environment and genetics. Regardless, use of substances do make mental health problems worse.
Is addiction common among people with mental health problems?
According to the American Medical Association, around 50% of people with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse. Additionally, of those diagnosed with a mental condition, around 30% use either drugs or alcohol.
How is a dual diagnosis identified?
Recognizing co-occurring disorders can often be difficult for healthcare providers. Complicating this issue is denial, which is common among substance abusers. For mental disorders, denial poses an issue as well. Many people are ashamed of their condition and fear being viewed as weak or inept.
What are the signs and symptoms of substance abuse?
If you are concerned you have a dual diagnosis, ask yourself the following questions. The more “yes” answers you give, the more likely you have a problem.
- Have you tried to cut back but can’t?
- Have you wanted to stop drug use or drinking?
- Do you ever lie about how often or how much you use drugs or drink?
- Have family members and friends expressed concern about your substance use?
- Do you feel guilty, ashamed, or bad about your substance use?
- Have you ever blacked out after drinking or using a drug?
- Have you ever said something you later regretted when you were under the influence of a substance?
- Has drinking or drug use caused you trouble with the law?
- Does your drinking or drug use cause you relationship problems?
What are the signs and symptoms of a co-occurring mental health disorder?
Mental health problems associated with a dual diagnosis include:
- Depression – Feeling hopeless and helpless, loss of interest in usual things, weight and appetite changes, guilt, worthlessness, concentration problems, and loss of energy.
- Bipolar disorder – Extreme irritability, feelings of euphoria, grandiose beliefs, decreased desire for sleep, increased energy, rapid speech, racing thoughts, impaired judgment, impulsivity, and anger.
- Anxiety – Sleeplessness, irritability, trouble concentrating, racing heart, trouble breathing, feeling on edge, jumpiness, muscle tension, and headaches.
How is dual diagnosis treated?
The best treatment for dual diagnosis involves an integrated approach, where both the mental disorder and the substance abuse are treated simultaneously. Therapies involved in treatment include:
- Coping skills and strategies to minimize or stop substance abuse.
- Basic education on the mental disorder and related problems.
- Learning decision-making process and strategies for change.
- Identifying triggers to substance abuse.
- Social skills training to strengthen your relationships.