Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, describes the co-existence of a mental illness and a substance use disorder. A dual diagnosis requires careful management and treatment, with a range of detox and psychotherapy programs available to help people living with multiple conditions. To find out more about the dual diagnosis treatment options that are available, call Cleveland Drug Treatment Centers at (216) 453-4274.
Possible dual diagnosis scenarios include depression and alcoholism and methamphetamine abuse and psychosis, two conditions that require completely different treatment regimens. Other typical scenarios of co-existing disorders include depression and opioid abuse, anxiety disorders and benzodiazepine abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcoholism, and marijuana dependence and psychosis. Few of these relationships are linear, with complex bi-directional connections often existing between conditions.
Before starting a treatment program, doctors and clinicians will often try to differentiate between pre-existing mental problems and those induced by psychoactive substances. This distinction is often very difficult to make, with mental health problems and substance use often feeding into one another as both conditions develop over time. While psychiatric disorders will often dissipate with prolonged abstinence from psychoactive drugs, mental problems can sometimes stick around long after drug discontinuation. The relationship between substance use and mental health often exists as a form a feedback, with one condition influencing the other and vice versa.
Long-term mental health problems can also lead directly to substance misuse, with people self-medicating their condition over time and adversely affecting their mental condition as a result. While it is not always possible to define a linear causal relationship between disorders, the attempt to discover the underlying reasons for a dual diagnosis can shed light on treatment options and possible outcome scenarios. Depending on the substance of abuse, dual diagnosis conditions may require a medical detox period followed by behavioral therapy and relapse prevention programs.
Multiple links have been found between depression disorders and substance dependence, with depressed people more likely to suffer from alcoholism and opioid dependence among other conditions. There are many reasons why this might be the case, with some people using psychoactive substances to self-medicate their condition and others becoming depressed as a direct result of long-term addiction. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants have a particularly strong association with depressive illnesses, with alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates and opioids all causing depression on a physical level.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, any comprehensive plan designed to tackle depression and addiction problems should include these five goals: helping the patient understand the nature of depression, teaching the patient about the possibilities of transition, motivating the patient to make life changes, providing the patient with the skills needed to make changes, and helping the patient to identify and change unhealthy addictive behavior patterns. Each of these goals can be approached with counseling and behavioral therapy, with relapse prevention systems also playing a vital role in aftercare treatment.
There are generally believed to be four separate way to treat dual diagnosis patients, with doctors needing to evaluate each patient separately before starting a treatment plan. Primary treatment simply treats a single primary disorder, with the secondary disorder hopefully reacting to this primary treatment. Sequential treatment also treats the secondary disorder, but only when the primary disorder has been treated and the patient is stable. Parallel treatment deals with both conditions at the same time, with a second facility sometimes needed to treat the secondary disorder. Integrated treatment deals with both conditions as a unified whole, with no distinction made between primary and secondary disorders.
If you or someone you know needs dual diagnosis treatment, call Cleveland Drug Treatment Centers at (216) 453-4274 today for help finding treatment programs that will give you the support and resources you need for recovery.