A dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorder) is the presence of a mental health disorder and substance abuse or addiction. A diagnosis of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other types of mental health conditions commonly occur with addiction.
Individuals with a dual diagnosis tend to have a higher rate of substance abuse than the general population. That’s why Daylight Recovery Services offers specialized inpatient drug treatment, to help those living with co-occurring disorders.
There are mental health disorders that are most commonly seen in individuals who suffer from addiction. In many people, mental health disorders led them to abuse substances, while others suffer mental health issues because of addiction. It is imperative not to ignore any signs of mental illness when a person is in treatment for addiction. In order to successfully treat an individual’s addiction issues, their mental health must also be addressed.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurological disorder generally diagnosed in childhood. People who suffer from ADHD have issues paying attention, sitting still, and controlling impulsive behaviors.
Individuals who suffer from ADHD are more likely to use drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of ADHD. Those who seek treatment for their ADHD may be prescribed stimulants to treat the symptoms of ADHD. No matter if a person is prescribed medication or they find drugs on the streets, they can become addicted.
Approximately 25% of adults who seek treatment for addiction also suffer from ADHD. Many treatment programs are designed to treat both addiction and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Addiction treatment programs for people with a dual-diagnosis of addiction and ADHD offer many forms of therapy that allows for healing of the complete person.
The symptoms of depression can lead many people to use drugs and alcohol to feel “normal”. Like many mental illnesses, substance abuse can lead to depression. The risk of addiction in individuals who cope with depression by consuming drugs and alcohol is extremely high.
Using drugs and alcohol to treat the debilitating symptoms of depression may make a person feel better in the beginning. But in reality, drugs and alcohol only exacerbate the symptoms of depression. The risk of suicide in a person with depression is about 10%. When drugs and alcohol are combined with depression, it raises the risk of suicide to about 25%.
A co-occurring disorder of depression and addiction is treated with a combination of medication and therapy. The use of both medication and therapy in treatment has shown to be successful in controlling the symptoms of depression and changing the negative thoughts and behaviors that lead to addiction.
An individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder has thoughts and worries that consume every aspect of their life. The effects of OCD can interfere with a person’s day-to-day routine and responsibilities. The intrusive thoughts and time-consuming rituals can lead to unemployment, failing in school, and isolation.
A person may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of OCD, but these substances can make the symptoms worse. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause the following “quirks”:
People with OCD know their actions are unreasonable, but they cannot stop. The embarrassment caused by OCD leads many individuals to isolate themselves.
Treating a dual-diagnosis of OCD and addiction uses multi-faceted therapeutic approaches. The most effective form of therapy in those with OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
This type of therapy is used to resolve the intrusive and repetitive thoughts of OCD. CBT empowers a person to identify negative beliefs and replace them with positive thoughts and behaviors.
The characteristics of schizophrenia are delusional thinking and hallucinations, a severe neurological disorder; schizophrenia causes a break in reality and the individual’s experience. A cluster of conditions plays a roll in schizophrenia. There are several forms of schizophrenia based on a person’s dominant symptoms.
The rate of substance use disorder in people with schizophrenia is almost 50% higher than in people without schizophrenia. The most commonly abused substances in people with schizophrenia are alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.
It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia when an individual has a substance use disorder because the signs can look identical. Common signs and symptoms include:
Treating a dual diagnosis of addiction and schizophrenia is treated with medication management and multiple forms of therapy.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic event. Events that can lead to PTSD include military combat, physical or sexual abuse, and witnessing a violent crime. Individuals who seek treatment for PTSD are 14% more likely to also suffer from a substance use disorder.
An individual with PTSD produces fewer endorphins. These endorphins are what produce the chemicals that make a person feel happy. So individuals suffering from PTSD self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to feel happy again. The continued use of drugs and alcohol to mask the symptoms of PTSD can lead to addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals with PTSD as their co-occurring condition. People will learn to confront their trauma and develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent turning to drugs and alcohol. Keeping physically active during treatment has also shown to help battle addiction.
Bipolar disorder causes mood swings that vary between the highest of high to the lowest of low. The episodes of bipolar disorder can last for days or weeks, and some episodes can last months. The symptoms of bipolar disorder lead many people to turn to drugs and alcohol, but this can make symptoms much worse. In some cases, individuals with no history of mental illness have been diagnosed with substance-induced bipolar disorder.
Eating disorders like addiction can quickly get out of control. These disorders have become the deadliest form of mental illness, with almost 30 million Americans suffering from it. Eating disorders are defined as life-threatening abnormal eating. Women are more likely to suffer from an eating disorder than men.
Types of eating disorders include:
Many eating disorders are not clinically recognized. Included is the trend of chewing food and spitting it out. Delusional thinking justifies the thinking that they will not consume the calories if they do not swallow.
The rate of substance use disorder is almost 50% higher in people with an eating disorder than in individuals who do not. It is vital to treat both the eating disorder and the substance use disorder. A person will just relapse into both disorders.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 45% of Americans struggle with co-occurring disorders. Individuals with mental health disorders are 50% more likely to suffer from a substance use disorder than the general public. Many individuals turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health disorders, but this inevitably worsens symptoms. In some cases, mental health disorders and addiction can co-occur.
Addiction and the co-occurring disorder need to be treated in tandem to successfully reach sobriety. If not, the outcome may not be a positive one. When treated for only addiction, those with a co-occurring disorder are likely to drop out of drug treatment centers early or experience a relapse.
Most alcohol and drug rehab programs that specifically treat co-occurring disorders understand that an intensive, highly personal approach is needed. Co-occurring treatment centers tailor each treatment plan to the client’s diagnosis, medical history, emotional condition, and psychological needs.
To treat both conditions successfully, Daylight Recovery Services offers personalized, integrated treatment services at our drug treatment center in Riverside County. We begin with a complete neuropsychological evaluation. This will help us determine the client’s unique needs and potential barriers to recovery.
We can then develop a customized program, which may include the following:
At Daylight Recovery Services, we know that recovery is a lifelong process of growth and self-discovery. And for those with co-occurring disorders, ongoing therapeutic support may be needed. Daylight Recovery is here to help if you or someone you love is ready to start down the right path to sobriety. Have a question, or need more information? Contact Daylight Recovery Services today.