Dual diagnosis conditions bring out the worst in addiction and mental illness, leaving those affected helpless to take back control of their lives. Conditions like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia actually make a person more susceptible to drug abuse practices. On the flip side, someone engaging in chronic drug abuse faces a high risk of developing mental health problems.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 7.9 million American adults suffered from dual diagnosis conditions in 2014. By the time a person enters rehab center treatment, a dual diagnosis condition has likely done considerable damage to his or her well-being as well as disrupted important areas of daily life.
When treating someone affected by dual diagnosis, rehab centers employ a coordinated treatment approach that considers how these conditions interact with one another. Due to the high incidence of dual diagnosis among long-time drug users, rehab center programs have ample experience in helping those in recovery overcome the effects of addiction and mental illness.
Dual Diagnosis Components
Mental illness and addiction must be addressed together in order to make progress in recovery.
People affected by dual diagnosis conditions are struggling with two different brain diseases that interact in destructive ways. According to the University of Utah Health Services, both conditions interact with the same chemical pathways in the brain, and in the process reinforce each other’s symptom severity.
In effect, addiction and mental illness develop out of an imbalanced chemical environment in the brain. Consequently, either condition can predispose a person to developing the other. So someone struggling with depression can easily turn to drug abuse as a means for self-medicating uncomfortable symptoms. On the other hand, chronic drug abuse naturally breeds brain chemical imbalances, making for prime conditions for mental illness to develop.
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Rehab Center Treatment Protocols
The “dual” nature of dual diagnosis conditions requires an integrated approach in terms of treating both conditions together rather than separately. In effect, treating addiction without taking the effects of mental illness under consideration makes it more difficult to manage both conditions due to how the symptoms of both conditions overlap.
Mental health problems can be debilitating in and of themselves without the added complications that drug addiction brings and vice versa. In the absence of rehab center treatment help, the effects of dual diagnosis can quickly send a person’s life into a downward spiral leaving him or her unemployed, physically ill and even homeless. Through ongoing rehab center treatment, those in recovery can overcome the effects of dual diagnosis and take steps towards building normal, healthy lifestyles.
If you or someone you know are struggling with a dual diagnosis condition and have more questions, or need help finding a rehab center that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320Who Answers? to speak with one of our addictions specialists.
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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: ARK Behavioral Health, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.