Nonetheless, mental conditions are commonplace, as approximately 26% of Americans suffer from diagnosable mental health disorders each year. Roughly 9.5% of Americans have a depressive illness, such as major depression or bipolar. In the state of Florida, over 2.8 million adults have a mental health disorder. To add insult to injury, many individuals battle mental health conditions and substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, eight million Americans suffer from drug and alcohol addiction while facing mental health disorders.
Understanding the Term Dual Diagnosis
The term “dual diagnosis” refers to two or more concurrent conditions, most notably substance abuse and mental illness. Many healthcare professionals call these concurrent conditions “comorbid” since mental health plays a role in addiction and vice versa. For instance, someone suffering from seasonal depression may abuse alcohol to cope with negative thoughts and loneliness. On the other hand, a person with a heroin addiction may experience depression and heightened anxiety during the withdrawal process.
The Most Common Concurrent Conditions
Dual diagnosis is an umbrella term that refers to various combinations of mental illness and substance abuse. Each case is different, and some individuals may have multiple addictions and mental health disorders. Some of the most common dual diagnosis conditions include:
- OTC weight-loss pills and eating disorders
- Alcoholism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Drugs and schizophrenia
- Alcohol and bipolar
- Depression and cocaine
- Various drugs and personality disorders
Any combination of the above concurrent conditions warrants personalized care in a substance abuse treatment program that supports the dual diagnosis. United Recovery Project is proud to offer personalized dual diagnosis treatment programs in South Florida.
The Correlation Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Although there are many theories, scientists have yet to find the exact reason why mental health and substance abuse go hand-in-hand. Research shows that drug use typically starts during one’s youth – the same time signs of mental illness can appear. Teenhood is a vulnerable time because the brain is still developing, and the decision-making functions are the last to mature. Therefore, early drug use can make individuals more susceptible to substance abuse disorders and mental illness. This is especially true amongst teens who have genetic predispositions. Teenagers with mental health disorders and addictions need extra support transitioning into adulthood.
Even if you’re not a teen, you’re still at risk of developing mental health disorders while facing substance abuse. For example, young adults may battle severe depression or anxiety during their 20s. As a result, they may begin using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism – a way to numb their negative emotions. However, drugs can trigger mental health conditions, such as substance-induced anxiety disorder – a condition that causes panic, restlessness, and nervousness triggered by drug use. Substance-induced anxiety disorders cause one to experience various unpleasant symptoms, such as trouble swallowing, weight loss, and hot flashes.
Is ADHD a Sign of Dual Diagnosis?
Recent numbers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 6.1 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Now, you might be wondering, what does childhood ADHD have to do with dual diagnosis? Researchers have found that numerous children have ADHD but don’t receive a formal diagnosis. Two of ADHD’s common symptoms include the inability to concentrate and hyperactivity – two catalysts that can trigger substance abuse disorders. Adolescents and young adults suffering from substance abuse disorder and ADHD need a combination of medication and structured therapies to treat their concurrent conditions.
However, receiving treatment for ADHD at a young age is often a double-edged sword. While prescription medication can effectively treat the symptoms of ADHD, it can also lead to addiction. Therefore, many physicians recommend a combination of therapies paired with prescription medication.
A Glance at Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Effective dual diagnosis treatment considers mental health disorders and substance abuse. The goal is to treat both conditions holistically without taking a piecemeal approach. If you treat addiction but fail to address one’s mental health, the mental health disorder could cause the addiction to return. The same applies to treating mental illness without focusing on substance abuse. One of the most challenging parts of dual diagnosis is getting addicts to recognize that they suffer from mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. Many individuals think their mental health issues will solve themselves when they treat their addictions, but that’s not the case.
Do You Have a Dual Diagnosis?
The first step of dual diagnosis treatment is identifying the concurrent conditions. Many addiction professionals receive training to help them recognize substance abuse disorders and mental illness. However, healthcare professionals who don’t specialize in substance abuse may not be able to pinpoint a dual diagnosis. In some cases, patients may display signs of mental health disorders (i.e., depression) and then disclose that they consume drugs. But, it’s not always that simple. Addictions and mental health disorders often go unrecognized, and some people don’t want to admit they’re struggling with the two conditions.
If you use drugs and (or) alcohol habitually and show symptoms commonly associated with mental health conditions, there’s an excellent chance that you have a dual diagnosis.
Treat Your Dual Diagnosis with United Recovery Project
Overcoming addiction is challenging as it is, but it’s even more cumbersome when you suffer from a concurrent mental health disorder. Our team has the resources and skillset to create a personalized treatment plan supporting your mental health and addiction recovery. In addition to our South Florida dual diagnosis treatment program, we also offer drug and alcohol detox, addiction therapy programs, women’s addiction rehab, and men’s addiction rehab. You’ll enjoy luxurious amenities while you build a support system and start the path to long-term sobriety.
Are you suffering from addiction and mental illness? Our staff is ready to provide you with the support you need in our Florida dual diagnosis program.
to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program.