What are Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

What are Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual diagnosis disorders are very common. It is estimated that approximately 7.7 million Americans have dual diagnosis disorders. Despite its heavy prevalence, it’s estimated that only about 9.1% of people with dual diagnosis disorders actually receive the treatment they need. This number is very low. Unfortunately, part of the reason for this low number is the lack of treatment centers that offer dual diagnosis treatment. Having access to dual diagnosis treatment is very important to achieving long-term sobriety for many people. 


What are Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual diagnosis disorders, also known as co-occurring disorders, are two different disorders that are both present at the same time and cause distress in a person’s life. More specifically, this is often a co-occurring substance use disorder and another mental health disorder. The most common mental disorders to be present alongside substance use disorders include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Alcohol, tobacco, opioids, stimulants, marijuana, hallucinogens, and prescription drugs are the most common substances that are abused alongside these mental disorders. 


What Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Mean?

In the past, the standard practice has been to treat substance use disorders and mental health disorders separately, with the idea that they are separate classes of disorders. While the disorders are different, research has found that this approach does not present with the best outcomes. Dual diagnosis treatment means treating both the substance use disorder and the mental health disorder at the same time. Dual diagnosis treatment centers will often offer medication management, including medication-assisted treatment, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and aftercare programs. Each of these services will tailor to both disorders utilizing treatment modalities that have been found to be helpful with both substance use disorders and mental illnesses. Examples of the most common treatment modalities used for dual diagnosis include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Assertive Community Treatment, Therapeutic Communities, and Motivational Interviewing. 


Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important in Recovery?

There is not a clear answer as to whether the substance use disorder causes mental illness for people or vice versa. However, research studies do indicate that the symptoms of one type of disorder will exacerbate the other. For example, using substances may cause feelings of guilt or shame, leading to feelings of depression. These feelings of depression may lead the individual to self-medicate by using drugs again. It becomes a vicious cycle that can get messy. Because these symptoms are so intertwined, it’s important to treat both diagnoses at the same time. Treatment techniques used to treat dual diagnosis conditions equip the individual with skills that they can apply to manage their symptoms of both diagnoses. Therefore, dual diagnosis treatment is recommended for anyone who has co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health concerns. Research has found many benefits to providing dual diagnosis treatment rather than treating them separately. These benefits include reduced or discontinued substance use, improvement in psychiatric symptoms and functioning, increased chance for successful treatment and recovery for both disorders, improved quality of life, decreased hospitalization, reduced medication interactions, increased housing stability, and fewer arrests. 


How to Find a Dual Diagnosis Rehab Near Me

Brightside Recovery’s main goal is making sure that those struggling with substance use in the community receive the care they need to achieve long-term sobriety. Therefore, we have a variety of treatment options available to suit your needs, including dual diagnosis treatment, which is very important when it comes to treating co-occurring substance use and mental health-related disorders. 


At Brightside Recovery, we understand the obstacles that you face in day-to-day life when it comes to your addiction. We offer a variety of treatment programs and approaches to fit the needs of the individual seeking recovery. We have individual therapy, group therapy, and medication-assisted treatment available through our programs. After an outpatient program ends, we offer aftercare and relapse prevention support. We understand that your mental health diagnoses are just as important to treat as your addiction. We offer individually tailored treatment plans to address substance use and mental health during your treatment here. 

Contact us today to schedule an immediate appointment so you can get the help you deserve.

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