Dual diagnosis is the existence of a mental health disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction. Before the 1990s, the conventional approach to addiction treatment took no account of co-existing mental disorders, treating them as a separate issue. The dual diagnosis theory, on the other hand, sees mental disorders as primarily responsible for the vulnerability that patients experience when it comes to addictive substances. Both addictions and mental health disorders mutually reinforce one another, and make relapse-free treatment nearly impossible.
The dual diagnosis approach is today considered the gold standard in scientifically designed addiction and rehabilitation. If you would like advice or more information on dual diagnosis treatment, please call Drug Treatment Centers Perth Amboy at (732) 226-8913.
There is a close link between mental illness and addiction. More than half of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol also suffer from serious mental disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other diseases were commonly seen among addicts.
Statistics on dual diagnosis or comorbidity, as researchers term it, can offer fascinating insights into the mysterious world of drug use, abuse and addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse publishes the following statistics in one pamphlet released to the public.
. Compared to the general population, those who suffer from a mood disorder are twice as likely to be marijuana abusers or addicts.
. Compared to those with no mental ailment, those with bipolar disorder are twice as likely to turn to nicotine.
Many studies have revealed that nicotine abuse runs as high as 90% among patients with schizophrenia (as compared to 10% among the general population). While the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse is certainly not as high, they tend to run to 50%. Researchers have found that drugs, alcohol and nicotine directly act on the parts of the brain that these mental disorders affect. In other words, when people turn to substance abuse, it is usually their way of self-medicating.
While drugs do not cause schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other serious mental disorders, they do bring about many of their symptoms. For instance, marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis. Other drugs cause the paranoia seen in schizophrenia, the mood swings seen in bipolar disorder, or simple depression.
In modern addiction science, the primary approach to treating patients suffering from addiction is to investigate for possible co-occurring mental disorders, and to treat with an overall plan. While the science of dual disorder treatment has been around for two decades now, it still hasn’t reached every corner of the rehab industry.
With extensive experience in dual diagnosis treatment, the professioanls at Drug Treatment Centers Perth Amboy understand how patients, once they complete primary medical detoxification and drug rehab, require extensive, ongoing therapy, counseling, testing and skills-training to reenter life, and cope with addictive impulses. If you’d like to speak to an expert about the dual diagnosis approach, call Drug Treatment Centers Perth Amboy at (732) 226-8913.
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