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  • Anthony Ciarrocchi

What You Need To Know About Dual Diagnosis

Those suffering from dual diagnosis are medically diagnosed with two or more co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Mental health concerns such as depression, PTSD, Bipolar, and other disorders coexist with an active substance abuse issue. Inpatient treatment centers offering Dual Diagnosis treatment are continuously making progress on effective methods to treat all those suffering from co-occurring disorders.


Those suffering from dual diagnosis often only seek treatment for one of the issues presenting problems in their lives. According to Sober College, School of Addiction Studies


34% of those suffering from dual diagnosis issues receive treatment for Mental Health Disorders, 2% receive treatment for substance abuse, and 12% receive treatment for both substance abuse and mental health disorders.


dual diagnosis rehab
Source: LA Valley Recovery

How Common Is Dual Diagnosis

According to NIDA, 7.7 million adults suffer from co-occurring disorders. Of the 20.3 million individuals that reported substance abuse issues, 37.9% also struggle with mental health disorders. The link between mental health and substance abuse is a continuously growing issue, but help can be provided to those searching for help.


What Are The Barriers To Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

Each individual has different barriers to treatment based on their specific situation. According to the panel conducted by NIDA, there are various barriers for individuals who are considering treatment, such as:

● 52.2% said they could not afford the cost.

● 23.8% said they did not know where to go for treatment.

● 23.0% said they could handle the problem without treatment. ● 13.6% said they feared being committed.

● 12.4% said it might cause their neighbors to have a negative opinion of them. ● 11.1% said they did not think treatment would help.

● 10.6% said they did not have the time.

● 10.1% said they were concerned about confidentiality.


abuse and mental health
Source: NIDA.NIH.gov

Of the adults that reported co-occurring disorders but did not receive treatment for substance abuse:

38.4% said they were not ready to stop using.

35.1% said they had no health insurance and could not afford the cost.

13.1% said it might cause their neighbors to have a negative opinion of them. 13.0% said it might have a negative effect on their job.

11.5% said they did not know where to go for treatment.

9.9% said they had insurance, but it did not cover the treatment cost. 9.0% said no program had the treatment type needed.


Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment Is Important

Substance abuse and mental illness are disorders that seem to go hand in hand. Substance abuse can contribute to the emergence of a mental illness and vice versa. They can also stem from genetics, surroundings, trauma, and other things. While trying to find life in recovery, it will be difficult to succeed without tending to substance abuse and mental health disorders.


The eight most common forms of mental disorders are PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, and Schizophrenia. With the vast majority of individuals suffering from any of these disorders while also having substance abuse issues, it is extremely important to treat all disorders together. Leaving one or the other untreated will almost always create further issues in the future.


co-occurring mental health
Source: LA Valley Recovery

How It’s Treated

Dual Diagnosis treatment focuses on two issues. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders. Treatment for both has similarities and differences. Working with licensed clinicians and medical professionals will be crucial to the recovery process from dual-diagnosis disorders. The beginning stages of mental health and substance abuse diagnosis to group/individual group therapy have proven to be highly effective in treating those suffering from dual diagnosis issues.


Substance Abuse Treatment

Treatment for substance abuse begins with identifying the different substances being abused and the severity of usage. Treatment centers should begin with a prescreen, which will help the treatment centers' medical and clinical teams prepare for your arrival. Different substances require different approaches when it comes to withdrawal management. The more information gathered, the better prepared the treatment center can be.

Detox focuses on withdrawal management and stabilization. Once the withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, you will be moved to the Residential level of care.

The residential treatment process introduces coping skills and methods used for relapse prevention and the continued growth of life skills. You will meet with a therapist, psychiatrist, and MD during this time to identify any issues to be worked on during treatment.



Treating Mental Health Disorders

One-on-one treatment with clinical team members such as therapists, psychiatrists, and case managers will monitor mental health disorders while applying medication to the mix.

There are those who choose the holistic route, which excludes standard medication. Regardless of whether you will take medication to assist in treating dual diagnosis issues, therapy and psychiatric methods have proven to be a “must-have” when treating mental health disorders. Understanding you are not alone is the first step to a new way of life.


Help Is Out There

It is common for people to think that they will never feel better. Struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders can spiral one's life out of control. The truth is that cycle of pain and suffering can end. It would be a lie to say that it will be easy, but when one can put some faith in


A better future, the path to get there becomes much easier. With the combination of medication, 12-Step fellowships, therapy, and residential inpatient treatment for dual diagnosis, the possibilities of a better future without substance abuse and treated mental health disorders are endless.


The negative stigma surrounding substance abuse treatment, medications, and therapy are those of the past. The proof is out there. These things work!


But you don’t have to struggle and fight addiction and a mental health concerns alone. LA Valley is here for you. Give us a call or visit our website to learn more. We’re here to help.


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