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Dual Diagnosis – Albany

Dual diagnosis is when a person has a mood disorder, such as bipolar or depression, combined with a drug and/or alcohol problem. It is important to realize that someone with a dual diagnosis has two distinct illnesses. These illnesses each require their own separate treatment plan. Dual diagnosis is treatable. It can affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and economic status. Some people with dual diagnosis may self-medicate to cover up symptoms of a mood disorder.

Drug Rehab Centers Albany can help those who are struggling with a dual diagnosis find various treatment facilities for their needs.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Combinations

There is a strong link between mental health issues and drug use or abuse. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2010, 45 percent of people with an addiction also have a co-occurring disorder. In addition, dualdiagnosis.org states that up to 65.5 percent of people with a substance dependency disorder had at least one mental disorder. Additionally, over half of those with a mental disorder also struggled with at least one substance abuse disorder.

Specific mental health disorders can be linked to addiction. In many instances, a person’s genetic background an environment, along with personality tendencies, can contribute to these coexisting conditions. Combinations include:

  • Eating Disorders and Addiction – Substance abuse can develop before, after, or during treatment for an eating disorder. It’s also possible that some people develop an eating disorder after using a substance that suppresses appetite and causes significant weight loss. Many people with an eating disorder abuse alcohol. Other common substance abuse issues include cocaine, crack, hallucinogens, ecstasy, thyroid medications, and steroids. They may also abuse over-the-counter drugs such as laxatives, diuretics, and weight loss supplements.
  • Depression and Addiction – Depression and addiction are commonly occurring disorders. Alcohol is especially common as it is a central nervous system depressant. When using alcohol, someone of depression often experiences relief from symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, and lethargy.
  • OCD and Addiction – Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by repeated behavior and compulsive rituals. People suffering from this disorder are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the overwhelming anxiety and fear they often experience. This is more common among those who first experience OCD symptoms in childhood or adolescence.
  • PTSD and Addiction – Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when someone experiences excessive stress or anxiety after witnessing or participating in a traffic event, such as natural disasters or military combat. According to dualdiagnosis.org, over 50 percent of PTSD sufferers experience alcohol dependence, while 30 percent experience drug dependence.
  • Anxiety and Addiction – People suffering from anxiety and panic disorder frequently turned to drugs or alcohol to help calm themselves down or to quell their fears of a possible attack. These individuals frequently turned to alcohol and drugs to escape their symptoms.

Alcohol and/or drugs often accompany mental illness as a means of escape or coping. While the person may initially rely on these substances periodically for relief, they can end up becoming addicted or find themselves abusing the drug.

Available Dual Diagnosis Treatment

It is common for mental illness to encourage people to use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Although using these substances often makes these conditions worse, drug and alcohol users continue their habits because they develop an addiction. It is also possible for an addiction to cause a mental health disorder to present itself when the person has never experienced symptoms before.

The following treatments are available for these conditions:

  • Psychopharmacology – this may involve using prescription medications such as methadone or Suboxone to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Psychotherapy – cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to replace negative thoughts and actions related to drug use with positive ones, is a common type of psychotherapy.
  • Behavioral Management – individual and group counseling can help as can meetings such as AA or NA.

Anyone suffering from addiction, whether it’s in addition to mental health issue or not, can benefit from after care services. This refers to services provided by treatment centers to help reduce the risk of a relapse after the person has completed their treatment program. Call Drug Rehab Centers Albany at (518) 626-8505 today.

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