What is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis treatment centers are specialized treatment centers that assess for two conditions potentially happening at the same time.
A dual diagnosis is two medical issues that can affect each other.
Over 50% of people with an addiction also have a mental illness.
Assessing for any mental illness, and effectively treating it gives you the best chances to remain sober.
Untreated mental illnesses can raise your risk for a relapse. It can also make applying the tools you are learning in recovery more difficult.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 10% of American adults have had a drug use disorder at some point in their lives, yet 75% went untreated.
In addition, adults with a substance abuse disorder were much more likely to be suffering from a co-occurring mental illness.
Addiction and Mental Health
Increasing awareness of the high prevalence of untreated addiction and untreated mental health disorders has led many addiction professionals to call for greater integration of care.
Sometimes a mental health professional may not adequately screen for an addiction, or an addiction center may not address mental health issues.
Finding a center that provides both is critical to your success in gaining control of your addiction.
Some examples of co-occurring mental disorders include anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and bipolar disorder.
Addiction to drugs or alcohol is also considered a mental illness. It is not a choice — it is a medical condition. It affects normal behaviors, relationships, and financial stability.
The complexity and risk of addiction are worsened by untreated mental illness.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Dual diagnosis treatment centers can customize your recovery by integrating treatment for both addiction and mental health disorders.
We will spend the time to understand your addiction, your history, and any current issues.
If additional mental illnesses are uncovered, we will effectively treat that, along with your addiction.
We want to help you heal from all issues that may affect your recovery from addiction.
There are identified risk factors for the development of both issues. Some of these risk factors include the below:
- Age at time of substance abuse
The earlier substance abuse begins, the greater the harm on the developing brain. As the neuronal connections are developing, harming those connections to the reward center can have long-term damaging effects and increase addiction risk later in life. Before the brain fully matures in our 20s, teenagers cannot fully assess long-term risk and may engage in higher-risk behaviors.
- Environment or home situation
Any abuse, neglect, or learned alcohol use in the home environment can normalize harmful behavior. Untreated traumas are also linked to substance abuse and lingering mental health issues later.
- Severity of addiction
Significant substance abuse can alter brain function and lead to developing a mental health issue, where one may not have been present previously.
- Hereditary factors
Addiction runs in families. A genetic component has been confirmed to be a large risk factor for developing addiction between family members.
What is the Link Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness?
An undiagnosed and untreated mental illness can affect how you relate to others and how you make choices.
At times, these disorders go unrecognized as long as you remain functional. Only when enough damage is done are some of these issues discovered.
When addiction takes hold, it becomes the more obvious problem.
If addiction is treated, and the underlying mental illness continues, the risk for relapse is high.
A cycle of self-destruction can happen when you are suffering from both.
Mental illness may lead to substance abuse as a way to self-treat uncomfortable feelings. Continued substance abuse can worsen mental illness by affecting judgment and thought processes. Long-term substance abuse can alter brain function and worsen mental illness. With progressive mental illness, substance abuse increases.
The cycle continues unchecked until there is significant physical harm. Treating both is essential for long-term health and sobriety.
Some signs of both mental illness and addiction are:
- Withdrawal symptoms that occur on a regular basis
- Decreasing motivation
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Weight changes
- Financial problems
- Job loss
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Paranoia or anxiety
- A decrease in personal hygiene
- Focused only on themselves
- Red eyes or small pupils
- Not taking medications as directed
In 2011, it was estimated that less than 15% of Americans who had a dual diagnosis received appropriate treatment.
Improved awareness of the link between mental illness and addiction is changing that statistic.
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we are committed to appropriate and thorough assessment to prevent any untreated illnesses.
We know that you can control your addiction and find long-term peace and serenity when you are functioning at your best.
Many disorders can occur at the same time as an addiction. Some examples are below:
- ADHD and alcohol
- Depression and alcohol
- Marijuana and depression
- Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta and ADHD
- Cocaine and ADHD
- Anxiety and Xanax
- Marijuana and anxiety
- Cocaine and Xanax and depression
- Alcohol and Concerta and anxiety
- Other polysubstance combinations
- Bipolar and alcohol and cocaine
- Anorexia and cocaine
- PTSD and alcohol
Understanding Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers
Treating any co-occurring mental illness during addiction treatment is the best time to address the issues in many ways.
During inpatient treatment, you are monitored closely for any side effects from medications. You can have your response assessed during individual counseling without driving to every appointment. You can discuss your progress with group and individual therapy. You can build motivation to take your medications as prescribed, even when you may not want to.
You may have self-medicated in the past with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to manage uncomfortable social situations, stress at work, or to deal with issues in your past. You do not have to do that any longer. We can work with you to target your issues and treat those for you.
Some goals of therapy include re-establishing honesty in relationships, trust, and forgiveness within the family, job success, self-motivation, finding sober and supportive friends, and providing service to others. These are possible when all barriers to sobriety are assessed and removed.
Treating any underlying mental health issues is one of the largest barriers that can lead to relapse.
If you want help but are concerned about costs, let us work with you to discuss options that fit your budget.
One call allows us to research all payment options at no cost to you.
We offer free insurance verification and can assist in navigating the payment terms and conditions.
Receiving treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment center can ultimately save you money.
Successful treatment of both your addiction and mental health disorder(s) will lower your risk for relapse and help you reach long-term success.
Your health is the best investment you can make for yourself.
How to Get Help
Help is available to you right at this moment.
One phone call can begin a new investment in your health and wellness.
Reach out to us today for an evaluation and discussion about options for you.
It is unlikely that your situation will improve without active steps in place to help you recover.
We are experts in dual diagnosis treatment centers and know the steps for a successful recovery.
Let us share these with you and open up your life to new possibilities.
North Jersey Recovery Center offers inpatient services plus an intensive outpatient program, which can help you transition successfully from inpatient to your new life on your own.