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What Is the Relationship Between Dual Diagnosis and Substance Use?

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About half of the individuals with mental health problems also struggle with substance use.  On the other hand, people with substance use disorders may develop mental disorders.  The co-occurring disorders are referred to as dual diagnosis.

In either case, these conditions interact with one another, and as a result, both problems can worsen.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

The term dual diagnosis refers to individuals who have a mental disorder together with a substance use problem.  There is no obvious cause-and-effect relationship between the disorders, yet they often occur simultaneously.  

Why Do Addiction and Mental Health Disorders Occur Together?

Typically, the two disorders occur at the same time for the following reasons:

  • Common risk factors that contribute to both disorders such as stress, genetics, and trauma.
  • People with mental disorders often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
  • Substance abuse affects the brain in ways that can cause a mental disorder.

Whether mental problems caused substance use or substance use caused mental health issues is difficult to pinpoint.  Most important is that the disorders receive simultaneous treatment for the best outcome.

What Are Some Examples of Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis can involve several different mental health disorders.  For instance, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and behavioral disorders to name a few.  Generally, people with these disorders rely on drugs or alcohol to help them cope.  

Several of the most frequently treated dual diagnoses include:

  • Anxiety and benzodiazepine addiction
  • Depression and alcohol addiction
  • Schizophrenia and marijuana addiction
  • Depression, anxiety, and prescription drug addiction
  • Psychosis and meth addiction
  • PTSD and opioid addiction
  • ADHD and alcoholism

Of course, many more combinations of dual diagnosis are possible.  In light of this, it’s wise to seek a professional assessment if someone is struggling with substance use disorder.

How Is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

When a person has dual diagnosis, the best approach to treatment should include methods that focus on all aspects of the disorder.  When only one disorder is treated without addressing the other, sooner or later, relapse occurs.  

Because of the high potential for relapse with dual diagnosis clients, a full continuum of care is needed. What this means is that treatment should encompass the mental, physical, spiritual, and social aspects.  

At Design for Change, different levels of personalized treatment are available for people with dual diagnosis, such as:

  1. Early Intervention
  2. Detoxification
  3. Outpatient Treatment
  4. Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
  5. Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
  6. Inpatient/Residential Programs
  7. Family Therapy and Support
  8. Aftercare Services

Despite their good intentions, most individuals with dual diagnosis will not succeed in overcoming addiction on their own.  They don’t have the necessary skills to manage both the physical and mental dynamics of the process.  A treatment program that has experience with treating dual diagnosis is the best option.

Design for Change Elevates Addiction Treatment to a Higher Level

Design for Change Recovery provides the most comprehensive and innovative addiction treatment programs available today.  We understand the challenges of treating dual diagnosis.  For this reason, we utilize evidence-based therapies that target the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual elements of dual diagnosis. 

As a result of this comprehensive approach, our clients experience healing on a holistic level.  We elevate treatment from a one-size-fits-all to a full continuum of person-centric care.

In contrast to many treatment programs, we allow clients to choose a treatment path they can embrace.  To that end, we offer a range of treatment options, such as:

Additionally, our program provides considerations for faith, physical health, and other client preferences.

Reach Out to Design for Change Recovery Today

If you struggle with mental health issues and substance use disorder, then it’s time to get professional help.  Reach out to Design for Change Recovery to start your healing and recovery process.  Through our program, you’ll rediscover the vibrant person you forgot was there.  

Dual diagnosis won’t go away on its own.  In fact, it will worsen if you put off getting help any longer.  Take the first step toward a better future by contacting our Lancaster, CA facility today.  

Contact us by phone, email, or online.  You’ll speak with a treatment advisor who can tell you more about our program.  With our help, you will gain the confidence, motivation, and sense of purpose to maintain sober living beyond rehab.

What Is the Relationship Between Dual Diagnosis and Substance Use?