Why Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important?

February 3, 2021 , Agape Treatment Center

Why Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important?

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

There have been multiple national surveys over the past several years that have concluded that as many as half of the individuals who experience a mental illness also suffer from a diagnosable substance use disorder. Substance abuse and mental health are very closely interlinked. Many individuals who struggle with untreated mental health concerns will begin using chemical substances as a means of self-medication. While self-medicating their symptoms might prove to be effective short-term, it will only exacerbate the symptoms associated with the mental illness over time. On the other hand, many individuals who struggle with substance abuse will eventually develop mental health issues based on the continuous presence of chemical substances in their systems.

When the brain is repeatedly exposed to drugs and alcohol, neurological changes are bound to occur. Studies show that anxiety and depression are extremely prevalent among men and women who have entered treatment for a substance abuse disorder. However, substance abuse is most common among men and women who suffer at the hands of a severe mental illness – something like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and antisocial personality disorder are also very common among substance users. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health concern and you have been abusing chemical substances, dual diagnosis treatment will always be necessary.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near Me

If you suffer from a substance abuse issue and a mental illness, it is called having a dual diagnosis disorder – or a co-occurring disorder. Coping with a substance abuse issue can be extremely difficult, and seeking professional help is often the very last thing that men and women who are struggling with addiction want to do. Addiction is a disease of denial, and many individuals convince themselves that treatment isn’t necessary – even though the rest of the world can see that the drug or alcohol abuse issue has gotten out of hand and that professional treatment has become essential. Struggling with a mental health issue makes seeking treatment all the more difficult. In many cases, men and women with a co-occurring disorder require an extra push – they might require an intervention staged by their friends and family members, or they might need to be forcibly admitted to a dual diagnosis treatment center to get the help they need.

If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, it is important to know that you are certainly not alone. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 50 percent of men and women who struggle with mental disorders also struggle with substance abuse. 37 percent of alcohol abusers have at least one serious mental illness, and 53 percent of drug abusers suffer from a co-occurring disorder. Overcoming a co-occurring disorder is not easy, but it can certainly be done with the help of a dual diagnosis treatment program.

Why is Dual Diagnosis Therapy Important?

In dual diagnosis treatment, the mental health concern and the substance abuse issue will be tackled simultaneously in the same facility. Up until very recently, mental health and addiction were treated in separate facilities – however, it was quickly discovered that unless they were both treated together, the symptoms of one disorder would prevent thorough and lasting healing from occurring. For example, say an individual struggles with severe depression and consumes an excessive amount of alcohol. Say this individual is treated for his depression, but the alcohol abuse disorder is not addressed. He is given antidepressant medication and placed in therapy, but every night he returns home and continues to drink. This renders the medication completely ineffective, and over time all of his depressive symptoms come back full force.

Now, say this individual is treated in a dual diagnosis treatment center. His alcoholism is treated effectively, and he is placed on medication. He undergoes intensive therapeutic care, and as a result, he learns the coping skills necessary to avoid relapse. The antidepressant medication is effective because it is not being counteracted by the alcohol – and because he is not drunk, he remembers to take it every evening. He can stay sober and his depressive symptoms are effectively remedied.

Agape Treatment Center and Co-Occurring Disorders

At Agape Treatment Center we offer a thorough and highly individualized program of dual diagnosis treatment for men and women who are struggling with a co-occurring disorder of any severity. We have extensive experience treating mild-moderate and severe substance abuse disorders as well as mental health conditions ranging from anxiety and depression to severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program, reach out to us today.