A patient who exhibits symptoms of both a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder is said to have a dual diagnosis. It's not uncommon for people who struggle with addiction to also experience mental health problems. Research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that nearly 9 million American adults with known substance abuse issues also suffer from a mental illness.
A dual diagnosis can create difficulties in an individual's career and personal life, but an integrated treatment program can successfully treat both conditions. At Drug Treatment Centers Saint Paul, they provide integrative and comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment to ensure that each patient has the best chance for recovery. Call them today at (612) 643-5043 for more information.
There are many connections between mental illness and substance abuse, regardless of which disorder was the first to occur. For some people, a substance addiction may occur first, and the emotional challenges associated with addiction can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. A person with a genetic predisposition toward mental illness is also more likely to suffer a psychiatric disorder triggered by substance abuse.
If a person develops a mental health disorder first, they may use drugs or alcohol to numb their emotional symptoms. This behavior can gradually lead to a mental health disorder, and ongoing substance abuse can make the co-occurring mental health disorder worse.
Although any combination of addiction and mental illness can occur in a case of dual diagnosis, some pairs of conditions tend to go hand-in-hand. Alcoholism and depression occur together in many cases of co-occurring disorders. The National Comorbidity Study revealed that male alcoholics were three times more likely to suffer from depression than the rest of the male population; for female alcoholics, the rate of depression was four times higher. The symptoms of both alcoholism and depression tend to worsen the other disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a relatively common mental illness in the United States: A study by the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that over 2 million Americans are afflicted with OCD at any given time. OCD and addiction tend to overlap in multiple ways, and some researchers believe that long-term problems with substance addiction can cause people to exhibit OCD symptoms.
An individual with a substance addiction is likely to develop obsessive thoughts about their drug abuse. Even when these thoughts are unwelcome, the person may be unable to block them from their mind. Using the drug is the only way to banish the obsessive thoughts, but this cycle of behavior ends up fueling both the addiction and the obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
OCD is especially prevalent among people with an opiate addiction. A study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease examined the rate of OCD among a group of heroin addicts: the incidence of OCD was four times higher than it was among people who did not suffer from addiction. Heroin users must follow a precise set of steps to prepare and inject the drug; these ritualistic actions are similar to the rituals created by many OCD sufferers, which may help explain the strong overlap between heroin addiction and OCD.
Experts agree that an integrated treatment approach is the most effective strategy for co-occurring disorders; this form of treatment addresses both disorders at the same time. This the treatment approach provided at Saint Paul Drug Treatment Centers. A comprehensive drug treatment plan will involve a combination of medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. They also find that alternative therapies such as restorative yoga, equine therapy, and art therapy act as an effective complement to evidence-based treatments.
To learn more about dual diagnosis treatment plans, call the addiction specialists at Saint Paul Drug Treatment Centers by dialing (612) 643-5043.