Dual diagnosis is the occurrence of substance use disorder and a mental illness simultaneously within one patient. A study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that there are approximately 9.2 million Americans with a dual diagnosis. Individuals with dual diagnosis may develop either condition first. The interactions between the two conditions may worsen the patient’s health. Dual diagnosis patients need a more comprehensive treatment plan, and Atlanta Center for Mental Health is here to provide you with the residential mental health treatment program in GA you need.
Cause of Dual Diagnosis
There is no causation between any mental health condition and substance use disorder. It is even difficult to prove which condition occurs first. But researchers argue that the following scenarios contribute to the risk of developing both disorders. The first is the presence of various risk factors such as stress, trauma, and genetics.
People with a diagnosed mental disorder may self-medicate using drugs such as alcohol. This increases the risk of developing a substance use disorder. Additionally, the presence of mental disorders may alter the structure of an individual’s brain making it more likely for them to become an addict.
Long-term use of drugs may alter the brain in ways that make it more likely for the individual to develop a mental disorder. For the treatment to work, the individual must first stop using drugs. The treatment process for a co-occurring disorder usually involves the use of medication. This helps the patient during the detoxification period.
Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis
Although many people struggle with understanding dual diagnosis, knowing the signs and symptoms is key. There are many types that might occur. This makes it extremely difficult to identify which conditions are present as the symptoms vary widely.
The common symptoms of dual diagnosis are:
- Loss of control after abusing drugs
- Engaging in very dangerous behaviors
- Needing the drug to function properly
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Developing a high tolerance towards drugs
The symptoms of mental health disorders also vary greatly. But warning signs may include disorientation, trouble concentrating, and erratic behaviors.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Understanding dual diagnosis helps you learn more about the available treatment options. The most effective treatment method for patients with dual diagnosis is an integrated use of mental health therapies and medication.
Previously, many therapists did not treat patients who had a mental disorder if they were still consuming drugs. But things are now different and patients with a dual diagnosis receive both treatments simultaneously.
The first step in treatment is detoxification followed by rehabilitation in our mental health treatment center. This can be both inpatient or outpatient. Once the patient is sober, they receive different types of therapies according to their needs. The treatment plan also involves mutual support or self-help groups which helps the patient in the lifelong journey of recovery.
Treatment Programs at Atlanta Center for Mental Health
There are many treatment programs that are available to help patients with a co-occurring diagnosis. They include:
- Motivational interviewing: This program helps patients make positive changes by focusing on their strengths and motivating them
- Group therapy: This helps patients recover by tapping into the social support of other individuals going through a similar experience
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a more individualized treatment plan which helps the patient come up with recovery goals and making the necessary steps in achieving them
- Family therapy: This helps the patient, as well as members of his or her family, make the necessary steps towards recovery
How Atlanta Center for Mental Health Can Help
Knowing more about your condition helps you make the first step towards recovery. Don’t let dual diagnosis prevent you or your loved one need from getting help. Contact Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458 so we can assist you with the right treatment.