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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Fairfield, CT (203) 242-8259

When a person suffers from a mental disorder and has a substance abuse problem as well, the condition which exists is called dual diagnosis. This is also known as co-existing disorders. Different variations exist in dual diagnosis groups. Some examples include:

  • Psychosis and amphetamine addiction
  • Anxiety disorder and alcoholism
  • Depression and alcoholism

It manifests in an individual who has mental illness and a dependency on drugs or alcohol. The challenge in uncovering co-existing conditions is to see if mental disorders in a substance abuser are from using illicit substances (which can cause the mental disorders) or if the mental disorders were pre-existing before substance abuse and the person used drugs or alcohol for relief. That’s when dual diagnosis is needed.

There is hope for your future – call Drug Rehab Centers Fairfield at (203) 242-8259.

Addictions and Psychiatric Disorders

An abuser having an existing psychiatric disorder may cause him/her to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, for relief, resulting in a dual diagnosis. In contrast, an individual may become a substance abuser and psychiatric disorders originate from substance abuse. In both cases, a dual diagnosis and appropriate treatment for all conditions is required. If not, the untreated condition will most likely lead to a relapse back to drug or alcohol abuse.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Eating Disorders and Addiction

Stimulation of the brain is created by pleasing activities (socializing, romance) as well as from drugs, alcohol and other substances. Eating food is considering a pleasing activity by many. When the brain is stimulated by pleasure, it also blocks unwanted and negative feelings and emotions. When the brain’s memory triggers cravings for pleasure, and gratification is pursued to satisfy the craving, an addictive cycle may develop.

Depression and Addiction

Substance abuse is commonly seen in those with depression. Many depressed individuals use drugs or alcohol as a way to lift spirits or numb painful emotions and thoughts. Depression and substance abuse become a continuing circle, as one feeds upon the other and both intensify as the cycle recurs.

Dual Diagnosis Statistics

  • A third of people with mental illness also have substance abuse problems.
  • About half of people living with severe mental illnesses also have substance abuse problems.
  • Approximately a third of all alcohol abusers have been diagnosed with a co-existing mental illness.
  • More than half of all drug abusers have been diagnosed with a co-existing mental illness.
  • About 50% of all patients with schizophrenia have a co-existing substance abuse disorder.
  • Substance abuse is the leading cause of those with schizophrenia not taking their medication.
  • Substance abuse is also associated with intensified schizophrenia symptoms, an increased risk of relapse, intense aggressiveness and longer hospital stays.

The Prevalence of Dual Diagnosis

People with co-occurring disorders have a more difficult time overcoming addiction. Two co-existing diseases intensify each other in a cycle difficult to break. In some cases, the addiction is growing from the mental health disorder in an attempt to self-medicate and alleviate psychiatric symptoms. In other cases, the mental illness is developing by the impact drug or alcohol addiction is having upon the brain’s chemistry and structure.

  • About one-third and one-half of all who have a type of mental illness also have drug or alcohol problems.
  • Between 33 percent and 50 percent of those addicted to substances also have a mental disorder.

As substance abuse continues to grow, dual diagnosis will also be on the rise. Conversely, as more people with psychiatric disorders remain untreated, dual diagnosis will also grow.

Getting Help

Once substance abuse is being treated, continued alcohol and drug treatment is required to keep mental health conditions under control. Both sides of the co-existing conditions need to be treated as long as necessary to prevent relapse.

Recovery is possible – call Drug Rehab Centers Fairfield treatment centers at (203) 242-8259.

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