When people seek help at a treatment center to get well and overcome struggles with a mental health condition, challenges surrounding mental health symptoms are (frequently) only part of the problem. 2019 data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggest almost 50% of those who seek treatment for a mental health condition also report struggles with drug or alcohol abuse. When you have both a substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis, it is called a dual diagnosis.

What is a Dual Diagnosis Rehab?

When you have a dual diagnosis, it is essential to choose a rehab where the treatment staff understands the unique nature of dual diagnosis treatment. Co-occurring disorders are heavily intertwined. Although research does not suggest one diagnosis causes the other, it can be challenging to determine which symptoms are linked to mental health and which are linked to substance abuse because they overlap considerably. For this reason, choosing a treatment program that fails to address both conditions as part of a comprehensive treatment program may increase your chances of relapse in the future.

At a dual diagnosis rehab, you will work closely with your treatment team to develop a care plan that addresses your mental health needs and your needs and goals pertaining to addiction treatment. The therapy models used during treatment are proven effective as part of addiction treatment and mental health treatment plans. Therapy aims to help you understand your symptoms and how your symptoms contribute to your current mental health and relationship with drugs or alcohol.

Learning to cope with and manage your symptoms and triggers is vital to achieving ongoing recovery. It is essential to understand how the challenges of each condition could worsen the other or lead to relapsing symptoms. The goal of dual diagnosis treatment is to help you balance your symptoms and understand what you need from the therapy process to put both challenges in the past.

What are Common Co-Occurring Disorders?

Research indicates that struggling with a mental health condition can increase one’s risk of developing a substance use disorder, yet the opposite is also true. Ongoing challenges with drug or alcohol addiction often increase the intensity and severity of mental health challenges. Additionally, when someone with a substance use disorder begins to detox, they might experience powerful mental health symptoms. These symptoms and the physical symptoms accompanying detox point to the need for dual diagnosis care and medically monitored detox at a dual diagnosis center like Casa Serena.

While any mental health condition can co-occur with a substance use disorder, some occur more frequently than others.

  • Anxiety Disorders and Depression – According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 20% of Americans with anxiety or a mood disorder have a substance use disorder.
  • Eating Disorders – Studies on the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance use disorders show the co-occurrence rate varies widely. The range of data depends on the specific disorder studied, the demographic surveyed, and the substances studied. Overall, the rate of co-occurrence ranges from approximately 20-46%.
  • Bipolar Disorder – Recent studies show that approximately 60% of people with bipolar disorder (type I or type II) have a history of substance abuse or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – A recent national study indicated that between 28 and 52% of people with lifetime PTSD also had a substance use disorder.
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – studies estimate that up to 50% of adolescents and adults with ADHD also struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Schizophrenia – Data from the National Institutes of Health indicates that up to 50% of people with schizophrenia have a co-occurring substance use disorder.

How Can Dual Diagnosis Treatment Help?

Dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to help you overcome both addiction and a co-occurring mental health challenge as part of one simultaneous treatment program. The skills you will learn and practice throughout treatment will be helpful tools you can use to manage triggers and other stressors that could lead to relapse. The best therapy model for you will depend on various factors unique to your treatment needs, treatment history, and current physical and mental health.

At our dual diagnosis rehab for women, we are here to help you get started on your journey to recovery. To learn more about our programs and how we can help you take the first steps on your journey towards lasting health and wellness. Contact us today for more information about our women’s rehab.

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