When we look at someone who is struggling with substance abuse, we often pin the onus of their addiction to the actual use of the substance itself. However, the actual abuse of drugs and alcohol is more often than not a symptom of a much deeper issue. For those who are struggling with mental disorders and addiction concurrently have what is known as a dual diagnosis, or a co-occurring disorder.
Statistics show that approximately of the 17.5 million Americans over the age of 18 who have dealt with a mental health issue, about 4 million also struggle with a drug or alcohol dependency issue. Sadly, more than half of those living with a dual diagnosis don’t receive any medical treatment or psychotherapeutic intervention to help them recover. If you or a loved one has a substance abuse disorder and may have a co-occurring disorder, the following are 6 signs you need dual diagnosis treatment.
Attempts at Completing “Regular” Rehab Have Failed
One of the biggest signs you need dual diagnosis treatment is if you had previous entered a drug rehab and were unable to sustain your recovery, chances are there is an underlying mental disorder that was not fully addressed while in treatment. For many women, past traumas that were unresolved is a common trigger for drug and alcohol cravings. Additionally, what you may view as normal mood swings and behavior may in fact be an undiagnosed mood or behavior disorder. It is extremely important that you undergo treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment facility to address those underlying issues that may be preventing you from fully recovering from your addiction.
Extended Periods of Hopelessness and Sadness, Even If You Aren’t under the Influence of Substances
Oftentimes people will use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their mental issues on their own. If you are using drugs for this purpose, any feelings of calm and peacefulness that you may feel are often short-lived. After a period of time, you may find yourself feeling worse than you did when you weren’t using drugs. Dual diagnosis treatment is a way for you to get professional counseling and treatment to adequately deal with those issues.
You Experience Mood Swings, Suicidal Thoughts and Hallucinations
If you have experienced extreme bouts of depression, anxiety, or have experienced visual hallucinations or are “hearing voices,” dual diagnosis treatment will be the right treatment option for you to pursue. You may have experienced these symptoms to a lesser degree before your substance abuse. The only way to effectively deal with your mental disorders and your addiction is by undergoing dual diagnosis treatment.
You Rely On Substances to Deal with Situations that Frighten You
If you use drugs and alcohol to overcome your fear of situations such as family or other social gatherings, you will need to seek dual diagnosis treatment. Whether it is deep seating feelings of awkwardness in social situations or deep seated social phobias, turning to substances in order to feel more at ease unfortunately spills over to all areas of your life. By undergoing treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment center, you will be able to address the underlying reasons behind your phobias. With those issues addressed, you can fully tackle your addiction to substances.
You Have Trouble Focusing or Completing Tasks without Drugs or Alcohol
In this fast-paced world, people may turn to drugs and alcohol to help focus, multi-task, and be able to take on huge workloads. One of the major signs you need dual diagnosis treatment is if you are experiencing huge lapses in concentration and focus without the use of substances, you may need to pursue drug treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment facility. Your inability to maintain focus and clarity may be a deeper sign of a co-occurring disorder such as ADHD or other attention-related disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment can effectively address long-standing behavioral disorders, which in turn can help you fully address your substance abuse issues.
You Already Have Been Diagnosed With a Mental Disorder and Currently Abuse Substances
Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary if you have been officially diagnosed with a mood or behavioral disorder, and you also use drugs and alcohol to abusive levels. These two issues are serious and are often linked with each other. Receiving dual diagnosis treatment will fully address both issues and help you get on the road to recovery.
What To Look For in Dual Diagnosis Treatment
If you are looking for help with your substance abuse issues and suspect you may have an underlying co-occurring disorder, it is crucial that you find an appropriate treatment facility that is equipped to deal with the complexities of both issues. Dual diagnosis is difficult to treat because of the fact they are so intertwined with each other it is hard to know which came first.
Dual diagnosis facilities have both addiction and mental health professionals on staff, and together they can create an overall plan of treatment that can adequately tackle both your substance abuse and your mental health issues. These facilities should also feature treatment programs that last longer than the customary 30 day stay. Since there are two major issues to address, the treatment process will take naturally take longer. Most importantly, the dual diagnosis treatment center you choose should provide an environment which will let you move through treatment at a pace which is comfortable for you.
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