Every year, millions of people around the world suffer from substance abuse disorder. Unfortunately, many of them experience mental issues and substance abuse disorders simultaneously. Until the 1990s, people with mental health and substance abuse issues typically received treatment for one condition at a time. Often, these treatments did not occur at the same facility and were not related to each other. Today, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends that individuals with co-occurring disorders receive a dual diagnosis and are treated for both at the same time. 

Our integrated addiction treatment combines care for a client’s mental health and substance abuse challenges so that they receive treatment for both disorders at the same time and in the same facility. At Solution Based Treatment, our psychiatric and clinical team are trained to help you develop an individualized plan to address both your mental health and substance abuse.

Dealing With a Co-Occurring Disorders

The challenges of a dual diagnosis are many. It’s not easy for people to admit that they’re addicted to drugs and alcohol. It’s also difficult for some people to accept and admit that they have a mental health challenge. Instead of seeking help, many people with co-occurring disorders ignore their problems and hope they go away. Although a dual diagnosis comes with many challenges, treatment is possible.

 The challenges of a dual diagnosis include:

  • Denial

The first and perhaps most difficult challenge related to co-occurring disorders is denial. People do not readily admit that they have a problem, and admitting that they have more than one issue that requires treatment is even harder. Denying and ignoring the issues makes both conditions more difficult to treat and to prevent a relapse.

  • High Risk

Living with an addiction and a mental health issue at the same time can lead to a high risk of self-harm. Studies have shown that individuals with dual diagnoses are more likely to commit suicide than people without.

  • A Longer Period of Treatment 

Rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse takes a considerable amount of time. In fact, rehab for severe substance abuse can take years to complete. But when combined with a mental health condition, the length of treatment often increases greatly. 

  • Identifying the Root Cause

In a dual diagnosis, pinpointing the symptoms is grueling and time-consuming. That’s because it’s hard to know where the symptoms are coming from. Are they related to a client’s mental health, or are they related to a client’s substance abuse? Not knowing the root cause makes treating symptoms more challenging.

Other dual diagnosis challenges include:

  • Environmental factors triggering health conditions
  • Misdiagnosing substance abuse as a mental health issue or vice versa
  • Physical effects on the body caused by both conditions (i.e., heart and blood disease, lung disease, stroke, Hepatitis B and C, nutritional and metabolic disorders)
  • Emotional effects on the body caused by both conditions (i.e., stress, disconnectedness, suicidal thoughts and behavior, lower self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression)
  • Relapse and temptation to self-medicate

Treating addiction and mental health concerns simultaneously is the best way to approach co-occurring disorders. Mental health challenges and addiction have common risk factors, including genetics, stress, and trauma. People may develop a substance use disorder as a result of an improperly treated mental health condition. In many cases, people suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, and other mental health and psychiatric disorders use drugs or alcohol to feel better. Self-medicating can lead to an unhealthy dependence on drugs and alcohol, which, in turn, can lead to substance abuse. Becoming chemically dependent can also cause people to develop related psychological conditions.

Contact Solution Based Treatment for More Information

At Solution Based Treatment & Detox, we understand the connections between mental health and substance use disorder. If you are unsure where to start with your treatment, we are here to help you craft a recovery plan that works for you and your individual needs. Contact our talented treatment team at 833.999.1941 to learn more about our life-saving dual diagnosis treatment options.

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