When someone struggles with addiction and another mental health disorder, it’s called co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis. As surprising as it sounds, it may help to hear that you are far from alone. Approximately 9.2 million people in the United States deal with Dual Diagnosis. 1 Further, nearly 50% of individuals suffering from a singular diagnosis will eventually develop the other trait. 2 Because substance abuse can often disguise the warning signs of a co-occurring mental health disorder, only a small portion (7.8%) of individuals receive the proper CA Dual Diagnosis treatment they need.3
What is a Dual Diagnosis?
When someone is receiving Dual Diagnosis treatment, they are receiving care to treat both a mental health disorder and help and support for a substance use problem.2 The combination of having a mental disorder and drug and/or alcohol dependence varies drastically, so the experience of having co-occurring disorders will be different for everyone.
Many disorders have similar symptoms, which is why an underlying mental health condition can easily get overlooked, and therefore, go untreated. When pursuing your CA Dual Diagnosis treatment plan, it’s important to remember that one disorder did not necessarily create the other, but it can escalate the other’s severity if left unaddressed.2
What Causes Dual Diagnoses?
Substance use doesn’t always cause a mental health disorder and vice versa, making it tricky to depict exactly why someone simultaneously experiences. However, certain factors are believed to increase your chances of developing one. These elements include: 2
- Experiencing extreme stress and/or trauma
- Self- medicating, which is the act of using drugs or alcohol to mask any unwanted feelings and thoughts
- Encountering an altercation to your brain due to the effects of substance use
If you’re concerned about any of the risks listed above and are concerned for your overall health, it’s important to reach out for support immediately.
Most Common Dual Diagnoses
There isn’t a singular or most common “blend” that make up dual diagnoses; instead, a dual diagnosis can include any 2 (or more) combination of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Even though many types are included as a possibility, the most common mental disorders that are found within Co-occurring Diagnoses include: 1
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder
And they are often accompanied by the following substance addictions: 1
- Prescription drugs
Who Benefits From CA Dual Diagnosis?
For long term sobriety and overall health, it is imperative to receive treatment for all areas of your diagnosis! 2 If treatment is only pursued for drug and alcohol addiction and your mental health is overlooked, it may be easier to fall back into harmful patterns, especially when experiencing a trigger or temptations.
Because long term success is highly dependent on your overall well-being, including your emotional, mental, and physical health, there are many benefits to receiving treatment for Co-Occurring Disorder and should be thoroughly considered.
Even though every scenario is distinctive to the individual, there are significant signs that indicate a possible need for a Dual Diagnosis, such as:
- Not being able to maintain consistent employment.
- Unable to hold meaningful relationships
- Experiencing legal problems and financial issues
- Having severe mood swings and/or being unable to control your emotions
Even if someone cannot relate to the examples listed above, receiving Dual Diagnosis treatment is still an important step towards preventative care. It allows you to tend to your mental health and allow you to do so while being sober. During this treatment process, you will learn how to manage your urge to use substances while also learning how to control your mental illness symptoms.
Ready for CA Dual Diagnosis Treatment? Contact Ocean Hills Recovery!
Reaching and beginning one’s sobriety can be difficult and, at times, even feel downright impossible. We know how much strength this new transformation takes, physically and emotionally, and you need a support system you can lean on. That’s where Ocean Hills Recovery comes in!
With our many individualized treatment programs, including drug, alcohol, and dual diagnosis, we will work closely together to develop the exact treatment plan you need. Throughout your journey with us, we will provide you with the tools to not only reach sobriety but to maintain it – long term!
To talk to one of our care specialists and to have any of your questions answered, please contact us today. At Oceans Hills Recovery, you’ll receive the unconditional support and resources you deserve. Together, we’ll make the change, once and for all!
References: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/co-occurring-disorders  https://medlineplus.gov/dualdiagnosis.html#:~:text=A%20person%20with%20dual%20diagnosis,their%20lives%20and%20vice%20versa.  https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29393/2019NSDUHFFRPDFWHTML/2019NSDUHFFR1PDFW090120.pdf
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.