A dual diagnosis is when a person experiences both a mental illness and a substance abuse
addiction. This is a common occurrence but can create difficulties for a person trying to break
free from an addiction.
While having a dual diagnosis can make treatment more difficult for either condition, it is
possible for a person to manage and treat both illnesses effectively. Drug Rehab Centers
Lakewood offers treatments to help those struggling with a dual diagnosis. Call us now at (732)
529-2096 to find out more about your options for treatment.
Dual diagnosis is a broad category that can encompass a number of psychological conditions and
substance abuse addictions. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI),
examples of conditions that can co-occur include mild depression due to binge drinking or a
person with bipolar disorder abusing heroin during a manic episode.
Regardless of the disorders and drugs were taken, substance abuse is associated with making a
person's mental health symptoms worse, according to NAMI.
Several mental health disorders are commonly associated with addiction. The symptoms of these
conditions can affect a person occasionally or may impact every aspect of a person's daily life.
Examples of common disorders associated with substance abuse and mental illness include:
-Depression, which is a condition that causes a person to experience intense feelings of
hopelessness or sadness. A person may commonly turn to alcohol as a means to escape these
-Eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia or binge eating cause a person to obsessively
control or lose control over his or her eating. A person may abuse drugs, such as
methamphetamines, to control appetite.
-Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition where a person has gone through a traumatic
event, such as a military skirmish, abuse or natural disaster. A person may experience traumatic
flashbacks associated with these events and turn to substance abuse to reduce these feelings.
-Obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition where a person becomes excessively fixated
on thoughts or behaviors. A person with OCD may turn to sedatives and other anxiolytics to
reduce racing or compulsive thoughts.
-Anxiety, a condition where a person feels a heightened level of anxiety, fear or distress. Women
are more likely than men to experience anxiety-related conditions, according to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse.
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An estimated 50 percent of people with severe mental disorders, such as major depression,
bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, struggle with substance abuse, according to NAMI. Nearly
one-third of all people who struggle with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem.
Drug Rehab Centers Lakewood can provide the following treatments, which have been proven to
help those struggling with a dual diagnosis:
Psychopharmacology: Medications have long been used to help those struggling with a
dual diagnosis restore balance to neurotransmitters that may be miscommunicating or at
too high or too low levels.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy or one-on- one therapy can provide a person with the
opportunity to share his or her thoughts, feelings and emotions in a non-judgmental and
Behavioral Management: This approach helps a person learn more about how to resist
temptations of drugs and/or alcohol as well as how to manage racing thoughts, anxiety
and feelings of hopelessness that can occur with mental illness.
Treatments for mental illness and substance abuse have proven successful in the past. According
to Mental Health America, 80 percent of those who suffer from depression can successfully treat
their condition with medications and psychotherapy.
Continued Treatments for Dual Diagnosis
Neither mental illness nor substance abuse disorders are ones that can be However,
these conditions can be managed across a person lifetime. Continued care through
psychotherapy, medication management, and support groups, if desired, can help a person live a
longer, healthier life with co-occurring disorders.
For more information on dual diagnosis treatment at Drug Rehab Centers Lakewood, please call
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