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Dual Diagnosis

The interplay of mental health conditions and substance abuse can be complex. When a mental health problem occurs along with addiction, special types of treatment are necessary to provide effective therapy. Professional treatment is needed to assess the individual problems and find effective solutions for both conditions. Dual diagnosis programs in Rhode Island are designed to help individuals struggling with mental health issues that affect their ability to recover from addiction.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Over the years, addiction specialists became aware of the frequency of mental health problems in their patients receiving treatment. The interaction of psychological problems with addiction is complex, and may precede the substance abuse problem or may be caused by it. Untangling these issues requires careful evaluation and treatment of the mental health problem, so that the individual is able to implement the therapies provided by treatment. Special programs called “dual diagnosis” were devised to help these patients make a full recovery from addiction.

Mental Health Issues and Addiction

Individuals who are struggling with mental health issues, often use drugs or alcohol to “self-treat” their symptoms. They may choose a substance that directly controls the anxiety or depression, in order to function normally. However, they soon fall into addiction, which compounds their problem and endangers their health. In some cases, the addiction itself can bring on severe anxiety about the future, and depression about their inability to gain control of their life. This interplay of addiction and mental health can make treatment more challenging, but dual diagnosis programs tackle both sides of this complex equation.

Common Types of Mental Health Issues

Psychological conditions drive individuals to use substances to manage their symptoms. These conditions can also play a part in which substance an individual abuses, such as:

Eating disorders and addiction – Individuals with eating disorders may use stimulants to reduce their appetites, or alcohol to hide their behavior.

Depression and addiction – Individuals with depression often use alcohol to relieve isolation, or stimulants to provide more energy.

Anxiety and addiction – Individuals with anxiety disorders may use opiates to help them maintain better control of their condition.

OCD and Addiction – Individuals with an obsessive-compulsive disorder may use opiates to manage the repetitive behaviors that can disrupt their lives.

PTSD and Addiction – Individuals who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder may use alcohol to relieve feelings of isolation and depression. They may also use opiates to resolve sleep problems and nightmares.

Statistics on Mental Health and Addiction

According to a 2012 survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals who are diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder, are twice as likely to also have a substance abuse problem. Those with severe mental health conditions are 4 times more likely to use alcohol excessively. They are also 4.6 times more likely to use drugs. These figures show how important dual diagnosis care is in treating individuals with addiction.

Treatment for Mental Health Conditions

A number of methods are used to treat mental health problems. These may be used in combination, or at different phases of the treatment process:

Psychopharmacology – A variety of antidepressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, and anti-convulsive medications may be used to treat psychological conditions.

Psychotherapy – Psychotherapy is used to help patients with mental health problems to understand their behavior and learn to manage their conditions.

Behavioral training – Techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help patients with mental health problems to recognize their negative thinking patterns and change their behavior to provide better results in their lives.

Drug Treatment Centers Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug treatment centers in Rhode Island offer dual diagnosis treatment for patients dealing with mental health issues that may be contributing to their substance or that may have been cause by their addiction. These programs offer comprehensive evaluation of psychological problems and medication to control symptoms, along with intensive addiction therapy that can help them rebuild their lives. Together, the two methods provide that best option to allow individuals to build a healthier, happier future.

The Importance of Aftercare

A structured strategy for aftercare is even more important for dual diagnosis patients, than for traditional addiction patients. These individuals will require ongoing mental health treatment after the program has ended. Referrals to community agencies in Rhode Island that can provide counseling and continued medication, are critical to an individual’s ability to resume their normal life. In addition, support groups that understand mental health problems can provide more effective assistance for these patients.

A mental health problem can create particular problems during addiction treatment. Reach out to a Rhode Island treatment center today to learn more about the dual diagnosis programs available.