Many people who suffer from addiction are also struggling with other problems that they may or may not know about. Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are all examples of mental illnesses that can occur alongside a substance abuse disorder. In these situations, finding treatment for addiction alone isn’t enough. A dual diagnosis treatment program is the only way for people with co-occurring disorders to get the help they need.
What is comorbidity? While the term may sound intimidating, it simply means the presence of two or more chronic conditions in an individual. This applies to people who struggle with addiction alongside a mental health disorder. Often, comorbid disorders feed into each other.
For many, a substance addiction may develop because of the stress from a mental disorder. For others, the opposite may be true. Whatever the case is, both conditions have to receive treatment in order for the individual to make progress.
A common example is the presence of anxiety alongside an alcohol addiction. Someone suffering from an anxiety disorder may rely on alcohol in order to feel comfortable in social situations or to calm down after a stressful day at work. Since the individual self-medicates with alcohol so heavily, their addiction only grows. Unless this person treats his anxiety in addition to his addiction, he’ll continue to fall into the same cycle.
Why Choose Dual Diagnosis?
Treating a substance addiction on its own may be frustrating and ultimately unsuccessful for someone who also suffers from a mental illness. Without treating the mental disorder, a person may become discouraged when the treatment isn’t working. A dual diagnosis treatment program addresses your addiction and mental illness alongside each other through a number of treatment methods. A dual diagnosis program will implement strategies such as: