Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe a person who has a mood disorder, such as bipolar or depression, coupled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. It’s important to note that while dual diagnosis is a term that’s used to describe a combination of issues, it should be treated as two distinct illnesses. Many dual diagnosis programs focus on comprehensive treatment and recovery for both conditions. At Drug Treatment Centers Miami, our mental health experts and addiction treatment specialists work together to provide the best, most customized treatment programs for dual diagnosis patients. For more information, call (305) 260-6513.
There is a strong connection between mental health disorders and addiction. According to reports, approximately half of all individual suffering from a severe mental illness are also affected by substance abuse. The same source notes that 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have a mental illness. Of everyone who’s been diagnosed with a mental illness, 29 percent either abuse drugs or alcohol. It’s important to note that while these two issues often occur together, having a mental health disorder doesn’t necessarily lead to addiction.
Many types of mental health disorders are linked to addiction. Some examples include eating disorders, depression, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. In many instances, there are telltale signs of mental health problems that frequently co-occur with addiction.
One of the biggest connecting issues between mental health disorders and addictions is the need to self-medicate. This means taking drugs or alcohol in order to quell disruptive symptoms. Frequent examples include a depressed person who uses marijuana to numb the pain, someone who drinks excessively in social situations to calm social anxiety, and someone with low energy levels who relies on Adderall or another stimulant to get worked on. Drug abuse could bring out symptoms of another mental illness. Shared risk factors also play a role. These may include overlapping genetic vulnerabilities, environmental triggers such as trauma and stress, and similar involvement of brain systems such as ones that revolve around stress and reward.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, mental health disorder patients are responsible for consuming: 38 percent of alcohol, 44 percent of cocaine, and 40 percent of cigarettes. In addition, those who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lives are responsible for consuming: 69 percent of alcohol, 84 percent of cocaine, and 68 percent of cigarettes. According to drugabuse.gov, when compared with the general population, people who are addicted to drugs are nearly twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. The opposite is also true.
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