Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe individuals who suffer from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. These co-occurring conditions can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and make a recovery difficult. Integrated treatment for dual diagnosis is essential because it provides a comprehensive approach to treatment that addresses both conditions simultaneously.
So what is integrated treatment, exactly? It involves the coordination of mental health and addiction treatment services. This approach recognizes that both conditions are intertwined and require specialized care. The primary goal of integrated treatment is to help individuals achieve and maintain abstinence from substances while managing their mental health symptoms effectively.
What are the Benefits of Integrated Treatment for Dual Diagnosis?
One of the primary benefits of integrated treatment is that it provides a holistic approach. It acknowledges that addiction and mental health disorders are interconnected and must be treated concurrently. This approach helps individuals develop coping skills and strategies to manage both conditions effectively.
Another benefit of integrated treatment is that it’s tailored to meet the individual needs of each person. Dual diagnosis requires a specialized treatment plan that considers the unique challenges that come with managing two conditions, whether it be substance use and depression or an eating disorder and anxiety.
Integrated treatment also promotes collaboration between mental health and addiction treatment providers. This collaboration ensures that the individual receives consistent care that aligns with their goals and values. Reputable integrated treatment centers encourage the use of evidence-based practices and holistic therapies to maximize success.
What Mental Health Conditions are Most Likely to Occur Alongside Substance Use?
Over the years, researchers have discovered that certain mental health disorders have been linked to substance use disorders more often than others. Here are some of the most common mental health conditions that occur with substance use:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders, affecting nearly 30% of adults at some time in their lives. Social anxiety disorder, in particular, has a strong link to marijuana use and alcohol use. This is probably the case because these substances make it easier to loosen up around others.
About 20% of the general population with a substance use disorder also have one or more mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Since these disorders cause changes in the way a person thinks, feels and acts, it’s not uncommon to reach for substances to numb uncomfortable thoughts and emotions.
Personality disorders, like antisocial, borderline, avoidant or paranoid, are common among people with substance use problems. These conditions cause disruptive patterns of thinking and behavior, and this stress can prompt someone to use drugs or alcohol as an escape.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Individuals with PTSD are much more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than those without PTSD. Trauma has a major effect on the brain and body, and these changes can increase a person’s risk for substance use. Many people find themselves in a vicious cycle where traumatic experiences contribute to substance use, and substance use produces new traumatic experiences.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Researchers are also learning that ADHD is associated with the early onset of drug and alcohol use. ADHD is 5 to 10 times more common among adult alcoholics than in people without the condition. Plus, individuals with ADHD are also more likely to abuse a variety of substances. This is likely due to the hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with the condition.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles
There are a number of reasons why substance use and mental illness go hand in hand, including overlapping risk factors, self-medication and drug-induced brain changes. While co-occurring disorders are more difficult to treat, they are still treatable and respond well to therapy. With the right treatment, you can recover from both disorders and lead a full, productive life.
Breathe Life Healing Centers offers integrated treatment for dual diagnosis, as well as specific programs for depression, anxiety and trauma. Learn more about our approach to treating dual diagnosis and how we can help you develop the skills and confidence needed to live without substances.