Dual Diagnosis: When Clients Need Help For Mental Illness And Addiction

It’s possible for a client that we see at Maryland Recovery to need help for a dual diagnosis. Neither mental health disorders nor addictions are mutually exclusive and when a client is diagnosed with a mental health concern and is also dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they are describe as having a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder

All clients who are admitted to Maryland Recovery undergo an initial assessment to determine whether they require treatment for a mental health concern as well as their addiction. We can provide individualized treatment for the mental health condition as well as a chemical dependency.

Relationship Between Mental Illness And Addiction

Woman Wearing MaskThere is a complicated relationship between mental illness and addiction. For some people, drug and alcohol use may have started as a way of self-medication. They may not have known or understood what was happening to them when they started experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression and turned to these substances to feel better. While getting drunk or high may help for a time, it doesn’t do anything to treat the underlying mental health concern.

Substance abuse can make an existing mental illness worse. For example, a depressed person can feel worse during an episode of drinking and start contemplating suicide.

Drugs and alcohol can even trigger the onset of mental illness symptoms in some people. A college student could start hearing voices and become paranoid after smoking marijuana, in what is the first episode of psychosis (either substance-induced or otherwise) for this person.

A person who is actively using drugs is less likely to follow through on his or her mental health treatment plan. They are more likely to miss appointments if they do go for treatment.

If the mental health issue is not treated at the same time as the addiction, a person with this profile is less likely to achieve long-term sobriety. For this reason, both issues must be addressed at the same time by counselors with experience treating dual diagnosis clients.

Unique Residential Outpatient Treatment

Maryland Recovery offers a unique intensive residential outpatient approach to treatment. Our clients attend day treatment and are housed at one of our eight residential homes at night. This arrangement is a more affordable option than a residential program, but allows our clients to have continued support during treatment.

To find out more about our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program for yourself or a loved one, Contact Us Today.

Reviewed by Christopher Schwartfigure MS, LGPC, CAC-AD