What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis is a combination of addiction and mental illness. Sometimes, the mental health condition in question is referred to as a co-occurring disorder. There are many forms that dual diagnosis can come in because of the seemingly endless combinations of mental conditions and substances. It can be alcohol addiction combined with anxiety. Or it can be prescription drug addiction combined with depression.

It is fairly common to see dual diagnoses among all people who suffer from addiction. Some studies indicate that more than half of those suffering from drug addiction may also have a dual diagnosis, while almost 40 percent of alcohol abusers have a diagnosable mental condition. This is very important to understand, since treating dual diagnosis is much more difficult than treating addiction alone.

Some mental illnesses that are commonly present in dual diagnosis patients are:

Which Mental Health Conditions Lead to Addiction More Than Others?

Looking at it the other way, of all the Americans who have a diagnosable mental health condition, about 30 percent abuse drugs or alcohol.

Which condition has the highest correlation with substance abuse? Depression, hands down. If you have diagnosable depression, you’re more than twice as likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol as someone without this condition.

Personality disorders (antisocial, borderline, schizotypal, etc.) also have a high correlation with addiction, to the tune of 30 percent. Anxiety disorders are actually the most common group of disorders among U.S. adults, but they fall behind depression and personality disorders when it comes to how likely someone with this condition is going to abuse harmful substances.

Dual Diagnosis Is Difficult to Treat, But Possible

Dual diagnosis is difficult to treat for a few reasons. One of the reasons is that when treating addiction, it can be difficult to get to the root cause of the symptoms being shown. For an inexperienced caregiver, signs of depression could be mistakenly attributed to somebody’s addiction. When, in reality, the person has legitimate depression, and they have become addicted as a way of coping with their illness. A medical professional with experience in treating dual diagnosis is essential to uncovering the underlying problem.

Not all alcohol and drug rehab facilities are qualified to diagnose and treat dual diagnosis. When someone is treated for addiction without being treated for their mental health condition, problems typically occur, such as:

  • Very quick relapse after addiction treatment,
  • High chance of leaving the treatment program early, or
  • Inability to integrate with others seeking help for their addictions.

Maryland Recovery’s Solution: Therapeutic and Holistic Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation

At Maryland Recovery, we’re confident we have the right team and programs in place to help people recover from both addiction and co-occurring disorders. We offer Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient services in the beautiful, quiet town of Bel Air, Maryland.

In our highly customized programs, patients are treated to highly effective counseling and holistic therapy services. This usually means activities such as group and individual counseling, meditation, yoga, ear acupuncture and more, but it all depends on the patient’s individualized recovery plan.

At Maryland Recovery, dual diagnosis patients generally receive extra counseling and holistic services than an addiction-only patient. Our focus is on rewiring the brain of a dual diagnosis patient so that he or she better comes to terms with past issues and learns how to manage stress without having to resort to substance use. Our psychiatrists and holistic instructors are vigilant when it comes to helping rebuild the strength of a patient’s mind, body and spirit.

If you want your best shot at putting substance abuse behind you for good while learning how to mitigate and manage your co-occurring disorder symptoms, Maryland Recovery has the team and resources to make that wish become reality.