Roughly half of those striving to manage substance use disorder (SUD) also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Research shows that the two often are found to coexist for multiple reasons. This is sometimes referred to as a dual diagnosis. With the rate of dual diagnosis continuing to increase, or the awareness becoming more prevalent, the availability of dual diagnosis treatment must rise in equal measure.
Dual Diagnosis Risk Factors
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), says that SUD and mental health diagnosis both stem from similar risk factors, listing genetics, stress, and trauma as the most significant influencers.
Genetics offers predispose individuals to numerous health impacts. When looking at mental health conditions, often those diagnosed have some family history of the same disorder. Similarly, those who develop SUD are more likely to have a family history of substance misuse.
While looking at an individual’s diagnosis, understanding their family medical history can be a useful tool in making connections and identifying the most beneficial treatment options. Both SUD and other mental health conditions can be heredity. However, it is important to note that if a parent is diagnosed with a mental health condition or a substance use issue, it does not always mean a child will inherit the condition.
Stress is a tremendous trigger for SUD as well as mental health conditions. Research has found that many symptoms of addiction and mental health disorders overlap. Stress has a unique ability to enable these symptoms to display themselves. Someone who is under stress is more likely to have difficulty with their emotions, actions, impulse control, and decision-making skills, which often impacts their overall mood.
Such overlap in triggers and symptoms is another reason why seeking dual diagnosis treatment is so crucial for those learning to live with dual diagnoses. Treating symptoms from one disorder without also addressing the other significantly lowers a person’s chance of experiencing lasting recovery from either condition.
Those trying to cope with trauma sometimes self-medicate through the use of addictive substances. When there isn’t an easy solution readily available, or a person is unaware of an alternative, they often continuously seek what they think will work, even if it only offers temporary relief. This not only can magnify the mental health symptoms but also ignores the underlying trauma. Without treating and working through the trauma with trained professionals, many people continue to self-sabotage and struggle to truly heal from the trauma.
Another impact found in both mental health conditions and SUD are brain changes. Substance use can dramatically impact the way the brain functions. When the brain is functioning improperly, one is more likely to develop a mental health disorder. Similarly, mental health conditions are the result of dysfunctional brain systems, which can predispose people to the development of addiction. It is often difficult to determine which occurred first – the SUD or the mental health disorder.
Research has also found that both may occur solely due to similar or overlapping risk factors. Sometimes, the substance use did not cause the mental health disorder or visa-versa — they just co-occur. In either case, for success to occur, both diagnoses should be effectively and simultaneously treated.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Equally interesting is that symptoms displayed with mental health conditions and SUD are often overlapping. When symptoms demonstrated could be caused by either condition, it is crucial for care to consider both conditions. Treating one while dismissing the other generally does not result in a positive outcome for the client. Providing high-quality care for mental health conditions is necessary. Addressing substance use alongside mental health care is important for client success.
Treatment at Destiny Recovery Center
What can living with SUD and mental health disorders concurrently do to increase their quality of life? There are treatment options available to support the recovery of someone with a dual diagnosis. Destiny Recovery Center (DRC) offers a treatment program specifically for those trying to find solutions for overlapping symptoms.
DRC has programs that serve veterans and first responders as well as other individuals living with a dual diagnosis. We provide services for those coping with mental health diagnoses such as PTSD or anxiety alongside substance abuse. Utilizing treatment services for both conditions simultaneously offers clients the most successful possible outcome.
DRC will help clients work through trauma, identify stressors, and establish clear goals and strategies to work through each of their conditions. This promotes individual clients to address both their SUD and mental health conditions at the same time. Consequently, clients learn how to live with empowerment and strength.
Knowing how to cope with symptoms, and learning strategies for healing with a trauma-informed approach supports the confidence and success of clients. At Destiny Recovery Center, clients can practice using these tools and be supported in establishing a strong foundation for practicing these strategies independently.
Dual diagnosis care is a solution for those living with a substance use disorder alongside a mental health diagnosis. Obtaining support for all facets of one’s health ensures the whole person is treated. Destiny Recovery Center is prepared to assist you or your loved one with solutions and tools to promote a healthier and happier way of life. We include various therapy opportunities and multiple approaches to each service to ensure individuals receive care specific to their needs. This promotes a higher rate of success for long-term sobriety and ensures that all concerns are being addressed within the treatment plan. Call Destiny Recovery Center today at (909) 413-4304 for more information.