If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then you’ve likely heard the term dual diagnosis. Addiction is a complex disease with both physical and mental aspects. It can also put individuals at higher risk of developing a mental health issue like depression or anxiety. Often, people develop a substance use disorder due to an underlying mental health issue that is undiagnosed. When individuals have both a substance use disorder and a mental health concern, they struggle with a co-occurring disorder.
The dual diagnosis treatment center at Northern Illinois Recovery Center helps clients understand how a co-occurring disorder affects them and the necessary treatment. Staff provides individualized assessments to determine the best treatment program, including dual diagnosis treatment, for every client seeking treatment and recovery services.
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
Dual diagnosis is often used interchangeably with other terms, including co-occurring disorders and co-morbid disorders. All three of these terms describe individuals that experience both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. Our dual diagnosis treatment program can address several mental health concerns, such as:
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Bipolar disorder
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
It is common for some individuals to wonder, ‘Do I need dual diagnosis treatment if my diagnosis of a mental health disorder occurred before my diagnosis of a substance use disorder?’ The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that the disorders possibly appear simultaneously or that either disorder can come one after the other disorder.
Do not feel shame if you have both mental health and addiction issues. NIDA reports that approximately 50 percent of people with a mental illness will also experience a substance use disorder. Therefore, you are not alone if you need dual diagnosis treatment.
Understanding the Connection between Addiction and Mental Health Disorders
Perhaps you wonder if it is possible to have more than one co-occurring mental health disorder and one or more addictions to alcohol or other drugs. You can have any mental health diagnosis that occurs simultaneously with any substance use disorder. When you ask yourself or the professional staff at Northern Illinois Recovery Center, “Do I need dual diagnosis treatment,” there are several factors that you need to consider. Some important facts about dual diagnosis include:
- Substance abuse can potentially contribute to the development of a mental health disorder or vice versa.
- Some risk factors for addiction are also risk factors for a mental health disorder.
- Several sources point out that as many as nine million people in the U.S. experience dual diagnosis.
- One disorder does not cause the other disorder.
- Treating dual diagnosis clients requires a comprehensive approach.
Understanding whether you have a dual diagnosis disorder is the first step towards getting the help you need and living a healthy lifestyle.
Do I Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment Separately for my Addiction and Mental Health Disorders?
An important aspect of receiving dual diagnosis treatment is receiving treatment for both substance abuse and mental health simultaneously. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) points out the importance of receiving integrated care for both diagnoses simultaneously. It is not recommended that you complete one program separately from the other treatment.
There are several reasons that you need to receive dual diagnosis treatment, as opposed to separate treatment for each disorder, such as:
- NIDA reports on data showing that people with personality disorders, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders are at an increased risk of abusing opioids
- Symptoms vary among the co-occurring disorders that require professional assessment and treatment.
- Dual diagnosis requires an integrated treatment approach that potentially involves behavior therapies and support groups, and other treatment modalities.
- The common occurrence of dual diagnosis disorders allows individuals to receive individually tailored treatment in a non-judgmental and safe environment.