When you think of drug or alcohol addiction, you more than likely think of it as its own individual disorder separate from any other issue or illness. However, when it comes to the problem of addiction, it usually coincides with other health issues, particularly mental health issues. This tendency for addiction and mental illness to coincide or co-occur is known as a dual diagnosis. Get to know some of the important facts about dual diagnosis and how different mental health conditions coincide with and influence drug and alcohol dependence. Call Drug Treatment Centers Fayetteville today at (910) 401-2534.
Dual diagnosis occurs when a person has a documented mood or mental health disorder as well as a drug or alcohol addiction. While mental health disorders and addiction often interact with one another, and one can definitely cause the other, it is important to keep in mind that they are not all one issue or disorder. Rather, the person has two simultaneously occurring disorders or diagnoses, each requiring treatment.
There are essentially two ways in which mental illness and addiction can interact with one another. Many times, the mental disorder precedes the substance dependence. A person may suffer from depression, for example, and try to use drugs or alcohol to numb or ease the feelings of sadness and hopelessness. In other words, the addiction stems from an attempt to self-medicate and ease suffering.
In other cases, drug and alcohol dependence can cause the mental illness. When a person uses an addictive substance frequently and in large or frequent doses, they change their body’s internal chemistry (particularly in the brain) and can actually cause chemical imbalances that result in mental health disorders.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a dual diagnosis, Call Drug Treatment Centers Fayetteville today at (910) 401-2534.
While virtually any mental health disorder can co-occur with an addiction, some are far more common than others. And certain dependencies and mental health disorders co-occur more often than others.
Depression is perhaps the mental health disorder that is most commonly associated with addiction. This mental health disorder is associated with hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, prolonged sadness, and a lack of energy. These feelings often lead a person to isolate themselves and become lethargic and despondent.
Alcohol addiction is most commonly associated with depression, although depression can coincide with most addictions. People who are depressed often use alcohol as a means to try to numb or dull their negative feelings and can even be used to attempt to help them break out of their depressive state and socialize or interact with other people. However, as time goes on, they require more and more alcohol to achieve the same effects and are not addressing the true reasons for their depression.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that is associated with obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. In other words, the person will get a singular though stuck in their mind and will not be able to focus on anything else or move on until a compulsive behavior is completed. Compulsive behaviors can include counting, cleaning, or even hoarding.
OCD is also considered to be an anxiety disorder, in which the obsessive thoughts often result in constant worry, anxiety, and stress. Because of this, OCD is commonly linked with opiate addiction in particular. Opiates, also known as narcotics, are most often used as pain killers and to help with sleep problems. Because opiates have a calming effect, people with OCD may use them to self-medicate and to try to reduce the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors which can precipitate an addiction.
Mental health disorders and drug and alcohol addictions often occur simultaneously. Understanding that these issues co-occur can help you to understand the complexities and challenges involved in treating patients with a dual diagnosis. To find out more about the treatment options available to you at Drug Treatment Centers Fayetteville today at (910) 401-2534.