Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in New Jersey

What Does It Mean to Have a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the diagnosis of drug and alcohol abuse in addition to a mental health diagnosis. This diagnosis can coexist with alcohol or drug addiction. Either the mental health or substance abuse issue can occur first. 32.1% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2020 (17 million individuals).

About half of individuals with a current mental health disorder will also have a SUD or substance use disorder at a point in their lives. The overall interactions of both conditions can worsen the other one. Even though these matters often appear together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has caused the other one. 

Matter of fact, it can be challenging to attempt to figure out which one came first: the mental health disorder or the substance use disorder. Researchers have found the following ways on why the two often occur together. Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult (estimated 12 million visits).

Addiction and substance use can contribute to the overall development of a mental health disorder. It’s important to remember that substance use alters the brain in various ways that make an individual more likely to develop a full-blown mental health condition. Similarly, mental health disorders can contribute to substance and drug use. 

For example, individuals with mental disorders might use alcohol or drugs as an attempt to feel better temporarily. This type of method is most known for self-medication. Also, mental disorders might change an individual’s brain to make it more likely that a person will get addicted.

When an individual utilizes alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, it will often lead to a deeper issue and make the initial diagnosis that much worse. Self-medicating can mask an individual’s mental health disorder symptoms. In turn, this scenario will extend the disease. 

The most common risk factors that can contribute to both substance use and mental health disorders include stress, trauma, and genetics. When an individual has a dual diagnosis, both conditions must be treated. For the treatment to be effective, there will have to be a halt to using drugs and alcohol. 

Generally, treatment for dual diagnosis includes medication and behavioral therapy. In addition to that, support groups can give social and emotional support. These also act as a place where individuals can share tips about how to effectively manage their daily challenges. 

What Are the Effects of Co-Occurring Disorders? 

When people are struggling with the overall presence of co-occurring disorders and aren’t or can’t receive treatment at dual diagnosis treatment centers in NJ, there can be several adverse effects that are inflicted upon them. Even though the short and long term effects will naturally vary from person to person, some examples of co-occurring disorder effects include:

  • A decline in attendance and work performance potentially results in continuous unemployment and job loss
  • Law enforcement interaction as a result of abusing illegal substances
  • Disturbances within an individual’s relationship with family and friends
  •  An overall decline in a person’s psychological and physical health
  • The onset of self-harming behaviors
  • Isolation and social withdrawal
  • Suicidal ideation 

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year. 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

46.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020. 64.5% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2020. 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016. The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.

Individuals who have a substance use disorder are also less likely to fully adhere to the medication that is needed to treat their mental health disorder. Therefore, making it difficult to get the symptoms of their mental health condition fully under control. Substance use disorders are also known to be associated with an increase in violent and aggressive behavior. 

Anxiety and Addiction 

When an individual has an anxiety disorder, it isn’t the anxious feeling that you might receive now and then. Instead, it’s the fear gripping reality that individuals live with every day. Some of the general symptoms of an anxiety disorder include the following:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Panic 
  • Angst

Some of the anxiety disorder symptoms are the following:

  • Not being able to sleep
  • Being nauseous 
  • Tense muscles
  • Being fearful
  • Feeling dizzy

Panic disorders and social phobias are some of the most common anxiety disorders. Social phobia is considered to be overwhelming discomfort in various social settings. Sometimes, the individual might begin to feel judged. 

Individuals that are diagnosed with social phobias generally avoid specific social situations. Additionally, there is also separation anxiety disorder. This condition is considered the fear of being separated from an individual that they love. 

When a person has a separation anxiety disorder, they have a fear of being alone. Another anxiety disorder is agoraphobia. This condition is having more than one fear of public transportation, being in a crowded place or outside alone. 

Depression and Addiction 

To be diagnosed with clinical depression, the overall symptoms must be present for over half a month. An individual with depression has extreme manifestations of the following:

  • The way that they think 
  • Their sleeping
  • Mood 
  • Their eating 

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in New Jersey can be extremely favorable in helping addiction and depression problems. One of the most common forms of depression is postpartum depression. This occurs after a woman has given birth to their child. 

Postpartum depression isn’t just the blues of having a baby; the symptoms of this condition are way more severe. Some of the symptoms of postpartum depression are the following:

  • Withdrawal from close family and friends
  • Unable to bond with your baby
  • Being extremely anxious
  • Not being able to sleep 
  • Uncontrollable weeping
  • Thoughts of suicide 
  • Being overwhelmed 
  • Loss of hope
  • Being irritable 

Personality Disorders and Addiction 

A personality disorder is a mental health disorder where the person has a dysfunctional way of behaving. This condition can limit relationships. Some of the most common personality disorders are the following:

A schizoid personality disorder is a personality disorder. Some of the main characteristics of this personality disorder are the following:

  • Not warming up to other people
  • No interest in relationships
  • Unable to take pleasure in the joys of life

A paranoid personality disorder is also a personality disorder. The main characteristics of this disorder are the following:

  • Unfounded mistrust that an individual is out to harm you
  • Innocent remarks that are taken as insults to you 
  • Having unfounded distrust in a spouse or friend
  • Angry outbursts to insults

ADHD and Addiction 

ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurological disorder that is generally diagnosed during an individual’s childhood and might last into adulthood. Individuals who have ADHD might be more inclined to engage in alcohol or drug use as a way to cope with the symptoms that come with the disorder. It is typically associated with the following symptoms:

  • Coping with boredom and tedious tasks
  • Controlling impulsive behaviors
  • Difficulty paying attention 
  • Difficulty staying still

Approximately, 25% of adults that enter into substance abuse and alcohol treatment centers also live with ADHD. It’s important to note that several dual diagnosis treatment centers in NJ focus on addressing addiction and ADHD simultaneously. The treatment centers for those with ADHD emphasize a dual diagnosis method and utilize numerous types of therapy that allow for healthy habits and healing to take precedence. 

OCD and Addiction 

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a disorder that is long-lasting as far as time. It’s a disorder that an individual preoccupies themself with a specific thought, and they become over passionate about it. It is considered to be uncontrollable and reoccurring over and over again. 

The unreasonable fears that an individual has, along with the anxiety cause repeated thoughts. Some common, repetitive, and compulsive activities are engaged with a person that has OCD such as the following:

  • Arranging their belongings
  • Washing their hands 
  • Counting things

Even though performing the above-mentioned rituals can provide temporary relief, the person’s anxiety returns soon after completion. It’s paramount to know that OCD is an extremely disruptive disease that can take over an individual’s life and prevent them from participating in numerous of life’s most enjoyed activities. 

Schizophrenia and Addiction 

Schizophrenia is considered to be an extreme mental health disorder that can affect how a person behaves, feels, or thinks. This mental health condition can co-occur with drug or alcohol abuse. Some of the symptoms and signs of schizophrenia are having a distorted view of reality and hallucinations. 

When an individual has a distorted view of reality, it will hurt many personal relationships. Hallucinations are the act of hearing or seeing something that isn’t there, which can deeply affect a person’s behavior. A few other truths about schizophrenia is the following:

  • It has a disturbed and flawed way of thinking. 
  • Poor focusing is another symptom of it. 
  • Schizophrenia can be hereditary. 

How to Diagnose Co-Occurring Disorders?

Substance use and mental health disorders are diagnosed according to the defined criteria in the (DSM) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The manual acts as an effective handbook that clinicians utilize to diagnose specific substance use and mental health disorders based on the symptoms that occur commonly. Even though there are evident definitions for substance abuse and mental health issues, the manual previously lacked descriptions for co-occurring disorders. 

The above-mentioned concern was improved upon in the DSM-5, the fifth edition of the manual. This was updated to better define mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders. It is acknowledged that an individual with a co-occurring disorder will typically have similar mental health disorders as an individual who has a mental health disorder but not a substance use disorder. The manual also takes into consideration that substance use disorder, also known as SUD, isn’t necessarily worse in an individual that has a mental health disorder. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options for Co-Occurring Disorders 

The dual diagnosis treatment options for co-occurring disorders will provide the necessary resources to relieve the overall symptoms of a mental health disorder. When a program is fully integrated for co-occurring disorders, it addresses the patient’s SUD while also providing them with efficient therapy to treat their mental health condition. Once the individual has control of their SUD, the medication might also be added to the treatment program to help them mentally. 

Check Out Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in New Jersey 

According to dual diagnosis research studies, there is a huge benefit to treating co-occurring disorders simultaneously to achieve more effective outcomes overall for the patient. 9.5 million or 3.8% of adults over the age of 18 have both a substance abuse disorder (SUD) and a mental illness. SUDs affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. If you or a loved one is seeking a co-occurring program, contact one of our dual diagnosis treatment centers in New Jersey today. It is vital to get the proper treatment for your needs. 

References:

https://www.nami.org/mhstats 

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments

​​https://drugabusestatistics.org

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2017/Understanding-Dual-Diagnosis

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions