Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in Florida: Why is Co-Occurring Mental Disorder Treatment Important?
Substance use disorder – the term used to describe problematic substance abuse and addiction -occurred in more than 20 million people in the U.S. in 2014. Out of these people, 7.9 million had a second mental disorder occurring at the same time as their addiction. The co-occurrence of a mental disorder with addiction is common and it can have a profound effect on treatment; without the help of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida that treats both disorders, relapse becomes very likely.
We will explore the definition of dual diagnosis, what disorders commonly occur together, and how treatment needs to be approached in order to achieve long-term success.
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is the clinical term used to describe when a person with an addiction – substance use disorder – also has another accompanying mental disorder. It is referred to as “co-occurring mental disorders,” too.
The reason why it is an important aspect of treatment is due to the effect that substance abuse has on the co-occurring mental disorder; without a dual diagnosis program, the substance abuse negatively affects the other mental disorder. In most cases, they are strongly linked, such as the symptoms of bi-polar disorder – mania and depression – leading the person to abuse alcohol as a way to deal with the untreated symptoms.
What Disorders Frequently Occur Together in Dual Diagnosis?
In the dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida that treat co-occurring mental disorders, such as the WhiteSands facilities, there are several pairings of disorders that frequently occur together. Oftentimes, there is an interplay between these disorders; the symptoms of substance abuse can amplify clinical depression as an example, and the only relief the person gets from their depression is the short-lived “high” or intoxication that drugs and alcohol provide – thus continuing the cycle.
Some of the frequently co-occurring disorders in dual diagnosis are as follows:
- Anti-social personality disorder and alcoholism – One of the pairings that are often treated in Florida dual diagnosis treatment centers is anti-social personality disorder, which causes anxiety and discomfort in social settings, and alcohol abuse, which causes a person’s inhibition to lower and reduces anxiety.
- Opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – In many of the PTSD cases that are treated in dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida, the person also suffered physical injury. To help with the pain, they may have been given prescription opioid pain relievers, and due to their untreated disorder, find comfort in the euphoria it gives. This can often cause a dependence to the drug to quickly form as the drug becomes the only way to cope with the flashbacks and severe depression and anxiety that accompany PTSD.
- Heroin and depression – Heroin, like prescription opioids, fill a person with instant relief in the form of euphoria and an escape from their problems. For a person with untreated depression, it can quickly cause the brain to relate heroin abuse with the relief of their symptoms, causing addictive behaviors.
Dual Diagnosis Program
The reason why it’s so important to seek help through Florida dual diagnosis treatment centers is because if both conditions are not treated simultaneously, then it leaves the person open to relapse. For example, a person suffering from PTSD who receives treatment for only their addiction to opioid pain relievers will most likely find themselves overwhelmed by their PTSD symptoms with no means to self-medicate, until they finally relapse.
Only through dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida that have specialized programs that treat the disease of addiction alongside the co-occurring mental disorder, such as the WhiteSands facilities in Florida, can the person have a real chance at a full recovery from their addiction – treating the reason why they self-medicate through substance abuse.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.