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Dual Diagnosis in Alabama
Group at a rehab treatment Birmingham AL

Dual diagnosis is becoming a more common discovery when addicts check into treatment. Dual diagnosis is when both an addiction and a mental health or emotional disorder are present in an individual. Mental health issues and addiction commonly go hand-in-hand. If an individual is struggling with a mental health disorder, they may attempt to mask their issue with a substance or behavior. This might work for a short period of time, but it will not heal a mental health or emotional problem in the long run. Once an individual seeks treatment for their addiction, the process of dual diagnosis will discover underlying problems that will also need to be treated.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

Statistically, mental health disorders and addiction are commonly dually diagnosed in the same individual seeking out treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that roughly a third of all individuals who experience mental illnesses, also experience substance abuse. Addiction dual diagnosis is discovered during mental health treatment and must be treated with addiction counseling and detox if needed.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) uncovered similar statistics from those who sought treatment for addiction. It was found that 4 million individuals suffering from mental health issues, also have a concurrent drug or alcohol addiction. Dual diagnosis centers in Alabama must be prepared to deal with concurrent illnesses and mirror the statistics.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

There are specific types of mental health disorders that tend to go hand-in-hand with addiction. Whether an individual self-medicates to cover up a mental health issue, or initially takes a prescribed medication and becomes addicted over time, both diseases will need to be reviewed and treated once a dual diagnosis occurs.

Depression and addiction are frequently linked because those who are depressed tend to self-medicate with substances, most commonly alcohol. This can be a Band-Aid for depression at first, but over time can complicate the disease and cause an individual to become even more withdrawn and depressed.

Anxiety and addiction are seen together if an anxious person is prescribed sedatives to help with a short term anxiety related event. Sometimes a prescription drug will work too well or leave the person in a state of euphoria, and they can quickly build up a tolerance to a drug rather than directly address their anxiety issues.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

As treatment centers for addiction and mental health issues learn more about dual diagnosis, the more these facilities must do to ensure that rehabilitation plans cover this issue and can give quality care to those in need. The therapies that are predominantly used when treating dual diagnosis are geared to heal the effects from both diseases.

Psychopharmacology is helpful for those who use substances to self-medicate, but who might actually benefit from medications that are not habit forming. Working through therapy while taking medications that are intended to treat mental health issues, can get an individual back on the right track quickly. Behavioral management is a goal-oriented technique that can make individuals excited about the future and about meeting the goals and expectations that they set for themselves. This works well for both mental health and addiction issues.

After an individual has gone through dual diagnosis inpatient treatment, there is still more work that needs to be done. An individual will need to refrain from relapsing and also to keep their mental health issues in check. Aftercare is an important part of recovery in Alabama. Recommendations for ongoing therapy, medications for mental health issues, and a support network must all be put in place. The better the long term care an individual in recovery is given, the more they will be able to keep both of their diseases in check and stay on a long term path for recovery.

If you or a loved one suffers from a substance addiction and a mental health disorder, it is important to reach out to a quality rehab facility for dual diagnosis treatment in Alabama today.