Substance Abuse And Mental Disorders Often Go Hand-In-Hand. What’s The Status Of Good Treatment?
By Jeanene Swanson
Statistics don’t lie: co-occurring mental disorders and addiction - also called dual diagnosis - go hand in hand. In fact, according to several long-standing epidemiological studies, 50% of general psychiatric patients also have a substance use disorder. That’s a harrowing 8.9 million adults, with only 7.4% of individuals receiving treatment for both conditions, this according to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Addiction treatment specialists are well aware of the fact that drug and alcohol abuse can also cause symptoms of a mental disorder - in other words, if you take away the drugs and alcohol, the mental problems ease up or go away entirely. But that’s not always the case. Substance use can trigger latent mental disorders and often make them worse. Read more...
Dual Diagnosis: A Different Approach to Recovery
By DeAnna Jordan
Addiction rears its ugly head in many different forms – from the debilitating physical effects to the underlying emotional pain it can cause. It leaves scars much deeper than those visible to the naked eye, sometimes amplifying something much deeper that was already present.
Dual diagnosis, the term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously, is a relatively new innovation that came about in the 1990s. You may ask why treating both is so important. Prior to dual diagnosis and its existence, clients were often denied treatment for a mental illness until they sought help for their addiction. What's important to understand is that either a substance abuse issue or mental issue can arise first – a person with a preexisting mental health condition may turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, worsening the symptoms of their existing mental health condition. Read more...