If you or a loved one is about to start a drug rehab program, it is vital that any addiction treatment is tailored to the patient’s individual requirements. While there are many questions to ask, knowing whether you need a dual diagnosis should be one of the top items on your agenda.
It is a far more common solution than you might imagine. Here’s everything you need to know about dual diagnosis in addiction rehab, including the signs that it might be the right path for you.
A brief look at dual diagnoses in addiction rehab cases
When completing the admissions to an addiction treatment center, the patient is primarily looking to get support through drug or alcohol rehab. This could manifest as a treatment program for cocaine abuse, heroin abuse, prescription drug abuse, or a host of related substance use disorders. However, a dual diagnosis is when the patient is also found to have a mental health disorder.
The co-occurrence of addiction and mental illness is something that we often see at the Louisville Addiction Treatment Center. Here are some quick facts to help you understand more about its prevalence;
- Over 9.5 million Americans have co-occurring mental health issues and drug or alcohol addiction.
- Around one in two people who have a mental health problem will fall into the trap of substance abuse.
- Nearly one in five adults in America lives with a mental health issue, although far fewer seek help for it.
Statistically speaking, a person who has mental health issues is more likely to suffer from addiction than someone without mental health disorders. Similarly, addicts are more likely to have mental health orders than non-addicts. A dual diagnosis is, therefore, quite a common solution when entering an addiction treatment center.
How do you know if you need a dual diagnosis in addiction rehab?
Given that untreated mental health issues are one of the reasons why over 85% of individuals who complete drug rehab treatments will relapse, anyone who does have co-occurring issues will benefit from gaining the support of an addiction treatment center that will look to manage both issues simultaneously.
Here are six signs that you may need help with a mental disorder as a part of your addiction treatment program at Louisville Addiction Treatment Center:
You have known mental health issues
The most obvious sign that you need a dual diagnosis when entering a drug or alcohol treatment center is that you already have known mental health issues. Examples include anxiety, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, paranoia, and more.
Whether you are currently on medication or taking other treatments for the condition or it was a condition that you faced in the past doesn’t matter. If you have had a mental health issue at any stage of life, it could mean that a dual diagnosis is needed before undergoing an intensive outpatient drug rehab program or any other form of treatment.
Even if no further treatment is needed for the co-occurring mental health issue, declaring this information will give the drug rehab team far better insight into your addiction and background. This can subsequently help with finding the best therapies and strategies going forward – for your substance use disorder as well as mental health issues.
Mental health issues run in the family
It is estimated that over 27 million Americans are living with untreated mental health illnesses. So, just because you haven’t been diagnosed with one, it doesn’t mean you are free from them. If your direct family members are known to have any of the major mental health disorders, you have a heightened chance of developing them too.
Besides, many people do not see their mental health problems surface until adulthood. If you know that a close family member has a problem and you are beginning to show signs of it, there is a good chance that you have it. In fact, it’s probably one of the underlying reasons why you have turned to alcohol or other substances.
Alternatively, you may have spotted the signs of undiagnosed mental health problems in a loved one but cannot see them in yourself. Take time to reflect on the situation, and you may find that a dual diagnosis is a clear answer.
Drug rehab has failed in the past
If you have a long history of drug addiction and have failed to stay sober after completing addiction treatment programs in the past, it could be a sign that ill mental health is causing a problem. If this is the case, your chances of remaining clean will be very slim until you find a program that tackles the underlying mental health issues.
A common feature is when the detoxification stage leaves you feeling suicidal. Most addicts struggle with withdrawal symptoms, which is why it’s important to work with a professional and supportive team, like Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, but it should not feel the need to self-harm or become angry. This is often a sign of a mental health disorder.
Meanwhile, people with mental health issues are more likely to succumb to the temptation of drugs and alcohol in the post-treatment phases. So, if you have relapsed multiple times, an expert who can make a dual diagnosis may be the right path to take.
You abuse substances to escape psychological problems
Studies show that 13% of the adult population will use illicit drugs in any given month, and most people have tried them or consumed alcohol in an irresponsible manner at least once in their lifetime. However, most people do it for purely social reasons. If you consciously do it for the purpose of escapism from your life, this is a sign of mental health issues.
It may have started as a way to deal with a divorce or other emotionally stressful times. Sadly, it can quickly become a regular occurrence to take the edge off of life and make the pain temporarily disappear. This is when a dependence develops and the clear signs are that substance abuse is used to mask depression and related issues of ill mental health.
In these instances, a dual diagnosis is vital because it allows your drug rehab team to find the best program and aftercare to reduce the risk of relapsing again. The aim isn’t just to get clean, it’s to stay sober for the long haul.
Drugs make you feel ‘normal’
Substance abuse doesn’t only take the edge off of life when you feel overwhelmed. Many abusers turn to drugs or alcohol because they think it makes them normal once more. Ultimately, it means that they are using illicit drugs to self-treat an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental health condition. A dual diagnosis will solve this.
Individuals with ADHD may turn to stimulants while people with anxiety may use benzodiazepines to alleviate the symptoms. When they are used in a similar fashion to prescription medications, users quickly develop a dependence. As well as addiction, a wide range of side effects could surface as a direct result of using drugs to feel normal.
Breaking free from the cycle is hard until the mental health disorder is treated in an appropriate way. In turn, it allows the drug rehab elements to focus solely on the addiction.
Substance abuse is used to punish yourself
Millions of substance abusers do so without realizing the damage that their drug-taking activities cause. However, many others can see their deterioration and thrive off it because it is a way to punish themselves. This could be due to feeling worthless, hopeless, or generally depressed. In any situation, the self-destructive mode is usually linked to poor mental health.