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Dual Diagnosis

One of the most common occurrences in addiction cases is the presence of another mental disorder such as bi-polar or post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on findings in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2014, out of the 20.2 million Americans who had a substance abuse problem in that year, 7.9 million had a co-occurring mental disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment in West Virginia is offered to those that show the presence of a mental disorder along with a substance use disorder.


Dual Diagnosis Explained

If a person has a dual diagnosis it means that they not only have a substance use disorder (addiction) but also another mental disorder that often interacts on several levels with the addiction. These are considered to be two separate illnesses and as such, are treated independently. However, if only one of the conditions was treated, the likeliness of a relapse due to the other condition still being present is likely. For example, if a person suffering from PTSD was to just be treated for substance use disorder then the chance of their untreated PTSD leading them to self-medication is increased. Treatment for both conditions occurs congruently to be able to effectively treat the person and reduce the risk of relapse.


Commonly occurring mental illnesses with addiction

An addiction can be the cause of a mental disorder such as depression and a mental disorder such as bi-polar can be the cause of substance abuse or addiction. In both cases, dual diagnosis is required to effectively manage both illnesses

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects many Americans especially veterans. They often turn to alcohol and other drugs to be able to cope with the daily hardships brought on by the PTSD. They do this in an attempt to self-medicate but the after effects of the abuse leads them to even greater PTSD symptoms, especially over long-term abuse.

Eating disorders also occur with addiction; both over eating and under eating. Some drugs may suppress a person’s need to eat and is abused as a result. The continued abuse can lead to an addiction that becomes out of the control of the user. Some people are addicted to food and the release of endorphins that accompany eating which can make them more prone to substance addiction as the same areas of the brain are affected.

Depression often co-occurs with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Self-medication is usually the reason behind the abuse. However, many drugs cause an even greater depression to set in after its use. Continued use of drugs such as opiates and cocaine can eventually lead to a more severe form of depression forming.


Treatment for dual diagnosis

Treatment plans for dual diagnosis in West Virginia will address both conditions at the same time. The plan will ensure that ample time is given to both conditions so that treatment can be given a chance to be successful. Some of the methods used to treat these cases include the following:

Behavioral management – This is where a therapist will help a patient to manage and control their behavior. They are made aware of incorrect thinking that leads to their addictive behavior and given to tools to change.

Psychotherapy – Here a patient will discuss many areas of their life with a psychotherapist in order to understand why they turned to drug abuse and to help them deal with unresolved grief and stress.

Psychopharmacology – This treatment is the use of medication to alter a person’s mood and behavior in a positive way. It can help to correct imbalances in a person’s brain function and lead them to a healthier, happier way of life.

Professionals are standing by, ready to help you or your loved one begin the journey to recovery. Pick up the phone today and take the first step to getting your life back.