Understanding Dual Diagnosis and Treatment

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, is a term used to describe a person with both a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder. It is important to accurately diagnose and treat patients with dual diagnosis, as substance use can change the brain in ways that increase the risk of developing mental illness. Treatment for dual diagnosis often begins with inpatient detoxification and substance use rehabilitation, followed by therapy and support services. A dual diagnosis treatment center can help people get treatment for mental illness and addiction at the same time.

When evaluating an individual for a possible dual diagnosis, it is important to consider the social struggles of the individual, as well as the disorders themselves. Isolation, mood swings, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts may worsen with a dual diagnosis. Adequate treatment should address all of these factors. Flowers Health Institute is one example of a treatment center that offers a wide range of services for people with co-occurring disorders and dual diagnoses.

Many addiction professionals and public health researchers have dedicated their careers to studying the relationship of dual diagnosis. Ashish Bhatt explains the importance of accurately diagnosing and treating patients with a dual diagnosis. There is emerging evidence that quetiapine is beneficial in patients with dual diagnosis, particularly alcohol, cocaine and amphetamine use. Red Oak Recovery is another example of a dual-diagnosis treatment center that helps people discover a healthier outlook on living. Through a dual-diagnosis treatment center, people can get a professional diagnosis for all their conditions.

Dual diagnosis rehabilitation centers face the unique challenge of treating multiple disorders without aggravating any course of treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides resources to help those affected by dual diagnosis. SAMHSA's National Helpline is available 24/7 in English and Spanish to provide referrals to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states. SAMHSA also offers resources such as Alcohol and Drug Addiction Happens in Best Families which explains how substance abuse treatment works, how family interventions can be a first step to recovery, and how to help children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with dual diagnosis, there are resources available to help. Visit SAMHSA's website for more information or contact their National Helpline for assistance.

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