What is Dual Diagnosis?
The term “dual diagnosis” refers to someone suffering from both a drug or alcohol addiction and a co-occurring psychiatric illness, such as bipolar disorder or depression. It’s an area of addiction medicine that has grown rapidly in recent years, leading to better understanding and advances in treatment.
According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association:
- Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and fifty-three percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
- Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.
Why is Dual Diagnosis treatment more complex?
The two illnesses can actually exacerbate each other, and it becomes difficult to determine which symptoms are caused by which disorder. For example, psychiatric symptoms can be masked by drug use.
Conversely, drug or alcohol use (or withdrawal from drugs/alcohol) can cause behaviors that mimic psychiatric conditions. An untreated psychiatric illness can lead to drug abuse or alcohol abuse – and untreated drug addiction can cause reoccurrence of psychiatric symptoms.
With symptoms and causal relationships so tightly intertwined, it’s important to choose experienced dual diagnosis professionals.
To learn more about Dual Diagnosis treatment please visit our website or call (877) 448-0342 for a free and confidential assessment.