The coexistence of mental health and substance abuse disorders is common in the dual diagnosis patients. In fact, experts believe that one of the substance abuse disorders, such as alcohol addiction, heroin addiction, etc., leads to the occurrence of mental disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder, depression, etc. Moreover, a mental health problem can also lead to addiction.
Compared to other treatments, dual diagnosis treatment is more complicated and detailed due to the need to focus on an accurate determination of both mental health and substance abuse disorders. As a result, it is indispensable to know the combination of co-occurring diseases to ensure effective customized treatment for faster recovery.
Some of the most common co-occurring disorders have been mentioned below:
Antisocial personality disorder and alcoholism
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and alcoholism are very common co-occurring disorders in dual diagnosis. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), ASPD has a very close relationship with alcoholism, as regular heavy drinkers are 21 times more likely to deal with ASPD compared to others. It further adds that the two disorders usually develop early in life, but alcoholism can worsen the mental disorder. Alcohol also makes people less inhibited, making ASPD more potent.
Anxiety disorders and cocaine addiction
Similarly, anxiety disorders and cocaine addiction are also quite common in dual diagnosis patients. Most people use cocaine for psychoactive effects; however, the continued use of cocaine can trigger anxiety disorder symptoms, such as paranoia, hallucination, sleeplessness, etc. These disruptive changes massively affect a person’s life and relationships. Interestingly, people who have anxiety often go on to use cocaine to alleviate pain and stress. Moreover, cocaine addiction can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of the dual diagnosis condition include excessive worry and apprehensions that affect one’s daily life.
Depression and alcohol addiction
People going through depression often tend to drink to enhance their mood by eliminating hopelessness and sadness. Although one can witness temporary relief from stress by drinking, alcohol worsens a person’s depression symptoms. People going through depression and having alcohol addiction are persistently sad, hopeless, etc. due to negative thinking.
They also frequently display symptoms, such as decreased energy, tiredness and reduced engagement with pleasurable activities. In many instances, heroin addiction is also associated with depression, but alcohol is the most abused substance by the people going through depression.
Panic disorder and benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines, particularly alprazolam, are antianxiety medications used for treating panic disorder, agoraphobia and nerve tension. Though primarily used for the long-term treatment of panic disorder, they are sometimes prescribed for immediate relief. However, many people get addicted to the medicines as a side effect. Due to the increased tolerance to such medications, they need to increase the dosage gradually to get the same effects. It is recommended to consult a doctor in case a person develops addiction to such medications.
Post-traumatic stress disorder and painkillers
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of mental disorder that often arise after a direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic incident, such as sexual assault, natural disaster, etc., which may also affect a person both physically and mentally. Though painkillers, or opioids, are often prescribed to alleviate pain caused due to an injury or after a procedure, people often use them for nonmedical purposes, such as to feel pleasure and other euphoric effects. Such self-medication generally transforms into an addiction eventually. This can also in many cases lead to a dual diagnosis condition wherein the patient has both PTSD and opioid addiction. Although people witnessing severe pain does need painkillers to feel better, the consumption of painkillers along with PTSD is risky.
Ensure holistic treatment
The dual diagnosis treatment by focusing on both mental and substance abuse disorders can effectively treat the condition. There are efficient dual diagnosis treatment centers in California that offer excellent programs for faster recovery.
If you or anyone you know has dual diagnosis, contact the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online to learn about the best treatment options for dual diagnosis.