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Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Idaho – Dual Diagnosis

With addiction being a complex disease to treat, when an additional mental disorder is present, it can make addiction treatment more complicated. There is a strong connection between a mental disorder such as clinical depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. A dual diagnosis offered by Idaho rehab centers can treat each of the disorders and end the cycle between the mental issues that is driving the person into an addiction.


What is a dual diagnosis?

When a person has a dual diagnosis it means that after a professional assessment, it was found that there were two mental disorders present; substance use disorder (addiction) as well as another mental illness. In these situations, the patient has to be treated for both disorders at the same time. This is important so that the person can fully recover because if only the addiction was treated, the likelihood of relapse is higher due to the presence of the mental disorder that may have led to the person abusing drugs and alcohol to begin with. Dual diagnosis treatment plans are in place to help people living in Idaho with a variety of mental disorders and an addiction.


Common types of mental illnesses that co-occur with addiction

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) did a report on co-occurring disorders in 2014 where they discovered that 21.5 million people living in America were struggling with a substance use disorder. Of these, 7.9 million people had a co-occurring mental disorder; addiction and a mental illness. The high co-occurrence shows a clear link between the two.

The following shows what some of the most common forms of co-occurring disorders are:


  • Addiction and PTSD – This is a common illness that can happen with an addiction. People often use drugs and alcohol to alleviate some of the crippling symptoms that they experience due to their disorder. They have flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks that can cause them to drink alcohol or take drugs such as heroin to suppress. The prolonged use of substances not only causes an addiction but also causes the symptoms to worsen.
  • Addiction and eating disorders – Eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa often co-occur with an addiction due to the depression and anxiety that the person feels. They may use drugs such as methamphetamine to suppress their hunger or a person with an overeating problem may use drugs such as cannabis to further abuse food, increasing their hunger. The combination of drugs and eating disorders are among the most dangerous due to the malnutrition that the body can suffer.
  • Addiction and anxiety disorder – Anxiety disorders are among the most numerous mental disorders in America. The disorders include social anxiety, phobias and panic disorders among others and substance abuse can bring out an anxiety disorder that may not have occurred otherwise. Drugs and alcohol can also be used to ineffectively self-medicate creating further problems. For example, a person with social phobias may use alcohol as a way to bypass their condition eventually relying on the substance to cope, quickly leading to a dependency.


Dual diagnosis treatment

Treating co-occurring disorders is important to promote a long-lasting recovery and avoid a relapse cycle. When a person is found to have a dual diagnosis, they will be entered into a program, either inpatient or outpatient, where they will receive therapy. The therapy includes behavioral management, psychotherapy and psychopharmacology (the use of medications). During the treatment, both conditions will receive attention until the person has control over their lives again. Post-treatment, a patient can attend support groups and therapy to ensure that relapse does not occur.