Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Effects of trauma

What is Dual Diagnosis?

The term ‘dual diagnosis’ (which is also referred to as a co-occurring disorder) describes the diagnosis of a mental health condition as a consequence of substance abuse. For example, a person might be dual diagnosed if they experience:

  • Major depression with cocaine addiction
  • Alcohol addiction with panic disorder
  • Alcoholism and poly-drug addiction with schizophrenia
  • Borderline personality disorder with episodic poly-drug abuse (being in an intoxicated state without preference to a particular drug)

In the United Kingdom, 2.9 percent of the population are dependent upon drugs and alcohol, according to Health Data. And each year, one in four people will experience a mental health problem.

In many cases, substance abuse and mental health conditions go hand-in-hand – one often causes the other.

Consequently, it can become increasingly more difficult to resolve either, because the worse a mental health problem becomes, the more likely a person is to escape by using drugs and alcohol, and vice versa.

What are the signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis?

There are many signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis, and they often present themselves uniquely with each individual. There are, however, many common signs of dual diagnosis, including:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Sudden changes in behaviour
  • Using substances under dangerous conditions
  • Engaging in risky behaviours
  • Loss of control over use of substances
  • Developing a high tolerance and withdrawal symptoms
  • Feeling like you need a drug to be able to function

It’s important to try and diagnose co-occurring disorder as early as possible.

This gives a person experiencing these signs the best chance possible of overcoming their substance abuse, and at the same time, the best chance possible of conquering their mental health concerns.

Things like extreme mood changes, confused or absent thinking, problems concentrating, and a desire to become a recluse are oftentimes sure-fire signs that something is wrong and needs changing.

How common is dual diagnosis?

At any given time, one in six working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental illness, and many of these people are suffering with substance abuse dependencies, too.

Because of the availability of substances, and the prominence of mental health conditions, dual diagnosis is an increasingly more common diagnosis today. In fact, the same survey found that 45 percent of people with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

It is vital, then, to find an effective solution to both mental illness and substance abuse, whether that’s through rehabilitation or, in extreme cases, hospitalisation.

Comorbidity and dual diagnosis: what’s the difference?

In medicine, comorbidity is a term that refers to additional conditions that arise as a result of the primary condition available.

For example, a person suffering from bi-polar disorder might also experience depression, or a person with Cancer might also have diabetes. 

These conditions or ‘comorid’ with one another, and oftentimes, one is the direct cause of the other.

Dual diagnosis is arguably the same term, but it refers specifically to the diagnosis of mental health conditions as a result of substance abuse conditions, and vice versa.

How we treat dual diagnosis at Camino

There are many treatments available to overcome dual diagnosis. Because there’s a high level of individualism involved in each diagnosis, treatment is often uniquely prescribed to each person suffering from such conditions.

For example, a person with an alcohol dependence and depression might complete a 12-step programme to overcome their substance addiction, as well as one-to-one therapy to vanquish their depression.

The best part about coming to Camino for your treatment, then, is a bespoke diagnosis. We treat each of our patients individually, offering specific therapies that we believe will cater to individual personalities and help each and every person overcome their dual diagnosis.

Whether it’s through therapies like equine therapy, art therapy or psychotherapy, our professional clinicians work to understand what specifically each of our patients are experiencing, and tailor treatments to help them overcome specific concerns. Some benefits include:

  • Using professionals and addiction therapists who have specialised training in the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
  • Inclusive treatment for mental illness and addiction.
  • Support from peers, individual counselling and aftercare recovery resources for psychiatric and substance disorders.
  • Holistic treatment like wellness and meditation treatments to improve a person’s mental quality of life.
  • Loss of control over use of substances
  • Developing a high tolerance and withdrawal symptoms
  • Feeling like you need a drug to be able to function

Treating dual diagnosis at Camino Recovery

It is common for our patients to experience more than one condition when they enter rehab. Oftentimes, they’ve entered rehab to treat their substance abuse, but to do this, we first have to overcome their mental health blockers.

But, that’s what we’re here for. Our expert staff are trained and tested in diagnosing and treating co-occurring disorders, and we tailor all of our treatments to each unique individual’s needs.

To find out more about how we can help, we recommend booking a no obligation conversation with one of our professionals here, and we‘ll see what we can do.

To find out more about why Spain is an ideal location for dual diagnosis rehabilitation, read our blog here.

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