Substance use disorders, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), are “mild, moderate, or severe to indicate the level of severity, which is determined by the number of diagnostic criteria met by an individual.” That criteria includes evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological indicators like tolerance and withdrawal.
Millions of Americans meet those diagnostic criteria and require professional help like the kind offered at our dual diagnosis therapy in Athens, TN to treat it, however not nearly as many people who need help reach out to get it. Instead, those addicted to substances like alcohol, opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, and sedatives can struggle with the many different physical and psychological side effects of their use. And, when other conditions are occurring at the same time, such as mental illnesses, the substance use disorder can become much worse.
There are dozens of different types of mental illnesses that can impact people in many different ways. Of the most common include anxiety disorders, mood disorders (such as depression), schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Each one of these mental illnesses can be challenging in its own right, producing effects that are difficult to manage. The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that 1 in 5 adults in the United States ages 18 and older experience mental illness in a given year. That rounds out to approximately 43.8 million people or 18.5% of the American population.
For many of these millions of people, a substance use disorder or a mental illness is their only concern. However, for a number of others, substance use disorders and mental illnesses are issues they deal with on a regular basis, as they experience both of them at the same time.
What Is A Dual Diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis is the term for a condition where an individual is diagnosed with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder that are occurring simultaneously. When someone has a dual diagnosis, it does not matter which of the mental illness or substance use disorder developed first. For some, a mental illness triggers the abuse of mind-altering substances, while for others, abusing substances like meth can serve as a catalyst for depression.
Dual diagnosis is a very common condition. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that in 2014, 7.9 million people had a dual diagnosis. Of that 7.9 million, roughly 4.1 million were men.
Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis
When someone is struggling with a dual diagnosis (whether they are aware of it or not), they can start displaying symptoms of their condition. Many of the symptoms that one can experience will be based on the type of substances that are being abused and the kind of mental illness that is occurring. However, some of the most common symptoms of a dual diagnosis include the following:
- Social isolation
- Unpredictable mood swings
- Participating in dangerous behaviors
- Using substances in unsafe situations
- Inability to remain employed/become employed
- Financial problems
- Problems controlling emotions
- Having a high tolerance for one or more substances
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not abusing substances
These are just some of the symptoms associated with a dual diagnosis. Again, more specific symptoms are dependent on the mental illness that is occurring and the substances that are being abused.
What To Expect At Our Athens, Tennessee Dual Diagnosis Therapy Program
For decades, addiction treatment professionals used to approach a dual diagnosis by immediately separating the conditions and treating each one individually and at different times. Research proved, however, that this approach was flawed and had a very little success rate. Therefore, at our dual diagnosis therapy in Athens, TN, it is now treated in a manner where both conditions are treated at the same time. For example, someone who has alcohol use disorder and depression receives both physical, mental, and emotional care designed to help address each issue as he or she goes through recovery. The approach to care will be dependent on the needs of the client.
- Detox and Medications
Detox is often the first step in treatment in dual diagnosis therapy, as it allows clients to rid their systems of all addictive and dangerous substances in a setting that is comfortable and safe. Depending on the type of substance or substances that an individual was using prior to receiving treatment, detox may or may not be necessary. However, when it is, the client can benefit from being in the care of medical and mental health professionals who can guide them through this challenging time in their recovery.
Whenever someone is diagnosed with an underlying condition, he or she will be assessed by mental health professionals so that he or she can receive the appropriate medication to help manage the mental illness that he or she is experiencing. This medication can then be managed so that it offers the greatest benefits possible for the client.
Not only does a client receive comprehensive therapeutic care for his or her substance use disorder while getting treatment at dual diagnosis therapy in Athens, TN, but he or she will also be provided with specialized therapies that can help address the complexities of the mental illness that he or she is experiencing. For example, a client with an alcohol use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder can receive traditional substance abuse treatment in conjunction with evidence-based treatments including individual and group therapy.
Having an underlying condition is not easy, and it can take time to learn how to properly manage it without experiencing a relapse. That is why treatment at a dual diagnosis therapy in Athens, TN offers clients aftercare services, ranging from personalized plans to alumni meetings. Keeping connected to a recovery network when learning how to live successfully with a dual diagnosis can keep individuals on the right track.
Get The Help You Deserve At JourneyPure’s Dual Diagnosis Addiction Therapy In Athens Tennessee
If you are struggling with some of the symptoms like those listed above or are aware that you have a dual diagnosis but have not reached out for help, do not wait any longer. Contact our Dual Diagnosis addiction therapy in Athens, Tennessee right now to get the help that you deserve.