Co-existing mental health and substance use disorders are much more common than most people think. Also known as a dual diagnosis, common co-existing disorders include depression and alcoholism, eating disorders and stimulant abuse, anxiety disorders and prescription drug abuse, and post traumatic stress disorder and alcohol alcoholism. These conditions require careful evaluation and treatment, with detox and rehab treatment both recommended.
The most common co-existing disorders include depression disorder and anxiety disorders. People with these conditions often turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication, with psychoactive substances providing temporary relief while exasperating long-term problems. Specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs are often needed to tackle these problems, including extensive psychotherapy and aftercare support.
Other mental conditions that have been linked to substance abuse include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), personality disorders, eating disorders and many more. Drug-induced psychosis is another form of dual diagnosis, including methamphetamine-induced psychosis and cocaine-induced psychosis.
Dual diagnosis conditions can be treated in many ways, with common treatment patterns including primary treatment, parallel treatment, sequential treatment, and integrated treatment. Primary treatment simply treats what is believed to be the primary disorder. Parallel treatment deals with both conditions at the same time, with a second doctor and facility sometimes required. Sequential treatment deals with both disorders in a linear fashion, with the secondary disorder treated directly once the primary disorder has been evaluated and stabilized. Integrated treatment makes no distinction between disorders, with a single treatment plan realized at a single facility.
Aftercare support programs are very important for dual diagnosis patients. While detox enables the cessation of drug use and rehab addresses the precedents of addiction, further measures are needed to promote long-term abstinence and recovery. Common aftercare programs include SMART Recovery, 12-step facilitation, and sober living environments. If you or anyone you know is living with co-existing disorders, it's important to find specialized help as soon as you can.