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Dual Diagnosis and Co-occurring Disorders

What is meant by Dual Diagnosis and
Co-occurring Conditions?

A person with dual diagnosis or co-occurring conditions has both a mental health and a substance use disorder (SUD) or multiple mental health and/or SUD disorders in combination. These conditions occur together frequently. Many people who have a mental health disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa. The interactions of the two conditions can make them both more difficult for a person to overcome.

Why do substance use disorders and mental disorders occur together?

Although these problems often occur together, this does not mean that one caused the other, even if one appeared first. In fact, it can be hard to figure out which came first. Researchers think that there are three possibilities as to why they occur together:

Why do substance use disorders and mental disorders occur together?

  • Common risk factors may contribute to both mental disorders and substance use disorders. These factors include genetics, stress, anxiety, depression and trauma.
  • Mental disorders can contribute to drug use and substance use disorders.  People with mental disorders often use drugs or alcohol to try to feel better temporarily. This is commonly referred to as self-medication. Also, mental disorders may change the brain to make it more likely you will develop a substance use disorder.

Substance use and addiction can contribute to the development of a mental disorder. Substance use may change the brain in ways that make you more likely to develop a mental disorder.

What are the treatments for dual diagnosis?

Generally, it is better to treat the SUD and the co-occurring mental disorders together rather than separately. At Inspiration Health Addiction Treatment Center people seeking help for a SUD and other mental health disorders are evaluated by our health care providers for each of their disorders. Because it can be challenging to make an accurate diagnosis due to overlapping symptoms, our providers use comprehensive assessment tools to make appropriate diagnosis’s and provide targeted medical and behavioral health treatments.

Inspiration Health Addiction Treatment Center utilizes evidence based behavioral therapies and medications, tailored to our clients’ individual specific combination of disorders and symptoms. This includes treatment for the misused substance(s), and the specific mental disorder(s).

Contact us today for more information!

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