Many men and women enter into treatment suffering from more than just addiction. There are often underlying mental health concerns that must be addressed if they are to overcome their problems with alcohol and drugs. Dual Diagnosis is a term used when a person suffers from both addiction and a mental health problem simultaneously, regardless of which developed first. Mental health problems and addiction often go hand-in-hand. Usually, one begins first and exacerbates the other. The National Alliance on Mental Illness explains, “People experiencing a mental health condition may turn to alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication to improve the mental health symptoms they experience. However, research shows that alcohol and other drugs worsen the symptoms of mental illnesses.” An individual’s chances of successfully overcome addiction are greatly improved when they are able to also address all underlying causes of addiction, including any mental health problems they may experience. Co-occurring mental health and substance use problems are very common. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “According to a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million people in the U.S. experience both a mental disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. More than half of those people—4.1 million to be exact—are men.” Treatment of co-occurring disorders requires equal attention paid to addiction and mental health. Without addressing both areas, one may still suffer from mental health problems that will cause them to return to alcohol and drug use as a way to self-medicate, or vice versa. Although mental illness and addiction are often inextricably intertwined, professionals may mistakenly focus solely on one or the other. According to Dr. Mark P. McGovern, in a 2014 Administration and Policy in Mental Health article entitled Dual diagnosis capability in mental health and addiction treatment services, “Although substance use and mental health disorders frequently co-occur within any one given individual, historically, the treatment delivery system has been bifurcated, attending to one or the other disorder as if unrelated.” Fortunately, there have been significant improvements in recognizing and treating co-occurring mental health and substance use problems.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of suffering as a result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers highly effective treatment programs that are designed to follow a full continuum of care intended to address the individual needs of each client and to support re-integration into independent living. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (88) 279-1777