It is common knowledge that many mental health disorders are coupled with an alcohol or drug addiction. However, what many do not know or understand is how to determine the appropriate diagnosis in many of these cases. Perhaps the individual began abusing drugs and alcohol and then developed a mental health disorder, or vice versa. Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand that most individuals are improperly diagnosed, or go undiagnosed, which can often lead to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. If a mental health diagnosis is undiagnosed, the individual will not receive the proper care and treatment in order to live a successful life and they might turn to drug and alcohol use as a means of coping. This leads to what is known as a co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis.
Trying to Find a Way to Cope
A person suffering from a mental illness might turn to drug and alcohol use to cope with a variety of symptoms such as physical pain, anxiety, depression, etc. Drugs and alcohol serve as a short-term remedy to rid them of their symptoms, but only temporarily, which is what leads to the need to continue using. It is important for someone who is experiencing these symptoms to be properly diagnosed so that they can receive treatment from a dual diagnosis inpatient treatment center. Only the top dual diagnosis treatment centers can help someone overcome their mental illness and drug abuse by properly diagnosing the mental illness and then treating the mental illness and the drug addiction at the same time. If the individual continues to abuse drugs and alcohol, they can begin to experience a whole new set of symptoms of problems as a result of addiction. Depending on what types of drugs are being abused, the person could begin to have hallucination, delusions, paranoia, physical ailments, depression, manic episodes, etc. This often occurs when someone is suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness.
The successful recovery of both the mental disorder and the drug addiction are solely dependent upon the completion of an accredited treatment program from a top dual diagnosis treatment center. The treatment center should be accredited by the state and offer a comprehensive program for treating co-occurring disorders. Additionally, the staff should be properly trained and certified to treat patients with co-occurring disorders. There are many facilities to choose from, but choosing a treatment facility that specializes in the specific mental illness is the best approach to recovery.
Once the program is completed, the treatment facility should offer a comprehensive follow-up and recovery program. This could include weekly or monthly sessions with the therapist, a recovery home in which to live until the person gets back on their feet, or support groups available to patients once they successfully complete treatment. Coping with mental illness does not end after the treatment program is completed and a competent follow-up program is key to each individual’s continued success. Combine that with the top notch treatment they received while in the program and a supportive and encouragement circle of people to help them on their way and you have a recipe for success.
As you can see, the successful diagnosis of mental illness can prevent a wide variety of problems, most importantly the prevention of that person potentially beginning a drug and alcohol addiction that will only add to their already difficult situation. If you or someone you know are experiencing difficulties with mental health, seek out the appropriate treatment in order to cope with your symptoms rather than turning to drugs and alcohol. Help is available and there is hope for all.
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