Dual diagnosis is a common term in the addiction treatment community. But chances are, most people don’t know what dual diagnosis is. So what is dual diagnosis? Put simply, if someone is said to have a dual diagnosis, it means they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. This can be any pairing of disorders. One of the most common types of dual diagnosis is an alcohol abuse disorder and depression.
The interaction between mental health and substance use not only complicates treatment, it often creates a negative, self-reinforcing spiral. Dual diagnosis treatment is designed to disrupt this spiral and help people overcome both disorders at the same time.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
A common dual diagnosis definition is this: whenever someone is recognized as having a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder at the same time. That dual diagnosis definition is pretty straightforward. It’s relatively straightforward to picture both types of disorder occurring together. What is more complex is why it happens so often. Approximately half of those who struggle with a mental health disorder will at some point also struggle with a substance use disorder. That means millions of Americans every year struggle with a dual diagnosis.
The commonality of dual diagnosis does not have a single answer. Instead, research points to three overlapping factors influencing why dual diagnosis is so common.
Common Risk Factors
The risk factors for both substance use and mental health are essentially the same. Family history, genetics, and past trauma are all credible risk factors for both disorders.
Drugs As Self-Medication
Another thing that helps explain the prevalence of dual diagnosis is that mental health and substance use play off each other profoundly. One example is self-medication. Many people with mental health disorders end up trying to alleviate their symptoms through self-medication, such as drinking. It may provide some symptom relief, though it does nothing to solve the underlying problem. The other issue is that it leaves people open to acquiring a substance use disorder.
Mental Disorders Resulting From Drug Abuse
The relationship works in the other direction too. The second factor explained how mental health troubles might leave people open to developing a substance use issue. It is just as possible for drug addiction to come first, with mental troubles following after. Some drugs are known to cause severe mental health issues because of how they interact with brain chemistry.
What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Massachusetts Like?
Rockland Recovery has long provided residents of New Hampshire and Massachusetts with high-quality dual-diagnosis treatment. Even with an understanding of the common dual diagnosis definition, many people still want to know what is dual diagnosis treatment near Massachusetts like?
Since a dual diagnosis combines mental health and substance use disorders, treatment combines evidence-based practices for treating each condition. The most significant piece of New Hampshire dual diagnosis treatment is therapy. Some common therapies used to address a dual diagnosis include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
- Holistic therapies, such as art, music, or equine therapy
These therapies are matched with other wraparound supports and services. Due to the complexity of treating dual diagnosis, clients typically access this form of treatment through residential or inpatient programming. That involves around-the-clock care, medical monitoring, and overnight stays.
Discover Manchester, New Hampshire Dual Diagnosis Options at Rockland Recovery
If you live in Manchester, New Hampshire, or nearby Massachusetts, consider Rockland Recovery for your comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment needs. Reach out to 855.732.4842 to learn more about what options are available for you or a loved one.