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Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Understanding the Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

One of the most notable effects of substance or drug addiction is how it affects the brain’s ability to function. The benefit of dual diagnosis treatment is its ability to identify factors that contribute to drug and alcohol addiction. Many of these factors tend to be mental health related. Mental health disorders can include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders. The brain’s natural chemistry is changed, which likely brings about the occurrence of such disorders.

Identifying Overlapping Conditions

By identifying conditions that overlap, we can target treatment plans that can help individuals manage and overcome dual disorders. We have a highly trained team of psychiatrists, behavioral specialists, and psychologists who are here to support in every way possible. Every disorder mentioned has the ability to fuel a person’s addiction and impede their recovery.

About Co-Occurring Disorders

nj_dual_diagnosis_programA person may have dual disorders that include mental health, and/or behavioral issues. There are two theories that may seem contrary on the surface. Some believe that mental health and behavioral issues are the leading cause of substance or drug abuse addiction. Others believe that prolonged addiction causes behavioral and mental issues. Those who support the latter theory argue that the biochemical and psychological effects of substance abuse disrupt the brain’s ability to function normally. They contend that substance abuse changes how the brain’s neurotransmitters perform. Cocaine and crystal meth are two such examples.

Supporters of the second theory believe that depression is brought about by the decreased levels of dopamine along with a reduction in dopamine receptors. They contend that prolonged use of drugs damages the brain’s ability to react to dopamine. Either way, there is enough documentation to draw a relationship between substance or drug abuse and changes in one’s status of mental health. This is the main reason why addiction treatment centers are so vigilant at creating and administering the best techniques and treatments. Their goal is to identify and treat every co-occurring disorder.

Signs That Someone Suffers from Co-Occurring Disorders

Quite often, an addicted person’s family is closest to the individual. They can represent the first line of defense in identifying mental health and behavior issues. This is the main reason why a family’s education about substance and drug abuse is so important. Addiction indicators include the following:

  • A compulsion to keep using an addictive drug or substance close at hand
  • An inability to stop abusing harmful substances on their own
  • A will to obtain their substance by any means possible
  • An obsession with the perceived benefits of continuing their addiction
  • A constant display of risky behavior while under the influence, such as driving with complete confidence

Additional Signs of Mental Health or Behavioral Problems

Many of the following mental health problems are associated with drug abuse. They are not difficult to spot, and may include:

  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • And other disorders

Co-occurring relapses may be an additional clue of drug abuse. If these occur, especially after a person has completed their drug treatment program, it may be time to raise a red flag. It may be that there are more mental disorders that were not properly treated. Proper diagnosis and treatment are always critical; otherwise, a person may never achieve prolonged sobriety.

Methods for Managing Dual Diagnosis

First, a specialized process thoroughly assesses the person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual health. The process can uncover any underlying behavioral or mental patterns that can be overlooked in a typical examination. If the need for a dual diagnosis is even suspected, specialists will monitor that person much closer and very carefully. Since no two people will ever suffer the exact same symptoms, the process tends to be extremely individualized.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the premise that a person’s thoughts cause their behavior and emotions. While external things like people, events and situations exist, they do not have to determine how a person thinks and behaves. The inclusion of the family during CBT can be most helpful and effective for the addicted person.

Families usually provide the fundamental support systems that people need to get through detox. Detox can be challenging for the individual, but it can help a person get back on the right track. Sobriety can be reached with dual diagnosis and effective treatments provided at treatment facilities like Sprout Health New Jersey.


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Sprout Health New Jersey believes that education is the best tool to help combat addiction. We can only provide so much information on our website, but know that there is still a lot of information out there that can help you or your loved ones understand addiction and how it can be treated. We offer blogs and articles to all our visitors in order for them to gain further insight into what is happening with them or their loved one. We want everyone to be educated on addiction in order to recognize the signs and symptoms, know when to get help and who to get it from, as well as why receiving help is highly recommended.

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