Dual Diagnosis – Salem

As addicts enter treatment, it is often revealed that they have been dealing with a mental illness as well as substance abuse. Medical professionals have termed this phenomenon a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring conditions. Because it is so common, research on dual diagnosis has become a prime focus for drug rehab treatment programs around the country.

Drug Treatment Centers, Salem can help addicts with a dual diagnosis find the proper care. Our experts can be reached at (503)-339-1421 and can give all of the relevant information on addiction and recovery.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is given when a person has a substance abuse problem (drug addiction) and at least one (sometimes more) mental health disorder that occur at the same time. This concept does not imply causation, however. In other words, one of these two diagnoses does not necessarily precede or create the other issue. However, they can influence and worsen each other.

There is a common misperception that addiction always stems from mental illness. While this does happen, it is not the only possibility. In fact, sometimes abuse of a substance and addiction can cause (create) a mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis only refers to the fact that the two are co-occurring, not that one caused the other.

What Mental Health Disorders Are Most Commonly Co-occurring With Addiction?

The truth of the matter is that any mental health disorder can occur at the same time a person is struggling with addiction and substance abuse. However, it is also true that some mental health disorders and addiction occur together more than others.

Depression and Substance Abuse

Depression is by far the most commonly linked mental health disorder with substance abuse and addiction. This may be due, in part, to the sheer number of people suffering from depression in the United States at any given time or the type of chemical reactions that occur in a person’s brain when certain drugs enter their system.

Depression is most often linked to alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Many times this occurs because a person suffering from depression attempts to self-medicate using alcohol to numb their pain, help them relax, and even to help them deal with the discomfort of social situations.

However, depression can also be linked to the abuse of prescription narcotics that have a calming, relaxing effect and could be used to numb physical aches and pains. It is important to also realize that addiction to a substance such as alcohol or prescription medications can also cause a person to develop depression.

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

While most examples of the co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health disorders revolve around the mental health disorder precipitating an addiction, the opposite can also be true. In the case of crystal meth use, the profound effects that the drug has on the brain, particularly the hallucinatory and delusional effects, can actually cause a person to develop schizophrenia or other forms of psychosis even when they are not under the influence of the drug. This is due to the damage done to the brain through continued meth use.

If you or a loved one have received a dual diagnosis or if you believe that you may have co-occurring conditions, call Drug Treatment Centers, Salem at (503)-339-1421.

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