Call Us Today:

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Medical consultation in a hospital

More than half of all people who struggle with addiction have a dual diagnosis. But, what is dual diagnosis and how is it treated at a dual diagnosis treatment center in Denver?

Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse and mental health disorders. More than 10% of Americans have a substance abuse disorder, while more than 20% of Americans will experience symptoms of a mental health disorder in their lifetime. Both types of disorders are mental health disorders.

Mental health disorders, whether it’s addiction or depression, are chronic and incurable. They are manageable, with treatments like therapy and medications alleviating and controlling many symptoms. Evidence-based and holistic treatments can help you learn how to manage and control symptoms.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

So, what is dual diagnosis? The dual diagnosis definition is when you have both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem. You can have both at the same time or can have one right after another. More than half of all people struggling with a substance abuse problem also have a mental health disorder. When you have both, it can make it difficult to recover without proper treatment.

Some of the most common dual diagnosis mental health disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Personality disorders

Addiction and substance abuse disorders are more likely to occur when you struggle with a mental health issue. Mental health symptoms can become overwhelming and you may choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to alleviate them.

How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Substance abuse and addiction impact your brain chemistry. Addiction causes a significant neurotransmitter imbalance in your brain. Drugs and alcohol cause your brain to release a significant amount of neurotransmitters. Once the effects of drugs and alcohol wear off, your brain is suddenly devoid of neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine cause feelings of happiness. When you abuse drugs and alcohol while dealing with a mental health disorder, the two conditions cause changes to your mood and personality.

Dual diagnosis treatment programs understand the complex relationship between mental health and addiction. Mental health symptoms can make it harder to remain abstinent. Since addiction makes your brain become dependent on drugs and alcohol to release neurotransmitters, it can worsen underlying mental health symptoms.

Evidence-based and holistic treatments are both utilized to treat conditions. Medications can help with symptoms, as well as individual and group therapy. Cognitive and dialectic behavioral therapy can both help you identify and change negative thinking patterns, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Individual therapy provides a way for you to explore the root causes of your addiction, develop a relapse prevention plan and learn how to cope with cravings.

The Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment Denver Offers

When wondering what is dual diagnosis and how is it treated, the important thing to remember is that addiction and mental health are both highly treatable. Red Rock Recovery Center, the best dual diagnosis treatment center Denver offers, is here to help. Call us today at [Direct] to learn more about our programs.