Dealing with a substance use problem is quite tricky, but it becomes even more difficult to handle things when you also have a mental illness. It is called dual diagnosis and dealing with it requires serious commitment and effort. Many people who have drug or alcohol problems often start because of an underlying mental health problem, while others develop one while drinking. Mental illnesses can lead to increased instances of depression and anxiety that can make it difficult to break your addiction.
It is worth mentioning that in many cases, it is often difficult to confirm which problem affected your first. It is possible that someone was attracted to drug abuse because of a particular mental illness, but certain drugs can also affect you physically and mentally. Similarly, you may already have a mental illness but have no clue about it, but you get to know of it when substance use aggravates those symptoms for you. For instance, if you smoke marijuana, you may notice psychotic episodes more frequently.
Now, when it comes to treatment, you usually have to go through a lot of hassle. The reason is that there is no integrated approach to treat mental illness and substance abuse together. Many people may benefit from their time in sober living homes, but they still need to work closely with the healthcare providers to correct any mental illness they may have. Some sober living homes may work with mental health service providers and find a more integrated way to help people with dual diagnosis.
A Serious Issue
How you are going to respond to treatment is not always clear, and that is mainly because experts have become aware of dual diagnosis quite recently. Statistics have found that more than 25% with affected disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders may also have a number of other mental disorders.
Similarly, it has been found that more than 64% of psychiatric in-patients may be suffering from a drug use problem as well. Moreover, experts have found that about 90% of men with schizophrenia may also be struggling with a substance use problem. These statistics have encouraged drug treatment facilities to check patients for any possible mental health problem before they develop a treatment plan.
It is difficult to treat people with the dual diagnosis because they may not be responsive to the treatment option used. For instance, it is found that such patients may be alienated and have no support from friends and family because of their mental condition. They are less likely to cooperate with their healthcare providers and are extremely emotional. Dual diagnosis usually means that the healthcare providers will have to deal with people ready to inflict pain upon themselves and others too. They can be aggressive and resist treatment and recovery programs.
The fact of the matter is that it is important to check every drug addict for possible mental health issues because a large majority may be a good candidate for a dual diagnosis. Pick a treatment facility where they understand this issue and try to help you with a more integrated treatment approach.