A quick overview of dual diagnosis treatments in North Texas
Dual diagnosis describes the co-existence of two separate, but inter-related disorders, one being a substance use disorder (SUD) and the other being a mental health disorder. This type of co-morbidity is a commonly-reported occurrence in drug rehab centers in Dallas and across the rest of the United States.
There is a wide array of possible dual diagnosis scenarios, from broad connections between conditions to specific causal relationships. Common dual diagnosis interactions include depression and alcohol use disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and opioid dependence, cannabis misuse and psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and benzodiazepine misuse, and so on.
According to a 2018 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the approximately 20.3 million Americans with a substance use disorder, about 37.9 percent also had another mental health issue. The same survey also goes on to note that of the 42.1 million Americans with a mental illness, about 18.2 percent have an SUD.
Despite these large numbers, more than 50 percent of people with a dual diagnosis do not receive any treatment for either condition, with almost everyone else often receiving inadequate levels of care. Only about 34.5 percent of people with a dual diagnosis received mental health treatment, with 3.9 percent getting help for SUDs only.
This can be problematic for the long-term success of recovery efforts, as the mental illness that co-occurs with SUDs is often a catalyst for drug-taking behavior. Addressing both illnesses in a dual diagnosis scenario will typically result in better outcomes for the recovering individual.
Depression and substance use disorders
Numerous links have been found between depression and substance use disorders, including those related to alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, and others. People with existing depression are likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Individuals with SUDs are also likely to get depressed as they continue drug use.
This bi-directional relationship can be difficult for clinicians to evaluate, with clear links between disorders often hard to quantify and treat. Specific relationships have been discovered between depressive illnesses and central nervous system (CNS) depressants, with the use of these drugs more likely to influence depression rates than other substances. Examples of addictive CNS depressants include alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines.
Dual diagnosis treatment
Before treating a dual diagnosis patient, doctors will attempt to differentiate between pre-existing conditions and substance-induced conditions. This can make all the difference in terms of treatment, with some disorders requiring singular treatment and others needing a multi-pronged approach.
If a primary disorder can be diagnosed, clinicians may try to treat both disorders with a single treatment plan. Sequential treatment is also available, with the secondary condition treated once the primary disorder has been evaluated and stabilized. Parallel treatment involves treating both conditions at the same time. Integrated treatment plans make no distinction between disorders, with a single treatment regime used to treat both conditions at once.
Find dual diagnosis treatment programs in Dallas, TX
Proper treatment for dual diagnosis is not always available at your nearest rehab centers. However, the Dallas area offers plenty of options when it comes to the individualized treatment for SUDs, including for dual diagnosis cases.
To learn more about where you can find local drug rehab centers that specialize in dual diagnosis issues, call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers at (214) 453-5663. We’ll connect you to the facilities and mental health professionals who can help you or your loved one.