Drug and alcohol addictions are complex conditions that are often associated with mental health issues or disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatment for the addiction is most successful if the other conditions or health issues are treated at the same time.
A dual diagnosis is made when two conditions are diagnosed at the same time, with one of these conditions being a drug or alcohol addiction. The dual diagnosis determines what kind of treatments will be most effective in helping the person recover. At Drug Rehab Brooklyn, our dual diagnosis treatment programs focus on addressing both conditions simultaneously. To learn more about your options for drug rehab and dual diagnosis treatment, call us at (718) 749-0907.
People can become addicted to a wide range of substances including prescription medicines like OxyContin and Xanax, street or illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, and alcohol. They can also be addicted to obsessive or compulsive behaviors such as gambling, shopping, and the Internet. All these addictions can be associated with each other and with mental health disorders or mental illnesses. In some cases, the mental health issue may be a root cause of the addiction, and in other cases, the addiction can make the mental disorder worse.
One of the most common combinations identified in a dual diagnosis is depression and addiction to alcohol. Around a third of people with major depression abuse alcohol in some way. The combination can be a vicious cycle because depression can make a person feel like turning to drink, but alcohol is a chemical depressant, which makes the symptoms of depression worse. Abusing alcohol can also lead to financial strains and fractured relationships, and these can deepen the depression.
Treatment for alcohol addiction is unlikely to be successful unless the depression is also treated. A combination of prescribed antidepressants and counseling is often effective, along with recovery programs that also deal with underlying issues.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is sometimes associated with opiate addictions. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders substance abuse is most likely to occur in OCD patients if their condition was diagnosed early in life, and over 25% of OCD sufferers are also substance abusers.
A person with OCD has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are related to changes in the reward centers of the brain. These areas have large numbers of opioid receptors that natural opioids bind to. These opioids include the endorphins, which are brain chemicals known to produce pleasure and reduce pain. Synthetic opiates such as heroin, and natural opiates from the poppy plant also bind to the opioid receptors, but their effect is far greater when the drugs are injected, smoked or ingested. In effect these drugs hijack and overwhelm the reward system, which leads to ingrained habits of addiction and compulsive, obsessive behaviors.
Treatment for OCD and opiate addiction patients often includes drug rehab, medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, and support networks.
A typical treatment regime for dual diagnosis patients begins with an inpatient stay at our rehab center to allow the body to detoxify safely. This is followed by inpatient and then outpatient therapies that might include medications, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, art and music therapy, and recovery or 12-step programs. Support for mental health disorders is given simultaneously. Treatment plans are adjusted and modified as the needs of the patient change and as they progress through their recovery.