When you’re searching for addiction treatment programs, it helps to know what to look for. One of the most important aspects is how a facility addresses co-occurring mental illnesses. Mental health disorders are one of the primary reasons why people develop an addiction, which makes addressing them important. Dual diagnosis treatment aims to treat addiction and mental health issues at the same time.

Understanding Mental Illnesses

Man Undergoing Dual Diagnosis Treatment with TherapistDifferent risk factors like genetics, age, trauma and mental illness can lead to addiction. Having a mental illness makes the chances of developing an addiction higher for different reasons. Many people never even know they have a mental illness, but simply believe that something is wrong. Others have a diagnosis, but they’ve developed an addiction to their prescribed medications.

Some of the most common mental illnesses include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder

Anxiety is a disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to regulate fear. While having fear and anxiety are crucial for human survival, it can become a debilitating problem. The person may experience anxiety attacks when no danger is present or long after the problem leaves. Those with PTSD suffer from a form of anxiety that’s triggered when something sparks a traumatic memory.

Depression is one of the other major issues that can lead to addiction because it makes the brain not experience pleasure. We need to experience pleasure because it leads to happiness and a positive outlook on life. Those with depression have a brain that has difficulty producing certain chemicals that generate happiness. Depression and other mental illnesses lead to self-medication, which is why dual diagnosis treatment can help.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Undiagnosed Issues

Many people who enter substance abuse programs never knew they had a mental illness. People often don’t receive the proper education. Individuals may believe that they can just get out of their bad mood, but it’s much more than that. Qualified professionals can assess individuals in order to get to the root of the problem.

From here, professional staff members can help individuals find the best plan for treating their illness. For some people, this may involve taking non-narcotic medications that work as well or better than other medications.

Holistic care has also proven effective in helping people overcome and manage various mental health disorders. Research shows that exercise, nutrition, meditation and yoga are all great ways to heal the mind.

Dual Diagnosis for People with a Diagnosis

In some cases, those with a diagnosed mental health issue develop an addiction to prescribed medications. For example, benzodiazepines treat anxiety, but they can become highly addictive. People with ADHD may take Adderall or Ritalin to help them focus, but they may develop a higher tolerance and take more than prescribed. In reality, there are plenty of ways to manage mental illness without narcotic medications.

Ashley Addiction Treatment is here to help you overcome co-occurring disorders with high-quality dual diagnosis treatment and medical care.  Through our program, you will see that recovery is possible. Call us today at 866-313-6310.