Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Old Bridge, NJ

Dual diagnosis treatment in Old Bridge is designed to identify and treat comorbid addiction and mental health disorders. Treating just one or the other is generally not effective, but treating both at the same time offer the best opportunity for leading a happy, healthy, productive life.

It is not uncommon for an addict to suffer from chemical dependency while also suffering from a mood disorder (e.g. depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.). In fact, mental health conditions are the number one cause of addiction in the first place.

Estimates show that 14 million Americans suffer from addiction and a mental health condition at any given point in time. Approximately 37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers have at least one serious mental illness. About 65% of individuals with mental illness abuse one or more substances during their lifetime.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs and Addiction

There is a very strong connection between substance abuse and mental health disorders. In fact, studies indicate that people with drug use disorders suffer from a mental health disorder at double the rate of the rest of the population. Sometimes people use alcohol and drugs to get relief from the symptoms of a mental health condition.

At other times, alcohol and drugs can worsen a pre-existing mental health condition. Marijuana, for instance, has been studied as a potential trigger from schizophrenia. Additional research suggests that nicotine, a legal drug, may reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and improve cognition in those suffering from the disease. In fact, smoking is drastically higher among people suffering from a mental health disorders.

For those with bipolar disorder, smoking is almost four times more common than among those without a mental health condition.

It should come as no surprise that many illegal drugs are effective in reducing the symptoms of mental health conditions. After all, some of the effects that these drugs have are similar to the effects of prescription medications. Alcohol, for instance, can reduce the symptoms of anxiety in the same way that prescription drugs like Xanax can. Amphetamines are still used to treat a number of conditions that affect cognition, including ADHD.

The unfortunate thing about using illicit drugs to treat a mental health condition is that they often have negative effects that go beyond their desired effects. In addition, research shows that most mental health conditions cannot be effectively treated with medications (or illegal drugs) alone. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychological approaches are used for dual diagnosis treatment at our inpatient rehab in Old Bridge, and are used in combination with medications to achieve the best outcomes.

Dual diagnosis treatment in Old Bridge focuses on treating both the addiction itself and mental health conditions related to it. This can be tricky because treating an addict with certain medications always carries the risk of addiction to the prescription medication at some point as well.

Trained, highly experienced professionals in dual diagnosis rehab can help individual achieve long-term remission while balancing the risks of using certain prescription medications to achieve optimal results.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Dual diagnosis treatment in Old Bridge can correctly identify and treat both addiction and associated mental health disorders. Anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are often associated with substance abuse.

Anxiety and Addiction

The limbic system, a part of the brain, is involved in pleasure, reward, and anxiety. This combination of function is why anxiety increases an individual's propensity for addiction. Substance use in the presence of anxiety not only decreases symptoms of the condition, but also activates pleasure and reward centers more than in people who do not suffer from anxiety. Roughly 20% of individuals with anxiety also have a substance abuse disorder. These individuals benefit greatly from dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Eating Disorders and Addiction

Eating disorders are often associated with anxiety, including intense anxiety related to body image. Intense anxiety is part of the reason that substance abuse is common in those with eating disorders. Drugs and alcohol can also facilitate an eating disorder by making it easier to lose weight or keep it off. Dual diagnosis rehab is critical for those with an eating disorder and addiction as eating disorders are exceptionally complex to treat.

OCD and Addiction

Twenty-five percent of individuals who seek treatment for obsession-compulsive disorder (OCD) also meet criteria for a substance use disorder. Substance use not only provides relief from the relentless obsessions of OCD, but can also become a compulsion in people prone compulsive behavior.

PTSD and Addiction

PTSD is characterized by anxiety, depression, emotional duress, and physical pain. These symptoms occur because of the body ceasing to produce endorphins (natural pain killers and mood elevators) after a traumatic event. Drugs and alcohol can help to counteract endorphin withdrawal in the short term, but worsen it over the long term. People with PTSD often fall into a vicious cycle whereby they seek relief from endorphin withdrawal from drugs and alcohol only to have the treatment worsen their condition and thus necessitate more intensive drug and alcohol use.

If you or your loved one has a dual diagnosis and needs help, we've got you covered. Call us today at (732) 412-5393 to speak with an addiction specialist about your treatment options.

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