How Is Dual Diagnosis Addressed?

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 22nd October 2021

How Is Dual Diagnosis Addressed?

Feeling low, depressed, and irritable are all common through addiction. Yet where such emotional symptoms become noticeable and impactful, concerns of a dual diagnosis will be present.

Using illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescriptions as coping strategies, through mental health illness are also common. Yet where self-medication is the aim, again concerns will be high.

This relationship between substance abuse problems and poor mental health is recognised as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Whilst separate conditions, it’s common for both to run alongside one another, develop and aggravate.

Both co-occurring, they are understandably challenging to balance. The range of symptoms and consequences of dual diagnosis can be tested to live through.

Here’s some information on, ‘how is dual diagnosis addressed?’, to offer some professional direction if you are struggling with substance abuse, poor mental health, or both. We offer a range of treatments and therapies, suitable for co-occurring disorders.

For long-term sobriety and recovery, a dual diagnosis will need to be addressed. Here’s how your symptoms can be treated and managed here at Cassiobury Court.


What is dual diagnosis?

When both symptoms of substance abuse and poor mental health are encountered alongside one another, this is known as a dual diagnosis. Although both are standalone conditions, with their own causes, symptoms, and treatment plans, they are also co-occurring. This means that they can develop at the same time, or that a primary condition can bring on a secondary condition.

Reasonably, a dual diagnosis is harder to live through. Attempting to balance symptoms and side effects can be tough. As mental illness and addiction can aggravate one another, it can be testing to experience the vicious cycle that follows both.

Although treatable with the right type of support and treatment, addressing a dual diagnosis is understandably harder than a standalone condition. Yet due to its commonality, dual diagnosis treatment programmes are available to treat and increase the chances of long-term recovery.


Why do substance abuse disorders and mental health issues occur together?

Addiction and mental health issues have many similarities. Both impact the brain and how it works within the central nervous system. Emotions, outlooks, rationality, behaviours, and beliefs all change through both.

Both are compulsive brain disorders, which can be brought on for any given reason. Yet there are similar causes of each, from genetics and influential environments to stress. Difficult to control, problems with drugs and alcohol, and mental weaknesses can turn into habitual behaviours, impacting every area of life.

They occur together, known as a dual diagnosis, as their impacts go hand in hand. For example, someone who is suffering from mental health issues may see drugs and alcohol as an escape. Drugs and alcohol do offer escape-like feelings, as they tap into the reward system and can also suppress short-term mental symptoms.

Yet, by associating consumption with positive results, it will continue, turning into a habit. It’s also found that mental health issues will worsen for the long term, known as the rebound effect.

The same goes for someone who abuses drugs and alcohol. Mental health problems can develop as a symptom of substance abuse. To suppress them, ongoing consumption will be required, forming a vicious, co-occurring cycle.

Both conditions of a dual diagnosis fuel one another to a contradictory level. This makes it difficult to break away, as either mental symptoms of addictive symptoms will be rife. For example, mental health symptoms of depression may be noticeable, self-medicated with drugs and alcohol to alleviate them. Yet by doing so, addictive symptoms will then strengthen.

As they are co-occurring and relapsing conditions, being aware of ‘how is dual diagnosis addressed?’ and taking action from here is recommended.


How is dual diagnosis addressed? – Best treatments and therapies

A dual diagnosis will be best addressed by completing suitable treatments and therapies. By visiting a specialist rehab clinic, both conditions will be treated simultaneously. Yet to strengthen recovery rates, separate programmes will be created, to treat direct symptoms and triggers of each.

To fully address a dual diagnosis, it’s imperative that both programmes are completed. By addressing one condition and forgetting about the other, relapse will be likely. By addressing both through treatment, managing a dual diagnosis away from relapse risks will be likely.

Substance use disorders are best addressed through a range of addiction treatments. Detoxification, talking therapies, and relapse prevention planning are the most effective forms. Mental illness will be treated through a range of therapy sessions and holistic treatments to heal the mind.

Although replacement medications can be used throughout both programmes, due to the nature of a dual diagnosis, prescriptions are rarely provided. Instead, a range of coping strategies and complimenting treatments will be offered to ease the recovery process.

By visiting a specialist drug and alcohol rehab clinic, experiencing both programmes over an efficient timeframe will be possible. An inpatient programme will be encouraged to truly focus on all-around recovery.


Long-term sobriety and co-occurring disorders

Co-occurring disorders can result in a relapse as their relationships are very complicated. The remaining cravings for drugs and alcohol, for example, could trigger poor mental health in the future.

Due to such risks, dual diagnosis treatment should be completed, followed by the ongoing commitment of aftercare, relapse prevention planning and lifestyle management. Each will help to stabilise the mind, offer a plan of action, and reduce drug and alcohol exposure.

At Cassiobury Court, we offer dual diagnosis treatment programmes, following this approach. We focus on lifestyle choices and how healthy ones will protect both sobriety and mental stability. Tailored around your needs, all recommendations and treatment services will be safe and effective to complete.

Addressing a dual diagnosis is best through professional support, leading treatment programmes and inpatient care. By doing so, long-term recovery and management will be much more realistic.

Reach out for guidance on spotting a dual diagnosis. We will also consider your personal needs when answering ‘how is dual diagnosis addressed?’.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 22nd October 2021

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.