Mental illness and drug abuse combined can have devastating effects on patients battling them. Referred to as dual diagnosis, a mental illness together with abusing drugs may leave people gasping for treating one’s life. People coping with substance use disorders (SUD) will be more vulnerable to develop anxiety or depression or any mental health disorder, and the other way round.
Interrelationship between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
Different national population surveys claim that nearly fifty percent of people experiencing a mental health disorder throughout their lives often develop an element use disorder, while using reverse also being true. Further, over 60 % of adolescents taking part in community-based substance use disorder treatment programs also be eligible for a diagnostic criteria for an additional mental illness.
Evidences reflect high incidence of correlation between substance use disorders and anxiety conditions such as anxiety disorder, generalized panic disorder (GAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others.
Substance use disorders might also co-exist with mental illnesses, including depression and bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), together with psychotic illness, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. People with schizophrenia, as data suggests, may co-occur with tobacco, alcohol, and drug use disorders.
Overall, there’s a significant overlap between mental medical problems and substance use disorders, representing a vicious loop between mental health and drug abuse problems.
Cause and Effect
While absolutely the contributing factors for co-morbid addiction and mental health disorders are unknown, people experiencing mental health issues often self-medicate using alcohol or drugs, which ultimately causes dependence after which addiction.
Children and adolescents battling psychiatric problems for example ADHD, conduct disorders, and learning disabilities are definitely more likely to abuse drugs than other youth. Conversely, because the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests, drug use early in our life is associated with increased probability of psychiatric disorders or accelerates their progression.
People with co-occurring disorders are susceptible to severe and chronic medical, emotional and social problems. Since they have two disorders, you will find higher likelihood of relapse and aggravation of psychiatric symptoms. People experiencing dual disorders are also susceptible to challenges including symptomatic relapses, frequent hospitalizations, social isolation, sexual and physical victimization, relationship problems, performance issues, and lastly, financial problems.
However, abusing drugs in adolescence, that is a major determinant of developing dual diagnosis later, could be controlled by timely screening and therapy for ADHD in early childhood. Similarly, addressing abusing drugs related problems early could be an effective method to prevent the beginning of psychiatric disorders and also improving treatment outcome. Behavioral treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational enhancement therapy have been discovered efficacious for co-occurring substance abusers and psychiatric conditions.
Treating dual disorder
There are three basic therapeutic systems for dual diagnosis disorders:
Addressing one disorder in a time
Treating both problems simultaneously
Employing a approach such as a single, comprehensive program
However, experts usually recommend simultaneous treating co-occurring disorders. They advise that treating the abusing drugs alone can jeopardize cure for the mental health disorder. Similarly, treating exactly the mental health disorder can make strategy to the alcohol abuse ineffective.
Pharmacological and psychosocial therapies have proven efficacious for mental health disorders both as independent and co-morbid conditions. There are some effective pharmacological interventions to take care of concurrently occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders. However, a specific consensus which ones or which combination is acceptable better remains lacking.
In the wake of evidences favoring the efficacy of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments when controling dual diagnosis, researchers advocate for an internal treatment tactic to treat dual diagnosis.
The Road Ahead
The point is that dual diagnosis is really a debilitating condition, which might affect anyone in the course of their lives, in particular when they are being affected by either a mental illness or have used a substance for some time.