Those individuals with a dual diagnosis can slip into any number of addictive behaviors; drugs, gambling, sex, etc. But few addictions are more prevalent in the dual diagnosis world than alcohol. For those suffering from mental issues such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety, alcohol can be used like a crutch to deal with the more advanced and distressing symptoms. If someone you know has a dual diagnosis, or you think that they do, the following will be invaluable information.
How common is this?
This condition is more common that you might think. Studies have found that as many as 37 percent of all those who abuse alcohol have at least one serious mental illness. This places great value on those alcohol rehab facilities that treat the dual diagnosis patient in full.
Why turn to alcohol?
People will mental illnesses that have symptoms of manic behavior are likely to seek out a depressant, such as alcohol, to help deaden the mood swings they are experiencing. Alcohol is used as an escape from the unpredictable nature of the individual’s own feelings. Alcohol is more commonly used that other substances classified as stimulants – which would only serve to exaggerate many of the manic symptoms.
Why drink to excess?
Those with certain mental illnesses are less likely to be able to limit their alcohol consumption. Diagnoses such as bipolar disorder or severe anxiety mean that the individual may have trouble finding “steady ground”, even when sober. Add alcohol into the mix and you are asking that person to make reasonable choices when he or she cannot. For this reason, and the proven fact that many with mental illnesses have a predilection for alcoholism, it’s clear why drinking alcohol can quickly escalate into alcoholism.
Treating Dual Diagnosis patients
In order for an individual with mental illness and alcohol addiction to receive proper treatment, he must enter an alcohol rehab facility that treats dual diagnosis patient. Facilities that do not might not have the psychiatric professionals needed to treat the mental illness component of the illness.
Integrated care is the key
Having all of a patient’s addiction and psychiatric treatment under one roof helps improve the quality and effectiveness of the care immensely. Integrated treatment such as this has been proven successful at a California facility such as Michael’s House.
Foundations Recovery Network’s (FRN) treatment centers, place special emphasis on dual diagnosis care. Our programs for those suffering from these co-occurring conditions have become known throughout the country for their progressive style and amazing success rates. We’re leading the way in Dual Diagnosis treatment that really consider the needs of the individual, and provides a program built to conquer addiction and control mental illness.
FRN has several state of the art facilities that focus on the special needs of dual diagnosis patients – one in California (Michael’s House), one in Michigan (Skywood Recovery), one in Atlanta, GA (Talbott Recovery), and one in the mountains north of Atlanta (Black Bear Rehab). Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the location nearest you (844-768-0308).
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.