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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

Dual diagnosis treatment in Chattanooga takes an integrated approach to treatment methods. Traditionally, treatment for mental health problem is a completely separate system to drug rehab treatments.

However, treating one disorder without simultaneously addressing the other significantly increases the risk of relapse. People struggling with both addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder require specific dual diagnosis treatment in Chattanooga.

Dual diagnosis rehab programs integrate specific types of counseling to ensure the patient’s mental health condition is taken into account as it relates to the underlying psychological aspect of the addiction.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the term given when a person has a substance abuse disorder and at least one co-existing mental health disorder. According to data released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 45% of people struggling with addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Conversely, 51% of people with a mental health disorder also had at least one co-existing substance abuse disorder.

Dual Diagnosis and Addiction

While traditional treatment models focus only on treating one or the other condition separately, the link between addiction and mental health problems is well-established.

In some patients, the symptoms of a mental health disorder may trigger substance abuse problems. Some people attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in an effort to numb painful emotions or elevate moods.

The temporary effects of drugs or alcohol may alleviate the symptoms of the mental health problem for a short time. However, psychoactive substances can make symptoms of mental illness worse, so the drug or alcohol abuse descends into a spiral of addiction.

For other patients, abusing certain types of drugs can trigger symptoms of mental illness. For example, abusing marijuana or cocaine can trigger symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, or psychosis in some people.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

There are a number of mental health disorders that are commonly linked to addiction. These include:

  • Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders are the most commonly linked condition with addiction. People with anxiety or panic disorders suffer severe symptoms of mental distress, which leads many to selfmedicate with alcohol or drugs to temporarily relieve symptoms. In some cases, people with anxiety disorders may already be prescribed with certain medications, such as Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam). Taking these medications exactly as prescribed still carries a risk of developing tolerance, so the person feels the need to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. The result can lead to addiction.
  • Depression: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 10% of Americans struggle with depression. People with depressive disorders may use alcohol or drugs in an effort to elevate mood. As alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it’s common for depression symptoms to become worse in people with depressive disorders.
  • OCD: ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that causes severe mental distress. The person engages in compulsive rituals or actions that offer a form of temporary relief if they’re completed. If they aren’t completed, the person can experience significant distress, which can lead to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to reduce the symptoms.
  • PTSD: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental disorder that is emotionally devastating for the sufferer. It’s common for sufferers to turn to alcohol or drugs to numb painful feelings or to temporarily stop the horrible symptoms of the disorder.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Once known as manicdepression, people with bipolar disorder struggle with extreme swings in mood and behavior. The person may be highly energetic one day and sinking into the depths of depression and severe anxiety the next. The American Journal of Managed Care released statistics that show around 56% of people with bipolar also had a drug or alcohol addiction.

Treating Dual Diagnosis

Trying to treat one disorder without also addressing the other can increase the risk of relapse significantly. Dual diagnosis treatment in Chattanooga integrates treatment models to ensure people with co-occurring disorder have access to the correct combination of therapies to ensure positive results.

One of the key factors in dual diagnosis treatment in Chattanooga is to assess each patient’s individual needs, before customizing the right treatments to suit their particular conditions. In some cases, prescription medication may be required to treat symptoms of the mental health disorder before counseling and therapy can begin to address the triggers behind addictive substance abuse.

Specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs are intended to provide a safe environment for patients to begin the recovery process. Throughout the treatment process, each recovering person is taught to identify and recognize their own addiction triggers. At the same time, the person is also taught effective ways to manage symptoms of the mental health disorder without the need for drugs or alcohol.

To learn more about our dual diagnosis programs, or other addiction treatment programs in Chattanooga, call us at (423) 799-4292.

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