Dual Diagnosis is defined as a person who has been diagnosed with a Substance Use Disorder along with a Psychiatric Disorder.
- People addicted to drugs are roughly 2-3 time as likely than the general population to have a psychiatric disorder;
- Approximately 40%-50% of people with an Alcohol or Substance Use Disorder have a co-occurring Psychiatric Disorder;
- Poly-Drug Addiction is most common in people with Dual Diagnosis;
- There is a 13 fold (1300%) increase in relapse if a patients with Substance Use Disorder if they have A Dual Diagnosis;
- The Drug used in Dual Diagnosis is Prescription Opioids
There is a family history of alcohol or substance dependency.
Prevalence of Dual Diagnosis Occurrence
Women are more likely to be diagnosed with Dual Diagnosis then men.
Substance Use Disorder are most often associated with:
- Depression and Anxiety Disorders;
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder secondary to physical and sexual abuse;
- Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder;
- Eating Disorders such as Bulimia, Anorexia;
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder– (preoccupation with an imagined defect of appearance or excessive concern over a minor physical anomaly).
Causes of Dual Diagnosis
- Although Substance Use Disorders commonly occur with other psychiatric illnesses, this does not mean that one caused the other, even if one appeared first; in fact, establishing which came first or why can be difficult;
- Psychiatric disorders often lead to substance misuse, as a means of “self-medication”… patients suffering from anxiety or depression may rely on drugs to temporarily alleviate their psychiatric symptoms…this actually makes the situation worse;
- Substance Use Disorders can be conceptualized as “Developmental Disorders” meaning: they begin in teen or younger years—periods when the brain experiences dramatic developmental changes. Early exposure to drugs may change the brain in ways that increase the risk for psychiatric disorders;
Poor judgment, impulsive behaviors and reckless decision making are core symptoms of many psychiatric disorders including Bipolar illness and ADHD, and untreated increase the risk of drug experimentation, recreational use and addiction.
Addiction Recovery Treatment Minimizes Dual Diagnosis Risks Of:
- Drug Overdose;
- Substance related deaths such as auto accidents or violence and suicide;
- Recovery Program drop out;
- Poor short and long term recovery outcomes;
- Improperly treated co-occurring psychiatric illness;
- Drug Relapse.
Diagnosis and Treatment
- Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment focusing on, Dual Diagnosis, Poly-Drug Addiction and Co-occurring Medical Disorders.
- Series of validated psychiatric diagnostic screens;
- Complete diagnostic laboratory tests helpful in diagnosing medical disorders associated with addiction and co-occurring psychiatric illness;
- Medication Management of Addictions and Psychiatric Disorders.