Understanding what dual diagnosis is and the support available is crucial for those navigating this complicated condition. Unlike traditional mental health problems or substance use disorders, dual diagnosis involves both and can often lead to feelings of confusion or overwhelm. According to the Mental Health Services Administration, dual diagnosis is a prevalent issue, and obtaining appropriate treatment requires a comprehensive grasp of the condition and awareness of the available assistance.

Addiction and Dual Diagnosis Statistics

One in five American adults will experience a mental health condition each year, with one in 20 experiencing severe mental illnesses. Although only about 10% are seeking treatment (or will seek it), nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction. 

The most commonly abused substances in Texas are alcohol, cocaine, heroin and other opioids. From 2014 to 2016, there were 415 overdose deaths in Travis County alone. Additionally, 34.2% of adult Texans reported feeling the symptoms of anxiety or depression in 2021 alone. 

Do you suffer from Dual Diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder?!

Alta Loma is the leading transformational service for mental health in Austin, TX

Understanding Dual Diagnosis: Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

A dual diagnosis is when someone has both a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder. Some of the mental disorders seen in dual diagnosis include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder

This isn’t an all-inclusive list. Other mental health conditions can appear as co-occurring disorders with substance abuse problems. For example, people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders may also be at an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder. 

The substances abused vary but can include any form of alcohol or drug abuse. People may use cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, prescription medications or another substance. 

Why Is Dual Diagnosis So Common?

More than nine million people in the United States qualify for a dual diagnosis. These same statistics show that men make up more than half of dual diagnosis patients. This is because addiction and mental health are intricately connected. In most cases, addiction can affect your mental health. In many cases, mental health disorders can lead to addiction. 

How Addiction Can Affect Mental Health 

The mind-altering effects of addictive substances can potentially contribute to the emergence of mental illness over prolonged periods. For instance, extended usage of hallucinogens has the potential to result in schizophrenia. Likewise, individuals who frequently consume stimulants may encounter difficulties in concentration and exhibit symptoms resembling ADHD. It is important to note that people with a substance use disorder are more susceptible to experiencing a dual diagnosis in mental health, which involves the co-occurrence of a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.

How Mental Disorders Can Lead to Addiction

Untreated mental illness can be a difficult thing to live with. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the health insurance, community support or understanding of their mental illness required to seek professional assistance. While professional help for a psychiatric disorder may be difficult for some, access to alcohol or drugs isn’t. These substances are widely available in many areas.

So, what does it mean to have a dual diagnosis? Co-occurring disorders most often happen when a person with a mental disorder seeks self-medication to cope with their symptoms. Unfortunately, drug abuse (as mentioned above) can lead to even more severe mental illness in those with existing problems.

You may have begun your substance use to self-treat a mental disorder. However, over time, your mental disorders become worse because of the mind-altering effects of the substance. This leads you to heavier substance use, making your mental illnesses worse. It’s a vicious cycle that’s challenging to break on your own. 

How Alta Loma Can Help Treat Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Alta Loma is located in Georgetown, Texas, just a few miles outside Austin. Our center treats men’s mental health issues and provides treatment for substance abuse. With men needing more than half of all dual diagnosis treatment, finding a place where you feel accepted and understood is critical.

We provide men with a relaxing atmosphere where they can focus on their recovery without outside stressors. While staying in our comfortable settings, you’ll have access to all the support and assistance you need to manage your co-occurring disorders successfully.

Say goodbye to mental health disorders!

Start your journey towards mental health recovery today!

Recovery Depends on Treating Both Conditions

Dual diagnosis treatment requires a program that focuses on both overcoming drug or alcohol abuse and receiving mental health treatment. Many people who relapse after staying at addiction treatment centers do so because they haven’t received help for the co-occurring disorder. Naturally, when symptoms of the mental health problem arise again, many return to self-medication.

Treating a mental illness usually requires a combination of therapy and medication management. You may find cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy particularly useful, while many also benefit from mental awareness support groups and family therapy sessions. The medications used will vary based on the mental health condition you have. It’s important to understand that some mental health medications have the potential to be addictive. These might not be the best option for you if you’re already battling a drug or alcohol addiction.

Seek Help for Drug Abuse and Mental Health Disorders Now

If you or a loved one needs professional help for substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health issues, we’re here to help. We can provide quality dual diagnosis treatment that manages psychiatric symptoms and provides addiction treatment. 

Take the first step towards understanding and managing dual diagnosis at Alta Loma’s men’s rehab in Georgetown TX. Contact us today at (866) 457-3843 to find out how we can help you. You can also fill out our online contact form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.