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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Milwaukee, WI

Dual diagnosis occurs when a person experiences both a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder. This condition is very common, and can make either disorder more complicated to treat.

While a person with a dual diagnosis can benefit from treatment, many people are hesitant to seek care for these conditions. Without dual diagnosis treatment, a person is at greater risk for adverse health conditions and lessened physical safety, according to Mental Health America.

Find dual diagnosis treatment now when you call Milwaukee Drug Treatment Centers at (414) 921-7038.

The Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Connection

The co-existence of both substance abuse and mental health disorders can worsen either condition. Sometimes one illness leads to the other. For example, a person may suffer from depression and turn to substance abuse in an attempt to feel better. In others, substance abuse can bring out a mental illness, such as anxiety or an eating disorder.

Alcohol or substance abuse can ultimately worsen a mental illness. They are not a replacement for medications or other treatments known to help a person struggling with mental illness.

Mental Health Disorders Commonly Associated With Addiction

A large number of mental health disorders exist, and range in severity. However, some disorders are more associated with substance abuse than others. Examples of illnesses associated with substance abuse include:

  • Eating disorders: Disorders which include bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. A person may abuse drugs to reduce appetite or to lessen feelings of depression or anxiety related to substance abuse.
  • Depression: A condition that causes a person to experience severe and prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A condition that causes a person to be excessively fixated upon activities or thoughts. A person may turn to drug abuse as a means to escape these thoughts.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A condition that occurs when a person has been through a traumatic experience, such as a military conflict, abuse or a natural disaster.
  • Anxiety: A condition that occurs when a person has a heightened reaction that causes unusual levels of fear or distress. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women are more likely than men to have anxiety.

How Prevalent is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a common condition that can occurs in one-third of all people who have a mental illness. An estimated 50 percent of people who have a severe mental illness also have a substance abuse problem, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

While women are more likely to experience anxiety than men, men are at greater risk for dual diagnosis.

What Dual Diagnosis Treatments Are Available?

Specialists in drug and alcohol treatment provide something called integrated therapy when treating substance abuse addiction and mental illness. This means a person should receive treatment for both conditions, not just the substance abuse problem.

Examples of available dual diagnosis treatments include:

  • Psychopharmacology: Doctors at treatment facilities can prescribe medications known to help those with a mental illness, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy can include counseling and group therapy that allows a person to explore his or her emotions and motivations behind drug abuse and quitting using drugs.
  • Behavioral Management: Behavioral management is a key treatment in overcoming substance abuse. These techniques include educating a person on relapse prevention techniques and ways to overcome drug cravings and temptations to return to substance abuse. For those with a dual diagnosis, behavioral management can also mean helping a person learn symptoms that he or she is heading for a crisis situation or backsliding due to poor medication adherence.

Continued Dual Diagnosis Treatment

No cure exists for substance abuse or mental illness. However, these conditions can be managed through a variety of approaches and continued recovery therapy. This could include participation in support groups, medication management and individual therapy. With continued treatments, a person can manage his or her conditions.

To learn more about dual diagnosis treatments, please call Milwaukee Drug Treatment Centers at (414) 921-7038.

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