Dual Diagnosis – Substance Use Disorder and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Dual Diagnosis – Substance Use and Mental Health

The connection between substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders is well documented. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Multiple national population surveys have found that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.”Our experience here at Parkdale Center finds co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders to be even more frequent.

The most common mental health conditions co-occurring with SUD are anxiety, PTSD, trauma, and depression, but all mental health disorders can co-exist with SUD. Because many of these disorders can have overlapping symptoms that can “feed” one another, evidence-based addiction treatment requires evaluation by both medical and psychiatric professionals. It is often impossible to say if one condition led to the other, as they are often fully enmeshed. Therefore, addressing these co-occurring disorders at the same time is crucial to positive, lifelong, addiction recovery. For example, patients suffering from depression are more likely to relapse, so treating the depression alongside the addiction can improve chances for long-term recovery.

When you come to Parkdale Center for treatment, you will meet with both medical doctors and nurses as well as a doctoral-level psychiatric practitioner. These medical and psychiatric evaluations will provide our clinical staff with a complete picture of your physical and mental health. This allows us to individualize your treatment while here at Parkdale, as well as make specific recommendations for your ongoing recovery once you leave.

Our practitioners use several diagnostic screening tools to help identify if you have individual mental health struggles along with SUD. These screenings go beyond what you’d expect from a mere diagnostic questionnaire. They include an evaluation of your medications and nutrition supplements, sleeping patterns, lifestyle, diet, activity levels, and more. Treatment of your mental health alongside your substance use disorder improves both your short- and long-term well-being. Relief from one disorder often supports relief from others.

If you would like to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment of substance use disorder, please visit the following web pages:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

National Institute on Mental Health: Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders

National Institute on Mental Health: Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report

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