What is Dual Diagnosis?
The term dual diagnosis refers to the coexistence of an alcohol or drug problem and an emotional/psychiatric disorder. The disorders interact with one another and their symptoms mimic each other. Without highly trained professionals, these disorders can easily by misdiagnosed.
Which Develops First – the Substance Abuse or the Emotional Problem?
Tracked through years of research and treatment at The Crosby Clinic, our team most often finds the psychological issue occurs first. The illness leads to self-medicating behaviors, such as alcohol or drug consumption, for relief. This leads to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and, as a result, the drug or alcohol abuse can evolve into dependency. People often experience cravings, impulsivity and behavioral problems.
Less often, alcohol and/or drug dependency is the primary condition. When a substance abuse problem becomes severe, people may develop symptoms of psychiatric issues such as anxiety disorder, depression, PTSD, behavior disorders, eating disorders and more. They can also experience episodes of depression, fits of rage, hallucinations or even attempt suicide.
What Treatment Options Exist?
After accurate diagnosis, both conditions should be treated simultaneously. When a substance abuse issue co-exists with a psychological disorder, the first step in treatment must be a medically supervised detox process. Detox can take a few days, depending on the type of substances abused and the abuse’s duration. Once detoxification is complete, the patient is prepared for their rehabilitation from the alcohol or drug problem and concurrent treatment for the psychiatric problem.
The Crosby Clinic offers different levels or intensities of care depending on the patient’s individual needs, including full hospitalization or inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment. The Crosby Clinic has helped hundreds of patients recover by finding the root cause of the problem and addressing it appropriately.