Substance Abuse, Mental Illness, and Dual Diagnosis Treatment in California
You might feel sad, really sad. Nothing really seems to help you, so you have a few glasses of wine to try to make yourself feel better. Maybe the wine does make you feel better, so you have a few more glasses.
The next night, you might feel sad again. So you have more wine. You repeat this pattern many times throughout the following days, drinking a little more wine each time.
If you find yourself behaving like this on a regular basis, you might be depressed and suffering from alcohol abuse, a condition known as dual diagnosis.
This condition is very common. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), around one-third of people with mental illnesses also have problems with substance abuse. Around one-half of people with more severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, also have drug or alcohol problems.
Technically, a dual diagnosis occurs when doctors diagnosis mental illnesses for people who also have drug or alcohol abuse issues. Some of the common mental illnesses associated with a dual diagnosis include:
- bipolar disorder
- posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The NAMI notes that using alcohol and drugs can produce the first appearance of symptoms of mental illness, even for people who have not previously shown such symptoms before. It notes that members of specific groups who also have mental illnesses also tend to abuse alcohol and drugs more than others:
- people with other medical problems
- veterans of the military
Dual diagnosis treatment centers in California treat these members and many others. This treatment can be complex. Both parts of a dual condition affect each other. Alcohol abuse can prompt depression; depressed people might turn to alcohol. Effective treatment treats both to minimize the effects of substance abuse, and mental illness.