Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Piscataway, NJ

Through dual diagnosis treatment in Piscataway, individuals can receive the more intense treatment they need to become sober and start to better manage their mental illness symptoms.Dual diagnosis is a term doctors use to describe a person who struggles with both a mental illness and a substance addiction. Another term for a dual diagnosis is co-occurring disorders. According to the journal Psychiatry MMC, doctors first coined the term in the 1980s when doctors identified a common pattern of those who struggled with substance abuse also had a mental illness. Although having a dual diagnosis is very common, addiction experts have recognized those with a dual diagnosis require specialized treatment that focuses not only on their substance abuse, but also taking into consideration a person's mental health diagnosis.

A person with a dual diagnosis has unique treatment needs, and their substance abuse can further complicate and worsen a mental health disorder. Some of the consequences and difficulties in treating a person with a dual diagnosis include:

  • Difficulty adhering to a medication regimen
  • Greater incidence of emergency room visits
  • Greater incidence of inpatient psychiatric placements
  • Higher likelihood to experience aggressive and violent behaviors

Thirty years ago, patients at a dual diagnosis treatment facility received treatment for their substance abuse only. The results were poorer outcomes and reduced rates of sobriety. Higher rates of relapse prevention in Piscataway showed after implementing dual diagnosis into our treatment. However, as treatments have evolved, researchers now know that dual diagnosis treatment programs should focus on treating both conditions.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an estimated one-third of all people with a mental illness also have a substance abuse problem. Those who are especially at risk for a dual diagnosis include men, those of lower socioeconomic status, and those who have served in the military and people with chronic illnesses. However, anyone can experience a dual diagnosis, just as anyone can benefit from dual diagnosis treatment in Piscataway.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

A dual diagnosis can include mental illnesses that range from mild to severe. Just as substance abuse can be a relapsing condition, a person who struggles with mental illness can experience many ups and downs in the course of their treatment. Some of the most common mental illnesses associated with dual diagnosis include:

  • Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness that occurs when a person fluctuates between feelings of intense depression, then mania, where a person's mood is very elevated. A person may not sleep for several days, may go on a spending spree, or display other erratic behaviors that can be very harmful to their health.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is when a person experiences strong feelings of fear and/or apprehension that aren't aligned with the potential or perceived threat. Those with intense anxiety may fear going out in public and can experience panic attacks, or intense episodes of anxiety that can make a person feel as if they are dying.
  • Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia can cause a person to lose touch with reality and experience hallucinations of sights, sounds, and smells that are not there. This is a severe mental illness that requires intense addiction treatment programs in Piscataway.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD occurs when a person becomes fixated on a certain object, behavior, and/or thought. A person may wash their hands obsessively or have to complete a task a certain number of times before they can move on to the next.
  • Depression: Depression causes a person to experience intense feelings of sadness. They may have thoughts that life is not worth living and contemplate suicide. They often lose hope and withdraw from activities they once enjoyed.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD commonly occurs after a traumatic event, such as war, abuse, or a natural disaster. A person with PTSD may experience flashbacks of the event, which can make them afraid to go to new places or try new things.

Through dual diagnosis treatment in Piscataway, a person can receive medical attention for both their substance abuse problem and these or other mental health disorders.

Why Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Necessary? What Are the Benefits?

According to NAMI, dual diagnosis treatment programs that focus on integrative therapies are most likely to be successful. These programs may begin in a similar fashion to traditional drug rehabilitation, such as through medical detoxification and withdrawals. However, most people will benefit from inpatient rehabilitation that can follow. Dual diagnosis treatment in Piscataway can help a person complete therapy sessions and work with a doctor regarding medication management. As many mental illnesses are related to imbalances in chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, medications can often help a person reduce the symptoms associated with their condition.

Both mental illness and substance abuse are similar in that no one is truly ever "cured" of either condition. However, refusing treatment or acknowledging a person is struggling cannot help them get better. Through dual diagnosis treatment programs, a person can live a healthier life free from drug and alcohol addiction in Piscataway. Call us today at (877) 804-1531.


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