Dual Diagnosis Scenarios

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A dual diagnosis constitutes the presence of two mental disorders, or diseases occurring within the same individual. When a diagnosed mental disorder is seen in a patient with an addiction, a dual diagnosis scenario also exists. This is due to the fact that addiction is formally recognized as a form of mental disease and disorder. Examples of mental disease often seen in conjunction with addiction in dual diagnosis scenarios: • Anti-Social Personality Disorder and alcoholism: Mood disorders effect the transfer of serotonin in the brain, as does alcohol. Unbalanced serotonin levels combined with uncontrolled behavioral problems worsen the effects on brain function, and in addition, the symptoms of each disease respectively. • Depression and…show more content…
Why is dual diagnosis so prevalent? The abundance of dual diagnosis case in drug and alcohol treatment centers is due to a reciprocal benefit between mental disorders and addiction. Mental disorders impact brain functions and chemical reactions which opens the door for other diseases that may feed on similar reactions or benefit from the changes in function. Mental health patients very often use drugs to mask the symptoms of their disorders and also take drugs to alleviate disorder symptoms. There are no certainties when it comes to cause. It can be either the addiction or the disorder that is the first-occurring factor. Statistics: • As many as 1/3 of those who suffer with mental health issues in Port St Lucie, Florida also become involved in substance abuse at some time in their lives. • The biggest increase in use for any one substance in the 2000’s has been prescription painkillers. About 21 percent of Dual Diagnosis patients are addicted to prescription opiates like OxyContin, Percocet, Lortab and…show more content…
Treatment for dual diagnosis: Specialized treatment processes should start with proper assessment and evaluation. A definite focus is placed on the two mental disorders; each separately and together. It is essential that the mental diseases are treated thoroughly in terms of their separate pathologies, symptoms, and effects; and then treated in relation to each other and how they affect one another. If both diseases are not treated, there is a high-risk of relapse as they promote and encourage one another through dependence. There are various treatment programs that work well with dual diagnosis situations: • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is the most difficult area to navigate with regard to dual diagnosis. Therapeutic interventions used for addiction and mental illness are at opposite ends in terms of style and the tone of delivery to the patient. Addiction-centered therapy is of a confrontational nature in most circumstances, but mental illness requires a different tact. Therefore, dual diagnosis psychotherapy sessions are unique and must find a middle-ground in which to appropriately address both

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