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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in West Virginia

Drug treatment centers across America rehabilitate many substance-addicted individuals annually. According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2.6 million Americans aged 12 and older completed a drug treatment program. Co-occurring mental disorders are common in individuals with a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment in West Virginia is available to addicts and consists of therapeutic techniques among other effective treatments that are performed on patients to help them recover from substance addiction and other co-occurring mental disorders.


A description of dual diagnosis

When a patient suffers from substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring mental disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder or an eating disorder, they are known as dual diagnosis patients who require a dual diagnosis treatment plan to treat the multiple disorders simultaneously. Substance addiction can co-exist with other mental disorders and it occurs frequently (as many as 2 in 10 veterans with PTSD suffer from substance use disorder according to U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs). Dual diagnosis treatment in West Virginia is used to treat co-occurring disorders because the disorders typically work together to cause a cycle of abuse. For instance, a person suffering from depression may look to abusing substances to self-medicate themselves. However, once the effect of the substance has worn off, the depression is typically more severe because of the withdrawal symptoms and the cycle of abuse continues.


The options for dual diagnosis treatment in West Virginia

Dual diagnosis treatment in West Virginia is more complex than traditional programs due to the intricacies that are associated with treating multiple mental disorders that potentially fuel each other. Some of the treatments that are used in conjunction with traditional methods to treat cases of dual diagnosis include:

∙         Behavioral therapy is focused on positively changing an addict’s outlook on their addiction and helping them to adjust their behavioral patterns so they are able to live a drug-free lifestyle through abstinence.

∙         Psychotherapy can be highly useful in the treatment of dual diagnosis patients. Psychotherapy is conducted in an environment that is therapeutic, safe, comfortable and stress-free so that the recovering addict is able to express their feelings and concerns about their addiction and how it developed. The environment is intended to help patients let go of shameful experiences which can lead to self-empowerment.

∙         Psychopharmacology is the study of medication in relation to its effects on a user’s brain. Its use in treatment includes the administering of medication to patients to help them with their mental disorders as well as ease their suffering by reducing anxiety and stress. The medications that can be administered to patients range from mild sedatives such as opiates to antipsychotics and antidepressants such as benzodiazepines.


Common co-occurring disorders

People who suffer from an eating disorder are more prone to becoming substance addicted because of their tendency to self-medicate themselves even though it is only a temporary “fix”.  The reward system in the brain can be stimulated by excessive eating just as it would be with the abuse of drugs or alcohol. The effects of the substances that are consumed may be vastly different but the goal of substance abuse or excessive eating is to improve the mood of the user.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur in individuals who have been involved in extreme situations such as violent crimes or war. Recurring nightmares and terrible memories can cause a person suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to self-medicate by abusing substances such as alcohol or prescription drugs. The most commonly abused substances among people who suffer from PTSD are alcohol and tobacco. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs states that out of the people who sought treatment, one out of every three veterans who have PTSD suffer from substance use disorder too.

Do not live in crisis for one more day. Dial an addiction specialist now and discover a future free from the grasp of addiction.