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Dual Diagnosis in Oregon


Addiction is a complex mental disorder to deal with by itself, and when it occurs at the same time as other mental disorders, the treatment becomes more complex. According to the National Survey on Drug use and Health, 20.2 million people in America suffered from substance use disorder of which 7.9 million had a co-occurring mental health disorder. Treatment programs for addiction in Oregon are able to treat people with a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders through a combined treatment approach.


What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurrence of substance use disorder with another mental disorder such as anxiety disorder, depression and bi-polar among others. Each of the illnesses has its own separate treatment plan that is developed by a rehab center. Each must be treated at the same time to avoid re-occurrence as people often use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for the mental disorder they have or the abuse of drugs and alcohol leads to the mental disorder.


What Treatment Methods are used to Treat Dual Diagnosis?

There are several methods that rehab centers in Oregon use to treat co-occurring disorders that include behavior management, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Behavioral management is similar to behavioral therapy but less intensive. The goal of the therapy is to manage feelings, thoughts and behaviors so that the individual can maintain order. Teachers use similar methods to teach students.

Psychopharmacology is the practice of using medication to help with the symptoms of mental disorders, including addiction. The medication is used to create a balance in brain chemistry which helps to bring about positive behavior and emotional changes, ultimately leading the elimination of drug abuse as a means to self-medicate.

Psychotherapy is a counseling method that aims to help a person change their behavior and thoughts. The goal is to have the individual lead a mentally healthy life through addressing the person’s psychological well-being. It has the best results when a person has frequent sessions with a psychologist on a one-on-one basis.


Different Forms of Co-occurring Disorders

Mental health disorders that occur with substance use disorder or addiction are common and among the most common forms of co-occurring disorders happen because of the interaction between the two disorders. The following highlights some of the most common dual diagnosis cases:


Addiction and Anxiety

There are many forms of anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, that people use drugs and alcohol to try and negate. A person with social anxiety may use alcohol as a way to overcome their disorder while visiting friends. In the absence of an effective coping tool for their condition, the continued use of alcohol among other drugs to alleviate their condition over the short term inevitably leads to greater social anxiety.


Addiction and Depression

Millions suffer from depression in America and when the person attempts to use substances as a means to cope with their depression and alter their mood, a deeper depression often forms. Substance addiction can lead to various forms of mild to severe depression as the substances create chemical imbalances and cause destructive behavior in a person’s life. “Feel-good” drugs such as opiates and alcohol are often the preferred choice for people with depression.


Addiction and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Many veterans suffering from PTSD have struggles with substance abuse. Alcohol is a preferred drug used to alleviate their symptoms through self-medication but it is a short-term solution to a problem that requires professional help to deal with. As the person uses alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate, the comedown leads to even greater PTSD symptoms.

If you are suffering from a mental illness and a chemical dependence, you can find solace and help at an Oregon treatment facility. Contact one today to get started!