Dual-Diagnosis Treatment in Memphis

Learn More About Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

People that suffer from addiction often also suffer from mental illness. This is because many people that suffer from mental illness chronically abuse substances to cope. Many people abuse substances until they are dependent on them and are addicted. Chronically abusing substances can also result in alterations to the brain that cause drug users to develop mental illnesses.

People that suffer from both addiction and mental illness simultaneously are known to suffer from co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses. To treat co-occurring disorders, individuals must attend co-occurring disorders treatment, otherwise known as dual diagnosis treatment.

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What is Co-occurring Disorders Treatment?

Dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, treatment is an addiction treatment program that simultaneously treats a mental illness. Therefore, individuals that simultaneously suffer from addiction and mental illness should receive co-occurring disorders treatment rather than regular addiction treatment.

Receiving treatment for addiction without simultaneously treating its co-occurring mental illness will likely cause the addiction to develop again. This is because when two disorders are co-occurring, they often act as catalysts for one another.

Therefore, treating one condition without simultaneously treating the other will cause the previous condition to trigger the reappearance of the treated condition. That’s why co-occurring disorders treatment is vital for individuals that suffer from both addiction and mental illness.

Common Types of Co-Occurring Disorders

There are countless substance use disorder and mental health disorder combinations that can result in co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnoses. Any mental illness from depression to bipolar disorder, to schizophrenia can co-occur with addiction. Some of the most common co-occurring disorders include the following:

Alcoholism and Depression

One of the most common co-occurring disorders is alcoholism and depression. This is because many people that suffer from depression use alcohol to numb or suppress their negative emotions.

Unfortunately, using alcohol to numb one’s negative emotions is highly dangerous. This is because, over time, it can cause a person’s body to become reliant on alcohol to feel positive emotions. When individuals first consume alcohol, the substance stimulates the brain in a way that gives off a high. This initial high is just an illusion though as alcohol is truly a depressant. Thus, soon after consuming it, alcohol will slow down the brain and body which causes a person to crash.

Such a crash will cause people that are already depressed to feel the need to consume more and more alcohol to continue to mask their negative emotions. Doing this can cause depressed people that abuse alcohol to also become alcoholics.

To treat the co-occurring disorder of alcoholism and depression, one should attend a dual diagnosis program. Because of how addictive alcohol is, it’s best for individuals that suffer from alcoholism and depression to attend rehab at an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center.

Alcoholism and Anti-Social Personality Disorder

Alcoholism is also often linked to anti-social personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) by the American Psychiatric Association, anti-social personality disorder, or ASPD, is characterized by a pervasive disregard for and violation of other people’s rights.

Because people with ASPD disregard other people’s rights, they often lack empathy and are emotionally unavailable. The disregard of other people’s rights also causes people with ASPD to often manipulate, exploit, or violate others with ease.

People with ASPD also often suffer from aggression issues. Because chronic alcohol use causes changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters that are linked to aggression, alcoholism, and anti-social personality disorder is one of the most common co-occurring disorders.

Heroin Addiction and Depression

When it comes to substance use disorders that depression links to, heroin addiction is one of the most common ones. This is because heroin use often causes alterations in the chemistry of the brain. These changes in brain chemistry lead to mood changes and suicidal behavior.

Heroin is a strong opiate drug and as a result, many of its symptoms resemble depression. For example, some symptoms of heroin use include fatigue, self-isolation, weight loss, and poor concentration. Thus, it makes sense for heroin use to lead to the development of depression. In fact, a published study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that one-fourth of 615 heroin users in Sydney, Australia also suffered from a major depressive episode.

Furthermore, 26% of the individuals in treatment for heroin addiction in the study also suffered from long-term depression. Even 16% of the heroin users that weren’t in treatment suffered from depression.

Heroin addicts also often experience depression during withdrawal. This is due to many heroin addicts’ dependency on the substance to feel any sort of high.

Because heroin use and heroin withdrawal often cause people to experience depression symptoms, individuals that suffer from the co-occurring disorder of heroin addiction and depression are often suicidal. Thus, co-occurring disorders treatment of heroin addiction and depression is vital to the survival of many people.

Marijuana Addiction and Schizophrenia

An analysis of several studies found that marijuana is one of the substances that people with schizophrenia abuse the most. Thus, it’s no surprise that researchers are discovering that there is some sort of link between marijuana and schizophrenia.

Individuals that suffer from schizophrenia often like to use marijuana to cope with their illness. On the flip side, marijuana is also heavily linked to psychosis. Psychosis is the disruption in one’s thoughts in a way that makes it hard to decipher what’s real.

Psychosis is a primary symptom of schizophrenia. According to the American Psychiatric Association, schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that’s characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble thinking, and lack of motivation.

As a result of marijuana being heavily linked to schizophrenia, people that chronically abuse marijuana may develop schizophrenic symptoms. Marijuana use can also worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia in individuals that already suffer from mental health disorders.

Researchers have also found that individuals that carry certain genetic genes are more likely to develop schizophrenia after marijuana use. Examples of some of these genetic genes include the AKT1 gene and the COMT gene. Because there is a genetic link between the ability for a person to develop schizophrenia after marijuana use, it’s no surprise that individuals with family members that suffer from schizophrenia are more likely to develop schizophrenia themselves, particularly after smoking marijuana.

Marijuana use is so heavily linked to schizophrenia that smoking marijuana can cause a person to develop schizophrenia a few years earlier than expected. The age at which a person starts smoking marijuana often affects his or her chances of developing schizophrenia as a result of it. This is likely because the brains of youth that smoke marijuana aren’t fully developed yet.

Cocaine Addiction and Anxiety Disorder

Cocaine is a stimulant that causes alterations to the brain that causes people to initially feel more confident and energetic. Thus, many people start using cocaine to ease their anxiety and feel more confident.

Unfortunately, cocaine use can worsen anxiety since the substance often stimulates the brains of its users to the point at which they experience racing, uncontrollable thoughts, and paranoia in the form of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is also a common cocaine withdrawal symptom. This is because cocaine is highly addictive. Therefore, many people that use cocaine to ease anxiety experience worsened anxiety when detoxing.

When individuals suffer from both cocaine addiction and anxiety, they suffer from co-occurring disorders. To treat such co-occurring disorders, individuals should attend rehab at an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center.

Cocaine Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

Because people with bipolar disorder go through so many emotional ups and downs, they often misuse stimulants and depressants. One stimulant that people with bipolar disorder often misuse is cocaine. Due to how addictive cocaine is though, individuals with bipolar disorder that start using cocaine usually develop a co-occurring disorder of cocaine addiction and bipolar disorder.

Because cocaine is a stimulant that initially causes people to feel energized and confident, people that suffer from bipolar disorder may use cocaine to cope when they’re going through depressive lows. Unfortunately, extensive cocaine use will worsen bipolar disorder symptoms.

For example, cocaine alters dopamine levels in the brain. Because bipolar disorder also involves imbalances in the dopamine centers of the brain, the use of cocaine worsens the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Using cocaine while suffering from bipolar disorder also makes people become reckless and less able to make sound decisions. Continued cocaine use while suffering from bipolar disorder also often makes people feel paranoia and irritation. When going through withdrawal of cocaine while suffering from bipolar disorder, people may even experience suicidal thoughts.

While cocaine use in and of itself doesn’t necessarily cause bipolar disorder, it can cause psychosis or a stimulant-induced psychosis. A stimulant-induced psychosis can cause people to experience hallucinations and delusions along with changes in emotion, lethargy, lack of motivation, and withdrawal from social interactions.

People with the co-occurring disorder of bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction can also experience erratic behavior and disorganized thoughts and speech. People with both bipolar disorders and cocaine addictions also often crash at some point due to the highs that both conditions cause.

Other symptoms that both individuals with cocaine addictions and bipolar disorder often suffer from include:

  • Increased energy and mental alertness
  • Optimism
  • Self-confidence
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Increased sex drive

These symptoms are often more severe and obvious in people with cocaine addictions than they are in people with bipolar disorder. To treat bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction, individuals should attend medical detox followed by co-occurring disorders treatment for the dual diagnosis.

Opioid Addiction and PTSD

People develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic experience. Oftentimes these traumatic experiences lead to injuries or conditions that require people to receive opioid prescription medications. Unfortunately, due to how addictive opioids are, many people that receive opioid prescriptions end up developing opioid addictions.

Many people start abusing opioid prescriptions unintentionally. This is especially true for individuals that use opioid painkillers. This is because many people that use opioid prescriptions will take more pills than prescribed. They do this in hopes that it will reduce their pain or symptoms quicker.

Other people abuse their prescription opioids by taking them for a longer period of time than prescribed. This is because many people still feel physical pain or that their condition isn’t cured yet and thus, need to continue to take their medications. Once a person develops an opioid addiction, it’s very hard to overcome. This is especially true when a person already suffers from PTSD.

To treat the co-occurring disorder of opioid addiction and PTSD, you must attend co-occurring disorders treatment. Just make sure that the dual diagnosis program that you attend is specialized and at an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment center.

The Purpose of Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

The purpose of co-occurring disorders treatment is to, once again, simultaneously treat any substance use and mental health disorders that a person is suffering from. That way, no lingering mental illness or substance use issue can trigger the other disorder.

Why Do Mental Illnesses Often Co-Occur With Substance Use Disorders?

Mental illnesses often co-occur with substance use disorders because many people start using substances to cope with their mental illnesses. Thus, mental illness is often the trigger, or catalyst, for substance use. Unfortunately, though using substances to cope with mental illnesses usually just causes individuals to become dependent on substances.

Eventually, such drug dependency turns into drug addiction, which only worsens mental illness symptoms. Therefore, before a person knows it, he or she is suffering from both a mental illness and a substance use disorder and is in desperate need of dual diagnosis treatment.

Treat Your Co-Occurring Disorders At Grace Land Recovery

Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center located in the Memphis, Tennessee area. As an addiction treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment, Grace Land Recovery offers high-quality, individualized, and specialized addiction treatment and therapy programs and services.

Grace Land Recovery also offers a wide variety of specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs. That way patients can receive the care that they need to overcome both their addiction and mental illnesses.

If you suffer from a co-occurring disorder and wish to receive co-occurring disorders treatment here at Grace Land Recovery, contact us today! We would love to help you treat your physical, mental, and spiritual issues so that you can maintain long-term sobriety. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our offices are open during typical business hours.


Common Addiction Therapies Used During Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

There are many addiction therapies that are often used during dual diagnosis treatment.

Some of the most common forms of addiction therapy that are used during dual diagnosis treatment include:

Family Therapy

Oftentimes, a person’s home and family life affect his or her development of substance addictions and mental illnesses. Thus, it’s important for co-occurring disorder treatment patients to incorporate family therapy into their co-occurring disorders treatment programs.

Through family therapy, the close relatives of co-occurring disorders treatment patients can learn how they are contributing to their loved ones’ dual diagnosis disorders. Once the close relatives of co-occurring disorder patients recognize the negative roles that they play in their loved ones’ development of co-occurring disorders, they can alter their behaviors.

Family therapy is also a great way for close friends and family of individuals that are receiving treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders to learn more about substance use and mental illness so that they can better empathize with their loved ones. By better understanding their loved ones’ disorders, family and friends of people with co-occurring disorders can become a part of their loved ones’ support groups.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy that focuses on changing your negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into positive ones. When conducting CBT for substance abuse, addiction therapists will make the patients identify their addiction triggers. Once the patients’ addiction triggers are identified, the addiction therapists will then come up with coping mechanisms that the patients can use to manage their addiction triggers.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is also effective during co-occurring disorders treatment. This is because group therapy provides individuals with the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others as it pertains to substance use and mental illness.

Group therapy also allows individuals to get advice on their addiction and mental health issues from other people that have struggled with similar issues. Over time, the people that co-occurring disorders treatment patients meet in group therapy can even become a part of their support groups.

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment Programs

You should always receive co-occurring disorders treatment when treating co-occurring disorders. Most of the common forms of co-occurring disorders require treatment at inpatient dual diagnosis treatment centers. When receiving treatment for co-occurring disorders, make sure to attend a specialized dual diagnosis program based on the addiction and mental illness that you’re suffering from.

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