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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Rhode Island

If Rhode Island were to follow the national trend, than the rate of dual diagnosis is about 20 percent. A dual diagnosis occurs when a person is diagnosed as an alcoholic with an underlying mental or emotional disorder. That underlying mental or emotional disorder often contributes to the development of alcoholism. However, it can also come about as a product of the disease as well. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of alcoholics, who have been drinking for five years or more, are also suffering with a mental disorder. Therefore, a dual diagnosis is not as rare as one might think. Because of how common this is, dual diagnosis treatment in Rhode Island plays an important part in recovery.


Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Addiction is a disease that affects the brain. It can lead to cravings and mood swings, as well as depression. Depression is also a separate mental health disorder, however, and can be present long before the person started drinking. Many underlying mental health conditions are not the result of the drinking, but a strong factor that contributed to the person becoming an alcoholic. They may be using alcohol as a way to self-medicate for symptoms of their underlying mental or emotional condition.

Why Some Mental Health Disorders Appear with Certain Addictions

Some of the same feelings and thoughts that are typical in certain mental health disorders are quieted when the person drinks alcohol or abuses a drug. In this respect, the person has found a coping mechanism to mask their mental health problem. Unfortunately, that solution also comes with an addiction, which will ultimately require dual diagnosis treatment in Rhode Island or elsewhere in the country. Here are some examples:

Eating Disorders and Addiction – People with eating disorders may abuse substances to meet the goals of a perfect body image. By drinking large amounts of alcohol, it makes it easier for them to purge their meals. In addition, methamphetamines can be abused in an attempt to gather energy when the body is malnourished.

Depression and Addiction – Depression can come before or after alcohol abuse. If the person suffered a major loss, such as a spouse or a job, then they might go into a depressive episode that triggers their alcoholism. However, alcohol is a depressant and abuse of this substance will also cause depression during withdrawal.

OCD and Addiction – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder happens when a person has compelling, repetitive, thoughts that lead them to perform ritual actions like hand-washing or number-checking over and over. To take control of the thoughts in their head, some people turn to opiates. These drugs calm the mind and help the person to relax.

PTSD and Addiction – Traumatic events in a person’s life can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. This is accompanied by anxious thoughts that produce flashbacks and erratic behavior. People with this condition will abuse opiates and alcohol in an attempt to dampen memories and stop intrusive thoughts.

Anxiety and Addiction – Social anxiety can lead to panic attacks in public. However, drinking is socially acceptable and people who suffer with anxiety can mask their feelings in public by drinking. This often leads them into alcoholism.

How to Get Treated for a Dual Diagnosis

The first problem is figuring out if the person has an underlying mental or emotional condition that is being masked by alcohol or drug addiction. OCD and PTSD require psychopharmacology solutions to help a patient’s mental problem. Psychotherapy can help people with eating disorders, depression, and social anxiety, but it can take a very long time and has to be done after rehabilitation in a separate office. Behavioral management techniques are taught within rehab, through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, and this helps people who suffer with a dual diagnosis to find new methods for coping with the stresses that trigger their underlying mental or emotional health condition. Dual diagnosis treatment in Rhode Island incorporates both of these methods to provide patients with a successful recovery.


Find a Rehab Center Specializing in Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Rhode Island

Some facilities specialize in dual diagnosis and can provide the pharmacology and psychotherapy that is needed to treat the mental health condition while going through rehab. Those that do not, can typically refer someone to a doctor if they know there is a dual diagnosis involved. However, for the best treatment, get the dual diagnosis assessed first, and then choose a treatment center that works with dual diagnosis cases.

Seek Help Today!

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism and a mental health disorder, reach out to an addiction specialist today to learn more about the benefits of dual diagnosis treatment.