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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in New Hampshire


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that roughly 8.9 million Americans have or had some form of mental health disorder occur simultaneously with substance use disorder or addiction. Out of the 8.9 million people in the United States who suffer from co-occurring disorders, only 7.4 percent of them receive appropriate treatment, with around 55.8 percent of them receiving no help or treatment of any kind. Dual diagnosis treatment in New Hampshire is the most effective way of treating the occurrence of the two mental disorders, as used in many rehab centers in the state.


Definition of Dual Diagnosis

The term dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, is where a person is affected by a mental disorder such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder and bipolar among others at the same time as a substance use disorder. It is a condition where if only one of the disorders were to be treated, the other mental illness would likely lead to a relapse. For example, if a person has an anxiety disorder as well as alcoholism, if only the alcoholism was treated, the likelihood of the anxiety disorder leading to substance abuse again is high. Both conditions must therefore be treated at the same time to ensure that long-term recovery is possible.

Substance use disorders do not have to occur after the mental illness for it to be considered dual diagnosis case; either the disorder or the mental illness can occur first for various reasons.

The following looks at the various co-occurring disorders that often happen together.


Eating Disorders and Substance Use Disorders

There are two types of eating disorders that co-occur with addiction. The first is when there is too much food being eaten, often as result of trying to self-medicate and feel sensations of euphoria due to the release of dopamine after a full meal. This stress eating or self-medicating eating is similar to the behaviors of substance use disorders and often go together as the person is more prone to such negative cycles. Another type of eating disorder is when a person tries to eat as little as possible and uses drugs to suppress their appetite instead of looking at the reason as to why they have the eating disorder.


Depression and Substance Use Disorders

People who suffer from depression often use substances such as alcohol, cocaine and opiates to self-medicate to make the feelings of depression disappear for a short while. However, after the abuse of the substance, they often feel an even more severe version of their depression due to the withdrawal and comedown from the substance. This can cause the illness to become vastly worse over time. SUD can also cause depression in people as their life becomes unmanageable due to their addiction.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder

The symptoms that people with PTSD suffer from can be overwhelming, as intrusive memories from their past haunt their thoughts and anxiety overwhelms them. Many PTSD sufferers will turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with what they are experiencing which only makes their condition worse over time. Many people with PTSD turn to alcohol as their source of relief when no treatment is given and the statistics show that nearly 50 percent of people with PTSD will abuse alcohol on a regular basis.

There are a multitude of co-occurring disorders that require a dual diagnosis treatment approach. Through the help of dual diagnosis treatment in New Hampshire, both disorders can be properly managed with the main goal of total abstinence from drug and alcohol abuse and a well-adjusted, healthy lifestyle that promotes a clean and balanced life. Pick up the phone and speak with an addiction specialist today to learn more about the benefits of dual diagnosis treatment.