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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Wisconsin


In Wisconsin, as well as across America, addiction is a serious issue that affects many people. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2013, about 22.7 million Americans suffered from a problem with substance abuse during that year. Treatment programs across the United States annually help many addicts recover from their addiction. Yet, only 2.5 million people out of the 22.7 million received treatment from a drug rehabilitation center. Many approaches to therapy have been developed since early research was done into the treatment of addiction in 1970. Addiction is defined as a mental disease that is complex but manageable with the proper care.


What is dual diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is a treatment plan that is developed for an addict suffering from a co-occurring mental disorder and substance abuse problem, such as a person suffering from anxiety and alcoholism. The plan includes treatment of the patient’s addiction and a co-occurring mental disorder that may be caused by, or may cause, the addiction. It is not uncommon that addicts suffer from a co-occurring mental health issue. For example, a patient living in Wisconsin who is suffering from depression may consume a drug regularly to improve their mood. If the user becomes physically addicted to the substance, they may continue to suffer from depression that causes a cycle of them continuously abusing the substance to try and ineffectively self-medicate their depression. A dual diagnosis plan in this instance would treat the depression and the addiction simultaneously.

Dual diagnosis treatment in Wisconsin typically consists of treatments such as psychopharmacology, which includes administering medications that are able to counteract a patient’s mental disorders. The medications that are administered are also used for reducing stress and anxiety in patients during their treatment. Psychotherapy is also a highly successful treatment that teaches the patient about their addiction and helps them discover underlying behavioral issues or negative thought patterns, finding better ways to cope and resist potential triggers. Patients who have psychotherapy performed on them are known to have a higher chance of obtaining a full recovery because they better understand the root of their illnesses. Behavioral management is another treatment that is commonly used to alter a patient’s behavior to fit that of a drug-free lifestyle.


Common co-existing mental disorders with addiction

An eating disorder and an addiction are two common co-existing disorders that are often treated by dual diagnosis programs. Some people who eat more than what they need to do it because of the euphoric feeling it gives them during consumption. This is caused by endorphins being released in the brain as a result of the person fulfilling a basic survival instinct. These types of people are more vulnerable to becoming addicted to a substance such as cocaine or opioids because of their tendency to seek a feeling of euphoria. Alternatively, addiction can also cause an eating disorder where a person may look to eating to improve their mood.

Eating disorders when a person does not consume enough food can also be caused by the drug’s effects on the user. Many addictive substances such as methamphetamines reduce the user’s appetite and dehydrate them severely. This has an extreme impact on the user’s health whereby they do not receive enough nutrition on a daily basis and could suffer a mental and physical decline.

Depression and anxiety are commonly known to co-occur with addiction. An addict commonly becomes depressed because they have a lowered sense of self-esteem and feel alone in their struggle to recover from drug abuse. Panic attacks may also develop from prolonged substance abuse or vice versa. Just as depression can also be the cause of a person abusing a substance. Drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines are highly addictive and are commonly abused when a person with depression or anxiety seeks to improve their mood or general mental state.

Those struggling with a dual diagnosis should know that they are not alone. Not only are their numerous programs available across the country for addicts who suffer from co-occurring disorders, but there are people out there who are just like you. Why hesitate to seek support for one more dad? Contact an addiction specialist now and begin to find freedom from addiction.