Dual diagnosis emerged as a concept over two decades ago. Also referred to as co-occurring disorders, it points to the copresence of both mental disorders and substance addiction. Some of the most prevalent coexisting disorders include heroin addiction and bipolar disorder, alcoholism and depression, etc. Read more
Don’t Settle For a Life of Mental Illness and Addiction
There could be various factors causing mental disorders. They include, but are not limited to, genes, environmental influences such as peer pressure and stress, as well as side effects of medication. A major factor responsible for poor mental health, which often gets ignored, is acute or chronic abuse of addiction-forming substances. Drugs or alcohol are an easy means to escape from life’s miseries and ease the pain. Little do people realize that intoxication can create chemical imbalance in the brain causing a mental disorder. Read more
Opioids are generally prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. They include drugs like oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine and fentanyl, as well as illicit substances like heroin. These medications trigger a range of pleasurable effects by stimulating certain regions of the brain involved with the reward system.
Unfortunately, opioids work on patients by masking the pain and not by eradicating the problem from the root. Though they may succeed in temporarily uplifting a person’s mood, they increase the risk of developing depression. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in a 2016 survey, an estimated 11.8 million people misused opioids in the past year, with approximately 2.1 million people suffering from an opioid use disorder (OUD). Read more
Cocaine is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug extracted from the leaves of coca plant. Listed as a Schedule II drug in the United States, it has a high potential for abuse. As such, the medical usage of cocaine is almost nonexistent and it is a mere recreational drug that surpasses its medical usage. Its only known medicinal usage is as a topical anaesthetic.
Cocaine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that speeds up respiration, blood pressure and heart rate. It also raises energy, alertness, wakefulness, focus and attention while suppressing appetite. Due to its ability to increase energy and confidence, it is a popular party drug at social events. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, an estimated 1.9 million people aged 12 and above are the current users of this illicit drug in the U.S. Read more
Due to a steady decline in the perception of the risks associated with marijuana, a large number of youngsters have been digressing toward this substance. Other major shifts that have exacerbated the situation include the recent public debates on the legalization of marijuana. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States, with 22.2 million people abusing it in the past month. The survey also highlighted that the majority of the users are men than women. Read more
When an individual struggle with a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental illness simultaneously, it is called dual diagnosis. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in any given year, at least 7-9 million people grapple with a co-occurring disorder. Moreover, 50 percent of the population suffering from an alcohol and drug addiction are also inflicted with a mental illness, such as trauma, depression, personality disorders, anxiety and depression. Read more
It is a common perception that alcohol can help reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive worry and anticipation of fear. However, some researchers consider it a vicious cycle in which the person craves for alcohol to relieve the anxiety developed from the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abstinence.
According to a study published in UpToDate.com, anxiety-related disorders are likely to elevate the risk of developing substance use disorders (SUDs). At the same time, they may also affect the treatment outcome of SUDs. Conversely, SUDs may have a negative impact on the treatment outcomes for alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Probably, that is the reason why stress and anxiety are often associated with alcohol cravings and consumption, and subsequent development of AUD. Read more
In 2015, around 33,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The use of opioids to treat chronic pain has increased significantly in all parts of the country. Therefore, researchers have been exploring a possible relationship between access to opioids and increased risk of suicide. There are evidences supporting a correlation between greater use of opioids and increased risk of suicide. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in March 2017 revealed that suicides involving opioid use have witnessed a two-fold increase over the last 15 years. Read more
Stress is a normal but an inevitable part of one’s life. It is one of the major factors responsible for instigating an individual to abuse alcohol, drugs or other substances and increasing the risk of developing an addiction and relapse. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) specified addiction as a chronic brain disease that inflicts serious behavioral, biological, social, emotional and physical problems that often leads to an inability to control substance abuse.
People usually calm themselves by indulging in a few puffs of a cigarette or a couple of drinks in order to relieve themselves from the stress and strains caused by increased emotional pressure. Additionally, they shift to cocaine and ecstasy with the objective of partying all night. Read more
Impulsivity is a common characteristic in both borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance use disorder (SUD), and the presence of one condition can have a direct impact on the severity of the other. Abusing substances such as alcohol and drugs can aggravate the symptoms of BPD including suicide ideation and risk of self-harm. Conversely, the symptoms and behaviors associated with addiction to substances can be worsened due to BPD. Read more
The most effective way to deal with co-occurring conditions is to work on both at once. This is no easy task but we can connect you with people who can help.