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Dual Diagnosis in Tennessee


A common occurrence among addiction cases is that a person not only suffers from a substance use disorder, but also an additional mental disorder such as bi-polar or social anxiety. In these cases, dual diagnosis in Tennessee is required to give the person the best chance for recovery. Rehab centers in Tennessee aim to address all of the issues that a person struggles with that can cause an addiction to drugs or alcohol to continue.

What is dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term used for an individual who experiences symptoms of both a mental illness such as an eating disorder or depression, along with substance use disorder (addiction). The range of conditions can vary greatly in dual diagnosis cases, from someone who abuses opiates during a mania phase, to a person who forms a depression due to binge drinking. Treatment for co-occurring disorders in Tennessee requires that each of the conditions that the person is going through be treated at the same time. For example, if only opiate abuse was treated and a person’s mania was left untreated, the chance of relapse becomes greater as the person experiences mania again.

Eating disorders and substance use disorder

Eating disorders can refer to a person who does not eat enough or a person who eats too much. An individual may use drugs such as meth to stop them from eating, and when this is repeated over an extended period, an addiction to meth can form. A person can also use food much like a drug; they eat to allow endorphins to be released and become addicted to the food as a result. The same process occurs with drugs and alcohol; a person may be more prone to addiction due to an eating disorder as the high-seeking cycle is very similar.

Depression and substance use disorder

Those suffering from depression may start to rely on substance abuse to self-medicate their depression. They can abuse opiates or alcohol in order to improve their mood and thoughts. As a person continues to use drugs instead of proper coping skills, an addiction can form as the individual begins to feel that they need to have the drug in order to cope.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance use disorder

A person diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, often becomes obsessed with rituals, such as repeatedly counting items or washing their hands. The behavior is very difficult to control and professional help is usually required to help the person cope. People with OCD often try to use drugs or alcohol to stop the compulsive acts from occurring. However, the abuse of drugs and alcohol that are not prescribed by a doctor will make the condition worse over time.

Post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder

PTSD is something that affects many people throughout the United States. The irrational thoughts and behavior that are the symptoms of this condition can be difficult to deal with alone, and many people with PTSD rely on alcohol and drugs to deal with the anxiety they feel. The use of alcohol and drugs to self-medicate can cause the condition to worsen, which requires the person to engage in more substance abuse to feel better in the short term.

After a person has been diagnosed with substance use disorder and another mental illness then the treatment will involve detoxification, the use of medication to create a chemical balance and behavioral management. Once both of the conditions are under control, the individual can go on to lead a happy, sober life without the need to abuse substances to achieve their happiness. For more information about dual diagnosis, pick up the phone to speak with an addiction specialist today.