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Bronx – Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is the co-existence of a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. There are many possible dual diagnosis scenarios, with common examples including depression and alcoholism, anxiety disorders and benzodiazepine addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid abuse. While drug treatment centers deal with dual diagnosis patients all the time, there are inherent difficulties associated with diagnosing this condition. Dual diagnosis conditions often require a period of detox and medication treatment, followed by ongoing behavioral therapy and aftercare programs. To find out more about the treatment protocols offered at Bronx Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers, call 212-202-5656.

Mental health Disorders and Addiction

Mental health and substance use disorders are linked, with mental illness often leading to substance problems and substance abuse also influencing mental health. In order to effectively diagnose a dual diagnosis condition, doctors will try to differentiate between pre-existing disorders and substance-induced conditions. This process can be complex and difficult, with clear lines of causality between conditions non-existent in many cases. Instead, doctors and medical staff try to find the best possible treatment for both conditions, with common options including primary treatment, sequential treatment, parallel treatment, and integrated treatment.


The links between depression and addiction are strong. Not only are depressed people more likely to use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their condition, but existing substance abusers are also likely to get depressed as a result of their addiction. Depression disorders affect millions of Americans every day, with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 10 percent of Americans suffer from this psychiatric disorder. Substance abuse is common among this demographic, with depressed individuals often reaching out to drugs and alcohol as a way to lift their spirits.

While experiencing short-term pleasure is possible with this approach, the use of drugs and alcohol often trigger additional depression symptoms such as lethargy and sadness. This is especially the case with alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, where a cycle of depression and substance abuse can often spiral out of control. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax are also CNS depressants, as are opioids like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. If you or someone you love suffers from depression and also has a substance abuse problem, call Bronx Drug Treatment Centers at 212-202-5656.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In the case of primary treatment, medical staff will evaluate patients in order to find the primary disorder. Whether it’s the mental health disorder or the substance use disorder, clinicians will treat a single condition using appropriate therapy. In many cases, the secondary disorder will go away or diminish once the primary disorder has been treated. This is not always the case, however, with the interplay between mental health and substance abuse often complex and hard to treat. Sequential treatment also treats the secondary condition, but only when the primary disorder has been stabilized. Parallel treatment attempts to treat both conditions at the same time, either in a single facility or between facilities. Integrated treatment uses a singular approach to treat both conditions, blending interventions into a seamless treatment package.

Aftercare services are critical to long-term success following residential treatment for a combined diagnosis condition. The best treatment programs will ensure that patients are connected to aftercare services long before they are discharged form a residential facility. Without aftercare, chances of relapse increase dramatically.

Do not let substance dependence and mental illness control your life any longer. Get the help you need and deserve today by calling Drug Treatment Centers Bronx at (212) 202-5656. Our addiction specialists are available to answer your questions.

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