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Dual Diagnosis – Syosset

A dual diagnosis is made when someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol also suffers from a mental health disorder, such as depression or panic disorder. These co-occurring disorders require simultaneous and integrated, but separate, treatments.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Syosset specializes in treating patients with co-occurring disorders. Our team of physicians and mental health professionals work collaboratively to address both the addiction and the mental illness. Dual diagnosis programs are highly effective at helping patients understand their addiction and how it relates to their mental health disorder. This is achieved through various therapies. After dual diagnosis treatment, an aftercare program is set in place to help prevent relapse and to provide ongoing monitoring of the mental health condition. To find out more about our treatment programs and how we can help you get your life back on track, dial 631-729-7250.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

Co-occurring disorders are more common than once believed. Recent research shows that about one-third of those with any kind of mental illness and one-half of people with severe mental illness suffer from substance addiction, and one third of those addicted to alcohol and one-half of those addicted to drugs also have a mental health disorder. According to the New York State Health Foundation, 50 percent of those with mental health disorders in Syosset and Nassau County also have substance abuse issues.

Types of Mental Health Disorders Commonly Associated with a Dual Diagnosis

• Panic and anxiety disorders, which include obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, are some of the most common types of mental health problems found in those with addictions. Patients often use alcohol or drugs to alleviate social awkwardness and general feelings of anxiety and fear.

• Clinical depression is another common disorder associated with addiction, marked by feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and self-hatred.

• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results when unresolved fear and anger from witnessing or being the victim of a traumatic event causes nightmares, flashbacks, and emotional instability. Many who suffer from PTSD self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to alleviate the great distress caused by this condition.

Why Mental Illness and Addiction Co-Exist

The prevalence of co-occurring disorders is largely due to three distinct factors:

 Many people with mental health issues take drugs to self-medicate, such as smoking marijuana to alleviate anxiety or drinking alcohol to numb the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
 Abusing drugs and alcohol can worsen existing mental health conditions.
 Abusing drugs and alcohol can cause someone who doesn’t have a history mental illness to experience the onset of symptoms.

Treatments for Dual Diagnosis

Treating both the addiction and the mental illness simultaneously has been shown to be the most effective way to promote long-term recovery. Three distinct treatment therapies are considered to be highly effective for treating co-occurring disorders:

• Pharmacotherapy involves prescribing medications to get the mental health issue under control.
• Psychotherapy is face-to-face therapy that helps the patient understand their illnesses, provides strategies and tools for dealing with stress, coping with triggers, and better managing symptoms of both illnesses.
• Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients evaluate their self-destructive thoughts, beliefs, and actions and replace them with those that are healthy and productive.

Aftercare for Co-Occurring Disorders

Once treatment is complete, an individualized aftercare program helps prevent relapse by providing ongoing support, therapy, and education. A comprehensive aftercare program is essential for successful long-term recovery, and may include any of these components:

  • Ongoing monitoring of the mental health conditions and the medications used to treat it.
  • Ongoing individual, group, and family therapy.
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help with employment issues.
  • Participating in a 12-step or similar program to ensure a strong support system and to promote healthy relationships with non-users.
  • Residing in a sober living facility for a period of time to ease the transition from rehab to “real” life.
  • Monitoring by a caseworker, who will evaluate continually for new and emerging needs.

Find the support you need to get started living a healthier, drug-free lifestyle. Call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Syosset today at 631-729-7250.

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