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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Bristol CT (860) 516-2414

Sometimes an individual may enter drug rehab for problems with drugs or alcohol or for treatment of a mood disorder such as bipolar or depression. However, others seek treatment for dual diagnosis. As the name suggests, a dual diagnosis is used to describe someone with a mood disorder and a drug or alcohol dependency or addiction. Finding the right dual diagnosis program is crucial in this situation, as these are two separate problems that often require different forms of treatment.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

According to statistics, roughly 8.9 million Americans suffer from this problem, but only 7.4 percent are properly diagnosed. The remaining undiagnosed percentage may seek treatment in a doctor’s office or a designated treatment center. Part of what makes diagnosis and treatment so challenging is the fact that this issue needs to be diagnoses and treated as two separate conditions. However, it’s often thought of as a single condition, with mental health and addiction treatment as two distinct systems of care. At Drug Treatment Centers Bristol, we understand the complexities of co-existing disorders and the importance for comprehensive treatment. To find out more about how Drug Treatment Centers Bristol can help you, dial 860-516-2414.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly one out of every three people with a mental illness, and one in two individuals with severe mental illness, also have a substance dependency or abuse problem. When looking at those with substance abuse, approximately one third of alcohol abusers and over 50 percent of people who abuse drugs have a form of mental illness. This problem is more likely to occur among men than women. Risk factors include people with less specific medical illnesses, military veterans, and individuals of lower socioeconomic status.

Which Comes First, Mental Illness or Drug Addiction?

There is no definitive answer to this question. In some individuals, the mental problem arises first and ultimately leads to drug and/or alcohol dependency. This is often done in an effort to self-medicate to make the individual feel better, even if it’s temporary. In other people, however, the drug or alcohol abuse comes first and may be followed by mental or emotional problems. Regardless of which problem came first, it’s imperative for the affected individual to seek treatment for both conditions.

What are the Symptoms Associated with a Dual Diagnosis?

When considering the symptoms, it’s crucial to consider both the mental health problem and the substance abuse disorder. Since these issues often occur simultaneously, figuring out any associated symptoms can pinpoint the underlying problem, especially when mental health is concerned. In such a diagnosis, it’s not uncommon for symptoms to vary tremendously from one person to the next.

Substance abuse symptoms may include sudden changes in a person’s behavior, feeling dependent or reliant on the drug to function, taking risks to get high, and doing uncharacteristic things just to get high. Mood disorders also have a broad range of symptoms. These may include worry, anxiety, pronounced changes in one’s appetite and sleep patterns, and an inability to concentrate in a person suffering from depression. In the manic phase, the affected individual might experience an increased amount of energy, a greater sense of confidence or self-importance, and a decreased need for sleep.


Treatment ultimately depends on the underlying mental health and addiction issues. For example, someone with a mood disorder may take medication and attend counseling sessions. A heavy alcohol or drug user in danger of serious health problems during a withdrawal may need to stay in a hospital or treatment center under close surveillance until withdrawal symptoms subside. Other potential types of treatment include psychotherapy, or talk therapy, along with medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.

When searching for the right treatment, the most important step is to locate dual diagnosis programs that separate the two distinct problems (and treat them appropriately). A person who seeks help for one problem or the other is much more likely to relapse. Call Drug Treatment Centers Bristol to get started living a healthier and happier life. Dial 860-516-2414 today.

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