Dual diagnosis refers to the condition in which an individual has a drug or alcohol dependency alongside a mental health diagnosis. This term first appeared in 1984. It is also commonly referred to as co-morbid disorder, dual disorder, concurrent disorders, and co-occurring disorder. The facts about dual diagnosis can be quite surprising and they reveal its prevalence and how often it goes untreated.
Interesting Facts About Dual Diagnosis
1. Approximately one-fourth of those with a mental health disorder also have a drug or alcohol dependency.
About 4 million of the 17.5 million adults who have a serious mental health disorder also have a drug or alcohol dependency. Many individuals often receive treatment for mental health issues without also getting treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. Sometimes this dependency can be masked by the mental illness.
However, for an individual to truly live a healthy life, both aspects should be addressed. Currently, approximately 12 percent of those with dual diagnosis receive treatment for both issues.
2. Dual diagnosis patients usually excel in the workplace.
Often, when people consider mental health disorders or drug and alcohol dependency, they envision someone who is unable to cope in everyday life. Contrary to this assumption, many people are able to not only hold down regular employment, but also are often able to perform well on the job. Certain types of drugs can increase short-term productivity, to the detriment of overall well being. Additionally, some mental illnesses, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, often present as overachievement and extreme attention to detail.
3. About 21% of those with dual diagnosis have prescription painkiller addictions.
Alcohol dependency is slowly decreasing in those with dual diagnosis, from 51 percent to 45 percent since 2000. Prescription painkillers, however, are on the rise as the drug of choice, up from 13 percent in 2000 to 21 percent today. The increase in the use of prescription painkillers may correspond with an increased ease of access and their relative inconspicuousness. It’s hard to know what to expect in a dual diagnosis treatment, so it’s important to contact the facility and learn what unique treatment programs they offer.
4. Over 50% of those with dual diagnosis have received no treatment.
With the serious risk of complications, the percentage of those who don’t receive treatment for dual diagnosis is alarming. Those with dual diagnosis have a potential for complications that are often not present in those with only either alcohol and drug dependency or mental illness. Drugs and alcohol can increase symptoms of many mental health issues, and untreated mental illnesses can make it harder to resist drugs and alcohol.
Those who suffer from dual diagnosis often have an increase in overall complications. While many receive treatment for one issue and not the other, and many more receive no treatment at all. A dual diagnosis treatment program is the only way to effectively address both problems.
Seek Help To Overcome Dual Diagnosis
The facts about dual diagnosis don’t lie. Getting help for both alcohol and drug dependency and mental illnesses can be your answer to living a happy and healthy life. Contact The Dunes today to connect with one of our specialists to start your or a loved one’s worthwhile journey.