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A Blog for Hope

“Hope,” the word seems to just roll off our tongues so easily. “I hope the Cardinals win.” I hope it doesn’t rain today.” I hope we get there on time.” But, what happens when it comes to personal issues? What then? A lost job, a diagnosis you were not expecting to hear. Where is hope then?

Hope is defined as a “confident desire: a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen.” There are scores of people needing to recapture a sense of hope in their lives and perhaps you are one of those people.

The following articles are written with you in mind. Each week a different article will be posted that is meant to give you and others like you, New Hope. A hope that, no matter the circumstances, no matter the struggle you face, there is hope. If, after reading the article, you need to talk to someone, please feel free to contact New Hope Behavioral Health at 573-860-1601(02).

17 Mar 2014

Dual Diagnosis

Author: James Huitt  /  Categories: Blog For Hope  /  Rate this article:
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Dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurrence of substance abuse with a mental illness. Substance abuse is a common problem among people with mental illness and, if undiagnosed, can interfere with treatment and recovery. 

How common is it?

Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. They may occur at the same time, or one may develop before the other, in any case, it is important to recognize both conditions in order to effect the best possible treatment outcome. 

According to the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration a significant percentage of the 1.5 to 2 million Americans with severe mental illness abuse substances, as compared to the general population.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that of all people diagnosed with a mental illness, 29% abuse either alcohol or other drugs. Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have a serious mental illness.

In any twelve-month period, an estimated 10 million people throughout the United States have a combination of at least one mental health and substance use disorder. (SAMSHA)

People with serious mental illness are 4-5 times as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder as the general population. (SAMHSA) 

Co-occurring substance use and mental disorders can occur at any age. Research suggests that as many as half of the adults who have a diagnosable mental disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point during their lifetime. (President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health)

A National Association of Mental Health study shows the increased risk for substance abuse for the following psychiatric disorders:

Increased risk of substance abuse
Antisocial personality disorder: 15.5%
Manic episode: 14.5%
Schizophrenia: 10.1%
Panic disorder: 4.3%
Major depressive episode: 4.1%
Obsessive compulsive disorder: 3.4%
Phobias: 2.4%

Why is it so common?

When someone suffers from a mental illness, it is not uncommon for the sufferer to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs to ease the symptoms. As use becomes more frequent, the person can become dependent upon the substance. Conversely, substance abuse can trigger symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis or suicidal thoughts. In addition, substance abuse which begins in adolescence and continues into disorders (NAMI).

If you or someone you know suffers from both a mental illness and substance abuse, let us help. Hope is just a phone call away. Call 573-860-1601 or 573-860-1602

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