The co-occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse problem is called dual diagnosis. A broad range of psychosocial issues and multiple relating illnesses can be experienced by an individual who has dual diagnosis.When one faces dual diagnosis, the physical, social, spiritual, and psychological aspect of the person will be affected. It should be taken into account that an individual who has dual diagnosis doesn’t have two separate illnesses. These two illnesses interact with each other. The illnesses may exacerbate each other and each disorder predisposes to relapse in the other disease. One of the problems of dual diagnosis is the overlapping and the masking of the symptom’s illnesses because it proves difficult for treatment.
Dual diagnosis can be explained in many ways. The causality theory is one of them. Causality theory offers that there are types of substance abuse that leads to having mental illnesses. Example of this is the use of marijuana and the development of psychosis which has evidences of casual links. An added theory is the multiple risk factor theory. Multiple risk factor theory explains that there are dangerous factors that lead to having dual diagnosis. Examples of these hazardous factors are association with people who utilizes drugs, people who are lonely and in poverty. There is also an additional theory known as the super sensitivity theory. It explains that there are individuals with intense mental illness who has psychological or biological vulnerabilities. This vulnerability is being caused genetically and environmentally. These vulnerabilities can result in getting a psychiatric disorder. This attempts to explain dual diagnosis in terms of treating the psychotic disorder using anti-psychotic drugs. In the long run, the body creates tolerance from the drug. Dual diagnosis is settling in.
Dual diagnosis poses many problems. One of the main problem is only one illness is identified in most cases of dual diagnosis resulting to a lack of treatment. The defiance which is almost always near in different cases is also a problem. These make therapists and psychiatrists to have a tough time recognizing dual diagnosis and make them propose treatments that would only offer a little help.
It creates quite a problem looking for proper treatments for this kind of condition. It would be impossible for one to find a treatment center that would cater to a person with dual diagnosis. A treatment center that caters to the problem of substance abuse refuses to admit someone with severe mental conditions. On the other hand, a treatment center that helps for the healing of people with serious mental conditions is not expert in dealing with people who is afflicted with substance abuse. This really is such a big deal.
The only thing that exists for treatment of individuals with dual diagnosis is by principles. Specialist suggests that the treating of the two co-occurring disorders should not be taken apart but rather should be joined together. There are prescriptions that have been proven to be effective. Examples of these medications are opioid replacement therapies or naltrexone) and clozapine.
There are different co-occurring illnesses that can be identified as dual diagnosis. It’s not just all about substance abuse and mental illness. One can be depressed and alcoholic, psychotic and cannabis abuser, or can have intellectual disability while at the same time having a mental illness. This term is quite new in the world of psychology which explains the fact of its problem in terms of treatment. There is always progress in the psychological field, it is no impossibility for a treatment center to be established that would cater to the special needs of those who have dual diagnosis.
Dual Diagnosis poses a great problem because there are no treatment centers available to help people recover.