The co-occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse problem is called dual diagnosis. A large range of psychosocial issues and multiple interacting illnesses can be experienced by an individual who has dual diagnosis.A person’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects are all affected when one faces dual diagnosis. It must be taken into account that an individual who has dual diagnosis doesn’t have two disconnected illnesses. These two illnesses interact with each other. There is a big tendency for the illnesses to intensify and every disorder is inclined to relapse to the other one. 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. One of them is the causality theory. Causality theory proposes that there are types of substance abuse that leads to having mental illnesses. The proofs of the connections on the use of marijuana and the developing of psychosis is an example. An added theory is the multiple risk factor theory. Multiple risk factor theory explains that there are risky factors that direct to having dual diagnosis. Examples of these hazardous factors are association with people who abuses drugs, people who are lonely and in poverty. There is also another theory known as the super sensitivity theory. It explains that there are individuals with severe mental illness who has psychological or biological vulnerabilities. This vulnerability is being caused genetically and environmentally. These vulnerabilities can result in acquiring a psychiatric disorder. This attempts to explain dual diagnosis in terms of treating the psychotic disorder using anti-psychotic drugs. These anti-psychotic drugs will in the long run create a tolerance in the individual’s body. This would then result to dual diagnosis.
There are many problems that dual diagnosis brings. In most cases, only one illness is being identified which can result to the lack of treatment being given to the patient. The denial which is almost always present in different cases is also a problem. These make therapists and psychiatrists to have a difficult time discovering dual diagnosis and make them propose treatments that would only provide a little help.
It creates quite a problem looking for proper treatments for this kind of condition. A person with dual diagnosis would find it hard to locate a treatment center that would help his or her condition recover. A treatment center that caters to the problem of substance abuse does not accept someone with serious mental conditions. On the other hand, a treatment center that helps for the improvement of people with serious mental conditions is not skilled 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.