Kimberly Callen, LCSW,  NBCCH
St George, Utah
Dual Diagnosis

Description  
Dual diagnosis is defined by the presence of both mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders (alcohol and/or drug dependence or abuse). There are a variety of different mental health disorders that can be associated with substance use and labeled dual diagnosis. Some of these disorders include: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality, and depression. Depending on what disorder is present, the symptoms of a dual diagnosis patient can be different.  

There is a lack of information on the numbers of people with co-occurring disorders, but research has shown the disorders are very common. According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

    - Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.

    - Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness. 

Both problems are treatable illnesses. They are not moral weaknesses or character flaws. Often this condition is a result of “self medication” – when a person uses alcohol or drugs to mask or reduce symptoms of a mood disorder. A person may drink alcohol to slow down the racing brain because of mania. A drug may help someone experiencing depression to feel happy or hopeful for a period of time. This approach may appear to help, but actually makes things much worse.

Symptoms
The symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and chemical dependency are covered on additional pages within this site.

Treatment
Most people with dual disorders are able to achieve recovery. The chance of recovery improves when people receive integrated dual disorders treatment, which means combined mental health and substance abuse treatment from the same clinician or treatment team.
 
Dual disorders treatment helps people develop hope, knowledge, skills, and the support they need to manage their problems and to pursue meaningful life goals.

This treatment includes the treatment professional doing several things at the same time including::

    Help the patient think about the role that alcohol and other drugs play in their life. This should be done confidentially,
    without any negative consequences. People feel free to discuss these issues when the discussion is confidential, 
    nonjudgmental, and not tied to legal consequences. 
   
    Offer the patient a chance to learn more about alcohol and drugs, to learn about how they interact with mental 
    illnesses and with medications, and to discuss their own use of alcohol and drugs.
   
    Help the patient become involved with supported employment and other services that may help the process of 
    recovery.  
 
    Help the patient identify and develop their own recovery goals. If the patient decides that their use of alcohol or drugs
    may be a problem, a counselor trained in integrated dual disorders treatment can help identify and develop specific
    recovery goals. This process includes learning about steps toward recovery from both illnesses. 
 
    Provide special counseling specifically designed for people with dual disorders. If the patient decides that their use of 
    alcohol or drugs may be a problem, a trained counselor can provide special counseling specifically designed for 
    people with dual disorders. This can be done individually, with a group of peers, with  family, or with a combination of
    these.

 

 

Click for more on the following topics and how I can help you with:

Treatment Techniques:                                                Disorders:
  EMDR                                                                                     Trauma
  Dyadic Resourcing for EMDR                                              Mood Disorders
  Attachment-Focused EMDR                                                 Addictions
  Hypnotherapy                                                                        Chronic Illnesses
  Mind-Body Medicine
  Internal Family Systems 
  Feeling-State Addiction Protocol


   

Kimberly Callen, LCSW, NBCCH
107  S. 1470 E  St George, UT 84790     
435-574-4399
kcredmountain@gmail.com    www.redmountaincounseling.net    

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