Until recently, the incidents of mental illness when coupled with drug addiction and abuse were relatively unknown. It was only when doctors, counselors, and other health professionals began studying the correlation between the conditions that the real problem came to light. Those who are suffering from mental illness usually find themselves suffering from addiction and those suffering from addiction often find themselves suffering from a mental illness.
While it is unknown whether this relationship is causational or correlational, it is known that there is different a relationship between the two disorders. With over 43 million American adults suffering from a mental illness and one in 25 people suffering from a serious mental illness, it is not surprising that suicide is on the rise. Out of the 20.1 million people suffering from an addiction, there are about 8.2 million that also suffer from some sort of mental illness. When this occurs, it is known as dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. Although these figures are already high, you should keep in mind that due to the stigma of mental illness and drug addiction, this is only a fraction of what is reported.
Even though doctors, therapists, and other health professionals recognize that mental health and addictions are linked in a variety of ways, many times they do not treat both at the same time. Despite the obvious connection, people are still being treated for only half the problem. This makes completely recovering all but impossible. In cases where the mental health problem is treated, the addiction eventually causes a recurrence. In the cases where the addiction is treated, the mental illness causes the addiction to reoccur, usually as a form of self-medication. It is only when both are treated that there is the possibility of recovery.
This treatment gap exists due to lack of proper screening techniques, lack of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder training on the part of professionals, mental illness is very easy to hide or mask, and complete treatment is often cost prohibitive. Some centers are seeking to close this treatment gap by offering comprehensive, dual diagnosis treatment programs to help their patients make a complete recovery.
This is why integrated treatment programs, like the ones found at Detox.com are so important. They allow individuals to improve their total health thereby reducing the possibility of relapse into either condition. Integrated treatment programs offer improved screenings for both conditions and targeted treatment to those most vulnerable to either or both disorders. This includes treatment for those that who are self-medicating, suffer from the stigmas associated with the disorders, and through additional funding for dual diagnosis or co-occurring targeted disorders.
Currently, many treatment centers only offer treatment for one disorder. When addiction and mental health problems co-occur, the victim is left either simply dealing with one or going to two treatment centers at once. This situation rapidly becomes a problem due to cost and time constraints. It is only through dual diagnosis treatment that both problems can be treated at once. This treatment provides your best chance at making a complete and total recovery.