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Dual Diagnosis in Louisiana

Dual diagnosis in Louisiana is now well-recognized as an important aspect of addictions to drugs and alcohol, and many rehabs and addiction treatment centers routinely look for a dual diagnosis in Louisiana during treatment for addiction.

A diagnosis of one or more addictions and one or more co-existing mental health disorders is known as a dual diagnosis in Louisiana. It is common because many addictions have associated mental health issues that either cause the addiction, are caused by it, have the same root cause, or any combination of these. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that over 30 percent of people living with a mental health disorder also suffer from an addiction.

Alcohol and Depression

One example is the dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression. People who suffer from depression may try to self-medicate by drinking, and this can become habitual and lead to addiction. Alcohol is also a chemical depressant, and while it is associated in popular culture with celebration, it actually causes a deepening of depression. When alcoholism takes hold, it can cause numerous problems such as relationship and financial difficulties, and these can lead to further depression. Becoming more deeply depressed leads to more drinking, and a vicious cycle develops. Both drinking excessively and depression can also have the same root cause such as loneliness, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, despair, or the aftermath of childhood abuse.

Opiates and OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often associated with addiction, especially to opiates since these drugs calm the excessive anxiety and racing thoughts associated with OCD. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, over a quarter of OCD sufferers also suffer from addiction, and in many cases the drugs are taken in an attempt to self-medicate.


Secondary Addictions and Eating Disorders

Some people have more than one addiction, and in most cases one of the addictions is primary and the other is considered secondary. For example, a person with an addiction to cocaine or other street drug may become addicted to gambling if they try to finance their primary addiction through gambling. People with an alcohol addiction may become addicted to pornography if they spend too much time on Internet porn sites while staying up late to drink.

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia are also commonly associated with addictions, and the latest research suggests that they may be a form of addiction themselves. Anorexia and bulimia are the best known, but there are many other eating disorders, such as avoiding entire food groups or becoming obsessed with eating only a restricted selection of foods. Eating disorders, like many addictions, may have origins in childhood abuse or trauma, which can lead to low self-esteem and excessive anxiety.

Dual Diagnosis Treatments in Louisiana

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment in Louisiana is most successful if both components of the diagnosis are treated at the same time. If the mental health aspect is not treated at the same time as the addiction, relapse is likely to occur because the underlying problems have not been dealt with.

In Louisiana rehabs the diagnosis is typically made after the medical detox period because withdrawal symptoms can mask mental health disorders. Once it has been identified, the mental illness or disorder is treated by medications such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-psychotic medications as applicable.

Treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of psychotherapy are effective for both the addiction and mental health components of dual diagnosis in Louisiana. Group, individual, and family therapies are all effective for both conditions as they help the recovering addict to fully understand the connections between their addiction and mental health problems. Dual diagnosis management includes recovery programs such as SMART Recovery and 12-step programs, since they also help both aspects of the diagnosis. Regular meetings of both these programs are held in Louisiana.

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