What Are Consequences of Dual Diagnosis?


Dual diagnosis is the co-occurrence of a severe mental disorder and a substance abuse problem.

There are many triggers of comorbidity and they include:-self medication.

This is for instance in the case of prescription drugs where some individuals will take the drugs (e.g. sedatives, painkillers and stimulants) without consulting with their doctor.-genetic vulnerability. Scientists have isolated the gene that makes one susceptible to addiction.

Some people have this gene and it exposes them to addiction and consequently, comorbidity. -environment or lifestyle.

The environment one lives in and the lifestyle one chooses have a direct influence on COD, which stands for co-occurring disorders.

This is because certain lifestyles and environments encourage substance use and dependence and in the face of existing mental illness that results in comorbidity. -underlying shared origins etc

There are several problems that are associated with dual diagnosis.

They include:

1. Masking up of psychiatric symptoms by substance use.

Usually, substance use brings about symptoms that are similar to those indicative of mental health illness. Dual diagnosis means that it is not easy to tell where the substance abuse stops and where the mental illness starts.

2. When a client undergoes detoxification, the withdrawal symptoms may mimic psychiatric illness.

It therefore becomes difficult to properly diagnose the primary psychiatric disorder.

3. If dependency on chemical substances goes untreated, it is likely to lead to the re-occurrence of psychiatric symptoms.

 

4. On the other hand, untreated psychiatric illness will usually lead to an alcohol or drug relapse.

It is easy to see how thin the lines are drawn when it comes to dealing with substance use and mental health disorders in dual diagnosis.

There are certain consequences that are associated with dual diagnosis.

They include, and are not limited to:

  1. Increased risk of suicide or risky behavior.
  2. Poor medication compliance.
  3. Poor self care.
  4. Poor health.
  5. Financial problems.
  6. Isolation and social withdrawal.
  7. Legal problems and sometimes possible incarceration.
  8. Homelessness.
  9. Multiple admission into chemical dependency services due to relapse.
  10. Multiple admissions into psychiatric care.
  11. Problems at school or work.

It is crucial that the correct dual diagnosis is made if clients are to be helped to recover.

When one disorder is treated and the other is ignored, what happens if recurrence or relapse.

How is this so?

Take for instance a case where a client is treated for a substance abuse problem without any acknowledgement of a mental illness. The client gets sober but the mental illness recurs. In turn, the client sees the need to self medicate which in turn leads to a drug relapse.

It is easy to see, from the listed consequences, that dual diagnosis has a real impact on the productivity and functionality of the affected individual.

Coping with mental illness or substance abuse separately is hard enough.

When these two disorders are combined, it requires Herculean strength to overcome them.

Thankfully, years of research have borne fruits as far testing, assessment and treatment of COD are concerned.

What you just need to do is find a reputable institution like The Recovery Way. Our staff are at hand to walk you every step of the way on your journey of overcoming COD.

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