When it comes to addiction and mental illness, many treatment centers only specialize in one or the other; this is perfectly fine, but to treat both requires specialization in dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis occurs when a person is experiencing two conditions at once; bipolar disorder (BPD) and substance dependence should each be addressed at the same time, with a specialized healthcare team. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with each, it’s important for you to share as many details as you can about each condition, when each developed, the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, coping mechanisms you’ve used, how long you’ve been using substances, your medical and family history, and much more.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 30 to 50% of those with BPD also experience some form of substance use disorder (SUD). BPD is a complex disorder, and often involves periods of mania or depression. Mania is an episode in which a person feels very energized, restless, “on top of the world”, irritable, and/or “invincible”. These feelings can easily lead to a person acting on impulse – making risky decisions when it comes to gambling, sexual encounters, substance use, and more.

Depression, on the other hand, describes an episode of feeling hopeless, confused, unorganized and more, with insomnia often experienced as well. A person with BPD experiencing an episode of depression may easily rely on substances to self-medicate, which could further lead to dependency and, even further down the road – addiction. Treating both BPD and substance dependency requires careful consideration and the obtainment of accurate assessments – making honesty so important.

Dual diagnosis programs have been shown to be very effective. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Systems and Integrative Neuroscience sought to explore the effectiveness of dual diagnosis programs on patients; eight hundred and four participants were involved in the study, and assessments were conducted at 1, 6, and 12 months after discharge from the program. Results from the study showed that even if participants who joined the program had histories of relapse and/or hospitalization, none of the participants had significantly higher intoxication rates after participation in a dual diagnosis program.

Being in a dual diagnosis program means receiving help on both sides – not treating one and ignoring the other. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health:
A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.

If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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