Individuals Suffering from Alcohol/Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

1360 Words 6 Pages
Individuals Suffering from Alcohol/Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

In this day in age, there are many diseases that one can contract. Sometimes a person contracts a disease because it was contagious, and others because they are genetically prone to it. Still others contract diseases and disorders in ways that are not clear to doctors and medical researchers.

In recent years, alcoholism and substance abuse have been labeled as diseases because of new research findings that doctors have discovered regarding the biological and psychological factors causing someone to become an alcoholic or a substance abuser. Anyone who has a friend of family member who suffers from any form of substance abuse knows the extreme
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The problem with Dual Diagnosis patients, however, is the fact that they typically seek treatment for one problem and not the other. What makes things more difficult is that most substance abusers and alcoholics do not seek help at all. For the Dual Diagnosis patients that do seek treatment for alcoholism, let's say, do not then get treated for another underlying illness like depression. Doctors, psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals are hard at work in implementing effective treatment programs for these special patients, which I will discuss later. (1)

Another complicating issue Dual Diagnosis individuals face is the fact that often the patient will use one disorder to mask the other from his or herself as well as their friends, families, co-workers, and health care providers. This causes some difficulty in diagnosing someone as having two disorders. There is also the specific issue of diagnosing the teenage population. Most people are keenly aware of the fact that teenagers are hard to figure out due to their fluctuating moods and hormones. "How can [we] separate the normal mood variations of a fifteen year old teenager from certain Bi-polar disorders? When substance use or abuse is present, with resulting mood fluctuation, the variables become staggering," says a counselor in an article for About.com. (5)

Dual Diagnosis patients are more prone to relapse of either their

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