Substance Abuse and Mental Health in New York

New York, like the rest of the United States, has been struggling with a wide variety of drug addiction and mental health disorders. If you have both of these disorders, it would be known as a dual diagnosis or a dual disorder. This means that you would be dealing with drug and alcohol addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. For instance, you might be abusing heroin while also struggling with depression.

These disorders do not discriminate. As such, anyone - irrespective of their walk of life - can be affected by these disorders. If you are struggling with a mental illness, for instance, you might start self-medicating by taking drugs and drinking alcohol excessively. This could help you manage some of the signs and symptoms of your mental health disorder.

Over time, however, this will lead to the development of tolerance. As a result, you will find that you have to take your preferred substances of abuse in higher doses or more frequently than you used to so that you can experience their effects. Eventually, tolerance will be replaced by dependence. Once this happens, you could be said to be living with a co-occurring disorder of addiction and the initial mental health disorder.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

Research studies show that most of the people living in New York with a drug or alcohol addiction also have a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorder. When this happens to you, you could be said to be having a dual diagnosis of both disorders.

In such a situation, you will require highly specialized care before you can get started on the road to long term recovery. This means that you would need treatment for both your mental health disorder as well as for the addiction. In case you only receive drug and alcohol rehabilitation to address your substance use and addiction, there is a high risk that you could suffer a relapse later on. This is because your mental health disorders would not have been taken care of.

In most cases, a dual diagnosis would occur as a result of biological or environmental factors. Other factors that could cause you to suffer from co-occurring disorders in New York include genetics, trauma, pharmaceutical history, and life experiences. That said, living with a mental health disorder could also increase your risk of becoming dependent on alcohol and drugs.

In the content of treatment, a co-occurring disorder is also known as a dual diagnosis. It means that you have both an addiction as well as a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorder. In most cases, the mental disorder would be the underlying cause of your addiction.

Research studies have pointed out that at least 50 percent of all the people living with a mental illness in New York also struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Today, these disorders are treated simultaneously to ensure that you do not suffer a relapse back to alcohol and drug abuse and that your mental illness does not recur in the future.

Some of the mental health disorders that could cause you to start abusing intoxicating substances like drugs and alcohol in New York include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in New York

As mentioned above, a dual diagnosis would occur if you have more than two medical conditions affecting each other. In the context of substance abuse, this would happen if you have an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol as well as a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorder.

To this end, your mental condition might be the underlying cause of your substance abuse and addiction. When you seek treatment for any of these disorders, you will undergo thorough psychological evaluation and assessment. This service would be useful in determining if your substance abuse and addiction is also accompanied by a mental health disorder.

In New York, about 50 percent of all the people struggling with substance abuse and addiction also have another co-occurring mental illness. In the same way, about the same number of people with a mental health disorder also have at least one drug use disorder.

Other studies report that about 7 percent of the entire population of New York - about 1.4 million people - live with a dual diagnosis of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. The most common of these mental disorders include but are not limited to schizophrenia, panic disorder, depression, and many others. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of these people seek the evidence-based recovery and treatment services that they need to overcome these disorders.

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When you leave these disorders unmanaged and untreated, there is a high risk that you could start suffering from the adverse effects and consequences of both. These include but are not limited to early death, incarceration and trouble with law enforcement officials, suicide, violence, and homelessness.

The most common mental illnesses that tend to occur at the same time as alcohol and drug abuse and addiction include anxiety disorders, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD - or post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you are living with these disorders in New York, there is a high probability that most of the behaviors and actions arising from these disorders will often present symptoms that are quite similar. For instance, you might suffer heightened and abnormal anxiety when you are struggling with PSTD. This symptom might also occur if you are dealing with benzodiazepine or cocaine abuse.

Depending on the mental illness and substance use disorder that you have been living with, it is highly likely that you would display various symptoms of all these disorders. Examples of these symptoms include sudden behavioral changes, risky behaviors, suicidal tendencies, violent outbursts, and increasing preference for isolation.

That said, there are many co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders that could accompany your substance abuse and addiction. Some of these disorders might also contribute to or be the cause of your addiction. Examples of these disorders that are often present in people who abuse drugs and drink alcohol excessively in New York include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.

Types of Treatment

If you are struggling with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness in New York, it is recommended that you seek integrated dual diagnosis treatment and care services. this way, you will receive the medical and therapeutic services that you need to start healing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

In many cases, these services include but are not limited to a mental health evaluation, an aftercare plan, diagnosis for substance abuse and addiction, group therapy, medical detox, on-going support and aftercare services, personalized treatment plan, and private therapy.

In many cases, these services would be provided on an inpatient or residential basis. This is because you would most likely benefit from the round the clock medical care, supervision, and management that is offered in these inpatient treatment facilities.

However, the rates of substance abuse and addiction have been climbing in New York - as in the rest of the United States. as a result, traditional treatment settings have been evolving so that they can meet the changing needs that are required today.

Today, for instance, you can still receive all the stages of addiction and mental health care services that you need - including the use of medications and evidence-based recovery models of treatment - in an outpatient recovery setting.

Irrespective of whether you go for inpatient or outpatient dual diagnosis treatment, the integrated care team will offer you similar recovery services. the first step would be to undergo thorough assessment and evaluation so that you can receive a proper diagnosis for both substances abuse and addiction as well the all the co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders that you have been struggling with.

In the same way, the assessment will help the treatment team to come up with a highly individualized and personalized recovery plan for you. Without assessment, it would be difficult for them to create an appropriate plan that will meet your unique needs and requirements.

After that, the center will take you through medically supervised detoxification. This process will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms as well as deal with any alcohol and drug cravings that arise during the first few weeks of your time in the recovery facility.

Once you have gone through detox, you will receive a wide variety of other recovery services to manage both your addiction as well as all other co-occurring mental health disorders that you were diagnosed with. These recovery services will most likely include evidence-based treatment models - such as cognitive behavioral therapy. However, some centers will also offer alternative treatment models of recovery, including yoga and massage therapy.

The important thing is to go for evaluation to determine if you are living with substance abuse and addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder in New York. If you are found to be struggling with a dual diagnosis - as this condition is also known - you will get help to manage and overcome all these disorders.

Learning what treatment is best for you or your loved one is easy. Speak to one of our trained counselors and let them guide you to the best treatment options available for your specific needs.


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