Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Virginia

Many of the people who live in Virginia with an addiction to alcohol and drugs also struggle with an underlying behavioral or mental health disorder. In many cases, they might not even be aware that they have these disorders. In fact, NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness - reports that about 33 percent of all the people who live with mental illnesses also abuse intoxicating and mind altering substances.

If you are one of these people and you sought treatment for your addiction or your mental health disorder, you would receive a dual diagnosis. This would mean that you have both addiction as well as a co-occurring mental illness.

Both of these conditions are quite complex and each of them require professional intervention. Today, however, dual diagnosis treatment centers offer integrated recovery services to manage all these conditions at the same time to ensure that you achieve full recovery.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

If you are living with a mental health condition like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety, you might turn to drugs and alcohol. this would be in an attempt to manage and relieve the stress that arises from the symptoms of your behavioral or mental health disorder. However, abusing these substances could only give rise to the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction. You might also end up struggling with other severe relationship, legal, employment, and relationship problems.

But how can you tell that you are living with a substance use disorder or an addiction? Essentially, you will start displaying some symptoms of your addiction. Examples of these symptoms include increased tolerance. This means that you will find - in the course of your substance abuse - that you need to use drugs or drink alcohol more often or in greater quantities than you used to. This would be the only way that you would be able to achieve the effects that you desire.

While addicted, you might also find that at some point you want to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. however, you will no longer be able to succeed because trying to do so will only lead to the development of negative psychological and physical effects - also known as withdrawal symptoms.

That said, many people in Virginia live with mental illnesses. these mental health disorders can span from postpartum depression that occurs in the short term to severe psychological distress that you would struggle with over the long term.

The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - reports that dual diagnosis is quite common in the state of Virginia. For instance, more than 4600 of the residents of this state reported in 2006 that they had experienced a depressive episode at least once in their lives. The same year, a total of 15 percent of the residents of this state had been diagnosed with depression at one point or the other in their lives. Most of these people were women struggling with postpartum depression.

Apart from depression, there are many other mental health disorders that could trigger you to start self-medicating by abusing drugs and drinking alcohol. in Virginia, for instance, anxiety is a common mental illness - to such an extent that at least 10 percent of the entire population of the state have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

But how can you tell that you are struggling with a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring mental illness? The most effective way would be to go for assessment and evaluation from a dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation facility.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in Virginia

Research studies show that people living in Virginia with a mental health disorder - whether or not this disorder has been properly diagnosed - have a high risk of developing a co-occurring addiction or substance use disorder.

In the same way, if you have been abusing drugs and drinking alcohol excessively, especially in the long term, there is a high probability that you will soon find yourself struggling with psychological distress or displaying the signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder. In both of these situations, it is recommended that you seek help from an accredited dual diagnosis recovery program.

A dual diagnosis is a clinical term referring to a situation in which you are struggling with more than one behavioral or mental health issue. In many cases, it would mean that you are living with both a substance use problem as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder.

In most cases, all of these conditions will influence each other. For instance, if you are struggling with depression, you might start abusing alcohol and drugs to self-medicate the symptoms of your mental illness.

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As your substance abuse continues growing and getting out of hand, you will experience other additional mental health symptoms over the above the psychological distress caused by your depressive disorder.

Many of the people who check into addiction treatment centers in Virginia do not realize that they have a dual diagnosis until they go through a comprehensive psychological assessment at the start of their treatment process. In other cases, you might not even get a dual diagnosis until you are deep in the course of your drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

For instance, it might become apparent that you are also struggling with a mental health disorder that has previously gone undiagnosed while you are in the course of seeking help for your substance abuse problem. This is because the symptoms of your mental illness would only become clear to the treatment professionals after the substances that you were abusing have been removed from your system.

The state of Virginia has reported that these co-occurring disorders are quite common. In 2017, for instance, about 28 percent of all the patients who were on Medicaid in the state received a diagnosis for a behavioral health disorder. This was close to more than 386,000 people - and they were struggling with issues ranging from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to depression and anxiety.

Types of Treatment

Luckily, Virginia has many dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation facilities that can help you overcome your dual diagnosis of addiction and a co-occurring medical or mental health disorders.

These centers offer integrated treatment that is designed to address your individual needs and requirements in the most professional way. They will also be able to help you because they are more familiar with the special requirements that people living with a dual diagnosis often have. They would also understand the risk profiles that most people with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness tend to display. As a result, they are well equipped to empower you to manage and overcome your addiction as well as cope with all the mental health challenges that you have been struggling with so that you can achieve long term health, recovery, and wellness.

Even so, it is important to realize that it can be difficult to overcome your addiction especially if it is also accompanied by other co-occurring mental health disorders like eating disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder - among others.

If you attempt to overcome these disorders without any medical assistance, it can lead to a worsening of the symptoms of all the disorders that you have been struggling with. You may even end up suffering from other additional symptoms - some of which could lead to fatal outcomes, such as coma and suicidal ideation.

That said, most dual diagnosis recovery centers will provide you with the phase-specific and age-appropriate integrated treatment that you need at every stage in the recovery process. These phases will be focused on 4 core areas, including but not limited to education and employment, primary support, physical and mental health, and recovery and sobriety.

Many of these programs will also take you through a continuum of care involving various phases on the road to recovery from both your addiction as well as the co-occurring mental health disorder that you have been struggling with in Virginia.

They will start out with evaluation, where you will go through a clinical interview that will be followed by measurement and assessment tools, drug screening, and testing for the existence of any co-occurring disorders over and above your substance abuse and addiction.

After that, you will be provided with education services that are designed to help you assess yourself, learn about and understand the signs and symptoms of the behaviors that you have been struggling with, and create a personalized and individualized treatment plan with the guidance of your recovery team.

The dual diagnosis treatment center will them offer primary treatment. This would be comprised of medically supervised detoxification to help you overcome your physical dependence on drugs and alcohol as well as manage the signs and symptoms of withdrawal that arise when you give up your favorite substances of abuse.

Once you have completed all these steps, you will receive counseling and therapy services from the integrated dual diagnosis treatment facility that you chose in Virginia until you overcome your substance abuse and addiction as well as manage the symptoms and effects of your co-occurring mental or behavioral health disorder.

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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