Finding the Best Eating Disorder or Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers
An individual who has both a drug or alcohol problem and an eating disorder or other mental health problem is said to have a dual diagnosis. A mental disorder can affect the way in which an individual receives treatment for addiction or abuse because both conditions must be treated simultaneously in order to fully recover.
If your loved one exhibits signs of dual diagnosis with an eating disorder, do not hesitate to call to get help finding a dual diagnosis treatment center to get that person on the road to recovery.
The Prevalence of Dual Diagnoses
“Treatment centers are available for those with eating disorders and substance abuse problems who want to get help with their illness. These centers typically offer inpatient or outpatient services.”
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have a coexisting mental illness. Conversely, of all those diagnosed with a mental illness, such as an eating disorder or depression, 29 percent also abuse either drugs, alcohol or both.
Those who suffer from illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or personality disorders are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that some people start abusing drugs or alcohol because such substances alleviate some of their symptoms, and in other cases, substance abuse is the cause of the mental illness.
Drug or alcohol abuse is present in nearly 50 percent of individuals with an eating disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health. This is compared to 9 percent in the overall population. Also, nearly 20 percent of those individuals meet the criteria for long-term alcohol abuse and addiction. It is essential that anyone with an eating disorder and substance addiction seek out treatment from a center that specializes in dual diagnosis. Psychological conditions that accompany an eating disorder, such as depression or anxiety, can lead to a higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Treatment centers are available for those with eating disorders and substance abuse problems who want to get help with their illness. These centers typically offer inpatient or outpatient services. However, individuals with a dual diagnosis usually need inpatient treatment. Treatment programs focus on treating the problems simultaneously.
Characteristics of anorexia include the irrational fear of gaining weight, refusing to eat, extreme weight loss and a distorted view of one’s self. Lack of nutrition can lead to metabolic and hormonal disruptions. Anyone is susceptible to this disease, but it is more common in females than males.
Bulimia is a condition in which a person overeats then uses one of several different methods to purge, ranging from induced vomiting to laxatives, in order to avoid weight gain. A person may also exercise aggressively and excessively. This type of eating and purging can lead to the deterioration of a person’s health, which sometimes leads to depression.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 22.5 million or 8.7 percent of Americans over the age of 12 use illegal drugs in any given month. Many use these drugs recreationally, but others are truly addicted to the substances. When drug use gets out of control, the best response is to turn to a drug rehabilitation and recovery program. Signs of addiction include, but are not limited to, using drugs to avoid painful physical withdrawal and a total abandonment of activities that were once enjoyed.
Abusing drugs or alcohol is not always the same as an addiction. If an individual is abusing drugs, it is time to perform an intervention so they can get the help they need before addiction sets in. Signs of abuse include ignoring responsibilities at school, work or home. They also include stealing to pay for a drug or alcohol habit and allowing drugs to cause conflicts in personal relationships.
Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
While it is usually best for an individual with a dual diagnosis to be treated at an inpatient facility, it is not always necessary. The nature and severity of the diagnosis, possible risks, complications and the history of the patient are taken into consideration when determining the appropriate treatment. There are many different levels of care from outpatient to full hospitalization and everything in between.
Inpatient programs allow patients to be monitored by trained staff around the clock so any medical issues can be dealt with immediately. This is especially helpful for individuals with an eating disorder since medical providers have more control over what and when the patient eats, and they can monitor any side effects of detoxification and withdrawal. After detox, a patient should work with counselors who help manage the eating disorder. Some therapy options include talk, group and cognitive behavioral therapy, which teach a patient new ways to deal with stress and other problems. This makes it easier for the patient to avoid eating improperly due to emotions. All treatment centers focus on getting a patient back to a healthy weight; doing this typically helps alleviate many uncomfortable side effects like dizziness and tiredness.
Medication is another optional treatment for a dual diagnosis. When a patient enters into a recovery center, the medical team may use medication along with other treatment methods like therapy. Anxiety or depression is sometimes treated with medication to help individuals address the symptoms of their eating disorder.
The more a person learns about dual diagnosis, the more he or she understands how drug and alcohol abuse often coexist with mental illness. A person with a dual diagnosis can return to a normal life once appropriate care is given. Loved ones should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of those with an eating disorder and a drug or alcohol problem. Call for more information.