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Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis, sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders, or COD, is the coexistence of an issue with mental health and substance abuse or addiction. Psychiatric needs are difficult to determine while a person is struggling with addiction, as symptoms of the substance abuse or addiction often appear as underlying psychiatric concerns.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

Substance abuse symptoms such as:

• increased tolerance of substance
• preference to use above other duties or activities
• withdrawal, such as sweating or shaking, after not using

Mental health symptoms such as:

• depression
• anxiety
• aggression
• lethargy

Causes

Substance abuse or addiction often go hand-in-hand with psychiatric conditions. Often, substances are misused to self-medicate, ending up in a perpetual cycle of abuse.

Treatment

Although it is a common occurrence, it can be difficult to treat dual diagnosis. Treatment for those facing dual diagnosis is most effective once substance use has ceased. A therapist can offer healthier habits and thought patterns in place of the substance as a way of coping. Therapy reinforces a client’s self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. A therapist can further a client’s understanding of his or her psychiatric needs, providing a safe and supportive environment of recovery.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists can give guidance for the challenges of overcoming stress, and redirect negative, learned habits, such as turning to substances, into positive behavioral skills.

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