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Dual Diagnosis – McAllen TX (956) 854-2342

When most people think about drug or alcohol addiction and substance abuse problems, they almost always think of these issues as independent problems far removed from any other health issue, mental or physical. However, issues of addiction and substance abuse are far more complicated and do not occur in a vacuum free of any other health concerns or disorders. In fact, addiction is often interconnected with other health problems, particularly those concerning mental health. The propensity to have co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse problems or drug addictions, known as dual diagnosis, is very common. So, get to know some of the pertinent information about dual diagnosis and the ways in which certain mental health disorders interact and coincide with and substance abuse and dependence.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

If a person has a dual diagnosis, it means that they have a documented and diagnosed mental health disorder (or mood disorder), while also suffering from a substance abuse problem or a drug or alcohol addiction. While the co-occurrence of mental health disorders and substance abuse problems is common, the idea of dual diagnosis does not imply that one of these two diagnoses causes the other. When most people hear of this concept, they assume that mental health disorders cause addiction. And while this is true in some cases, the opposite can also be true. The only inference that can be made from dual diagnosis is that the two disorders occur at the same time, though they are separate and independent issues. If you know someone who is suffering from these disorders, contact the experts at McAllen Drug Treatment Centers. We can help you through every step of the recovery process. Call us now at (956) 854-2342.

How Do Mental Health Disorders And Drug Dependence Interact?

There are two primary ways in which mental health disorders and drug addictions interact with one another. More often than not, mental health disorders do indeed precede a person’s development of a drug or alcohol addiction. This is often the case because a person suffering from a mental health disorder may attempt to self-medicate through the use of legal or illegal drugs. By self-medicating, they open themselves up to developing a dependence or addiction that can cause even worse symptoms of their mental health disorder or even the development of new disorders.

On the other hand, a person with a substance abuse problem or addiction may develop a mental health disorder as a result. In fact, common symptoms and side effects of drug abuse and addiction are mental and emotional health problems including extreme mood swings, paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations. These symptoms can sometime last long after a person ceases drug use and in some cases may become permanent due to damage done to the structure and chemistry of the brain.

What Are Common Co-Occurring Disorders And Addictions?

Virtually any mental health or mood disorder can occur at the same time as a drug addiction problem. But, there are some mental health disorders that seem to coincide with substance abuse problems more often. And furthermore, there are specific combinations of the two that occur most often.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (commonly referred to as OCD) is a mental health disorder that falls under the category of anxiety disorders. It is most often characterized by the obsessive thinking and compulsive actions or behaviors that accompany it. The obsessive thought patterns of OCD cause the sufferer a great deal of anxiety and worry that can only be temporarily relieved by the completion of a set of compulsive behaviors such as counting, cleaning, or hoarding. The relief of those actions is only temporary, however, as the cycle of obsession and compulsive behavior almost immediately restarts.

Because of the anxiety and worry OCD causes, many sufferers become addicted to opioids (or narcotics). These medications (often prescriptions though heroin falls into the same category), are used as anti-anxiety medications to promote calm and relaxation. However, this calm sensation as well as the accompanying sense of euphoria can become highly addictive to a person who rarely feels relief from their anxiety.


Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. It is also one of the most common co-occurring disorders with addiction. People suffering from depression often feel perpetual sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, extreme fatigue and lethargy, and can even experience physical pain.

Alcoholism commonly occurs alongside depression. This may be due to the fact that alcohol can function as a social lubricant to ease the difficulty of interacting with other people, or can help the person numb their pain and forget their worries and sadness for a short period of time.

Dual diagnosis is a problem that many people struggle with when they realize they have an addiction. If you are among those people, remember that you are not the only one. There are others who understand your pain and treatments are available. Dual diagnosis Treatment Centers McAllen can provide you with the help and resources you’ll need to get through the recovery process safely and with as much support as possible. Call Drug Treatment Centers McAllen today at (956) 854-2342.

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