Dual Diagnosis is not itself a diagnosis, but a descriptive term for patients who have at least one psychiatric or psychological condition, and also have at least one chemical dependency condition. It is common for Dual Diagnosis patients to have several psychological conditions as well as several chemical dependency conditions. The treatment and management of Dual Diagnosis patients requires the varied medical and psychological skills that we possess as a team.
Common examples of Dual Diagnosis patients include Bipolar Disorder with Marijuana and Stimulant Abuse, Schizophrenia with Hallucinogen Abuse, and Major Depression with Alcohol Abuse. Treatment involves medical management, psychological management, case management, and coordination with recovery social models such as AA, Smart Recovery, or other similar programs.
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Symptoms: Intense shifts in mood, energy and functioning between depression and mania.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Alcohol or cocaine, depending on whether that are in a dpressive cycle or manic cycle.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Symptoms: Nightmares, hypervigilance, detachment and recurring distress after and extreme traumatic event (war, assault).
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Alcohol, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills to find relief from symptoms.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Symptoms: Persistent pattern of inattention and inability to focus and/or hyperactive-impulsivity.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Alcohol and/or stimulant abuse creates a heightened sense of focus or relaxation.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Alcohol, benzodiazepines and, occassionally, cocaine. An anxious person continues using alcohol and drugs to avoid discomfort.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Marijuana or alcohol to slow down obsessive thoughts.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Alcohol slows down and depresses sensation to mask mood.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Psychiatric drugs like benzodiazepines and alcohol in social situations.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs:Nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants temporarily relieve disruptions and some hallucinations.
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)