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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Austin

3 Minute Read | Published Nov 23 2023 | Updated Jan 08 2024

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, refers to the occurrence of both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder in an individual. It is a complex issue that impacts millions of Americans every year, including those in Austin, Texas. While it may seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that dual diagnosis can be effectively treated with the right approach and resources.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly 9.2 million adults in the United States have both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. In Texas alone, 246,000 adults have a serious mental illness and experience a co-occurring substance use disorder. In Austin, 22% of people with a mental illness also struggle with a substance use disorder.

Various substances are commonly abused in Austin, with alcohol being the most widely used. According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, in 2018, 17.2% of individuals in Austin reported binge drinking in the past month, which is higher than the national average of 16.6%. Additionally, around 13% of adults in Austin reported illicit drug use in the past year. These numbers highlight the significant impact addiction has on the city and the need for effective treatment options.

Dual diagnosis is a result of the complex relationship between mental health and substance abuse. People with mental health disorders may turn to substances as a form of self-medication, while those struggling with addiction may develop mental health disorders as a result of substance use. The most common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use disorders include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fortunately, there is hope for those struggling with dual diagnosis in Austin. Treatment options are available that address both the mental health disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. These programs may include:

- Integrated Treatment: This approach combines mental health and substance use treatment into one comprehensive program, addressing both issues concurrently.

- Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on changing negative behaviors and thought patterns associated with both mental health and substance use disorders.

- Medication-Assisted Treatment: This treatment integrates medications with therapy to address both the mental health and substance use components of dual diagnosis.

- Support Groups: Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can provide a sense of community and support during the recovery process.

The key to successful treatment is addressing both the mental health and substance use components of dual diagnosis simultaneously. With the right treatment plan and support, individuals in Austin can recover and lead fulfilling lives.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that dual diagnosis is a common issue that affects many individuals in Austin and throughout Texas. However, with the right resources and treatment, recovery is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with dual diagnosis, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Every person deserves to live a life free from the burden of addiction and mental health disorders.
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