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Dual Diagnosis in Brooklyn

For years medical professionals thought that drug addiction and alcohol abuse were mainly physical conditions. They treated the symptoms of withdrawal, but did not realize that many substance abuse problems are actually manifestations of an underlying mental health condition.

Dual diagnosis is the term used to describe the existence of a mental disorder like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder and a substance abuse problem. In its simplest terms, dual diagnosis means that the individual has two distinct illnesses. That means treatment for both of their conditions is imperative.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

There is ample evidence to support a link between mental health disorders and addiction to drugs and alcohol. People face many mental health challenges in their lives, and they do not always realize that medical intervention will be helpful. That can lead them to self-medicate with prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol and other substances.

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment focuses on finding these mental health challenges and treating them directly. Instead of treating only the drug addiction, they treat the underlying cause of the drug dependency. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, as well as emotional and psychological issues, the time to call Brooklyn Drug Treatment Centers is now. Our medical and mental health professionals will help create a customized treatment plan to fit your specific needs. Call us today at 718-408-2197.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

There are a number of mental health disorders that can play a role in diagnosis and influence the treatment options for the substance abuser. The treatment plan used will depend on the specific mental health challenge and the nature of the substance abuse.


In many cases, a substance abuse problem is actually the result of self-medicating an undiagnosed problem with depression. When this is the case, treating the underlying depression can be the key to long-term sobriety and relapse prevention.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a type of anxiety disorder in which the sufferer experiences troubling and recurring thoughts that create irrational fears. An individual with OCD may engage in repeated compulsive rituals like washing their hands 50 times a day or constantly checking to make sure the iron is unplugged or the stove is turned off.

Individuals with OCD often suffer from substance abuse problems as well, although OCD can also be present even if no drug abuse is taking place. Since the association is so strong, addiction treatment centers often screen incoming patients for signs of OCD so they can develop an effective dual diagnosis treatment regimen.


Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is most often associated with soldiers returning from battle, but it is often seen in accident victims, rape survivors and others who have suffered traumatic events. PTSD is strongly associated with addiction, and it is important for treatment centers to screen patients for the condition.


According to research reported by Psychology Today, substance abusers are more likely to suffer from anxiety than the general population. The association between depression and anxiety and substance abuse seems to flow in both directions. Substance abusers are more likely than others to suffer from depression and anxiety. In some cases the depression and anxiety are the result of the drug abuse itself. Coming off of the high may trigger feelings of deep depression, which in turn can trigger more drug use. This creates a vicious cycle that can only be broken with intensive treatment for both the depression and anxiety and the substance abuse itself.

In other cases, the individual may attempt to self-medicate a preexisting anxiety problem through the use of illegally-obtained prescription medications and street drugs. This type of substance abuse also requires effective treatment for both the anxiety disorder and the drug addiction.

At Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Brooklyn, we can help you start a new, healthy lifestyle free of addictive substances. We can also help you identify and manage any underlying mental health issues that may be present. Call us today at (718) 408-2197 and ask about our treatment programs and services.

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