Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health and Addiction

A dual diagnosis, also called co-occurring disorders, COD, or dual pathology, means that the same patient suffers from addiction to some drug, legal or illegal, or behaviour, and at the same time suffers from another psychiatric disorder. 

The fact that in the same subject psychiatric pathologies coexist with addictions (which is also a psychiatric pathology) is very common due to several factors that form several vicious circles. Let’s take a look at some of these.

psychiatric pathologies coexist with addictions

1. On the one hand, people who suffer from mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD and psychotic disorders, use drugs and alcohol more often than the healthy population.  But at the same time, people who use drugs and alcohol develop depression and especially psychotic disorders (hallucinations and delusions) more easily than the non-using population.

2. People with mental disorders who use drugs have a worse prognosis in their illness and it is more difficult for them to recover, in addition to following drug treatments with less adherence. But also people who use drugs and have associated metal disorders find it more difficult to stop using.

3. People with mental disorders have more frequent social problems: loss of family relationships, difficulty in the labour market, housing and friends. When these social problems appear it is easier for them to end up taking drugs which, in turn, makes these problems worse.

Addictions often coexist with other mental illnesses

In this way, addictions very often coexist with other mental illnesses and a global approach is necessary to be able to treat them adequately. The first step, of course, is to eliminate consumption. But we must also ensure that we do not fail to see whether the patient is depressed or whether he or she may have had previous psychotic episodes that require treatment. This is why patients who, in addition to their addictions, suffer from depression, anxiety or psychotic disorders require especially careful treatment by a team prepared to do so.

How does Villa Paradiso Spain treat dual diagnosis

When you arrive at Villa Paradiso Spain, you’ll first have an assessment with our psychiatrist Dr. Ruth Arenas. She will make a diagnosis of which disorder, or disorders, the individual is suffering from and together with our therapists we will set up an individual treatment plan. 

First, we have to see if a (medical) detox is needed and whether any medication should be prescribed. After eliminating the consumption of drugs we start with the treatment for the mental disorder.

Why are we successful in it?

At Villa Paradiso Spain we work with all kinds of different therapies and methods, including holistic therapy. Holistic treatments such as massage therapy, yoga, nutritional counselling and meditation help the individual find balance in their lives. Individuals are taught new methods for coping with their mental illness and shown how to avoid the triggers that can cause a relapse. We also provide aftercare and support community as you are not alone in this new life of recovery. 

With our approach of an individual treatment plan, in a beautiful tranquil environment, we enjoy high rates of success.

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