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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Norwalk, CT (203) 242-8279

If you are among the many people who suffer from a substance dependence problem and a mental health disorder, you may wonder what you can do to treat both of your diagnoses. You wonder what can be done and if you need to deal with one of your disorders before the other, or if you can get treatment that is all-encompassing and can treat both of the conditions that make up your dual diagnosis. So, get to know the types of mental health disorders that are most commonly linked to addiction problems and their connection, as well as the treatment options available for those with a dual diagnosis.

Mental Health Disorders

While a person can suffer from virtually any mental health disorder, while also having a substance abuse problem, there are certain disorders that occur more often than others in such situations. Whether the mental health disorder causes the addiction or substance abuse problem or it is the other way around often depends on individual circumstances, genetics, and personal history.

If you are currently suffering from a mental disorder and substance abuse issue, give Drug Treatment Centers Norwalk a call at (203) 242-8279.


Depression is perhaps the most common mental health disorder suffered in general and among those with addiction and substance abuse problems. This disorder is characterized by feeling hopeless or helpless, a lack of energy, no interest in activities that a person previously enjoyed, physical pain, and an inability to feel joy or pleasure.

This inability to feel joy and pleasure is often what is so intrinsically connected to drug and alcohol abuse. Meth, for example, is a drug that gives the user a fast and intense rush of pleasure and euphoria. However, the drug interferes with the brain activity that naturally releases pleasure chemicals. Therefore, when the drug wears off, the person is no longer able to experience those feelings of pleasure on their own. This has a tendency to worsen or cause depression.

Similarly, addicts of other drugs and alcohol feel similar effects. However, depression can and often does precede substance abuse and addiction. The substance in question is used as a form of self-medication to ease the joylessness and hopelessness that they feel as a result of their depression.


Anxiety is another mental health disorder that is often linked to substance abuse and addiction. This mental health issue is characterized by excessive (and usually obsessive) worrying and tension, feeling irritable, a rapid, racing heartbeat, and other physical symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and extreme nausea. This tension can be constant or come in sudden bursts or waves known as anxiety attacks.

Often anxiety can be linked to substance abuse problems in one of two ways. First, just as with depression, the drug may be used as a misguided form of self-medication to relieve symptoms and to help an anxiety-ridden person calm down and/or sleep. Second, a person may develop or worsen in their anxiety disorder when they fixate on the substance to which they are addicted. They experience anxiety if and when they cannot get the drug or worry about getting their next fix even if they have a supply on-hand. This can spiral into general anxiety as well.

Dual Diagnosis Treatments

Treatment options for people with a dual diagnosis are, in many ways, similar to standard addiction treatments. Medical detoxification is a necessary and vital step to any dual diagnosis treatment program. Next, begins the remainder of the treatment process. Individual therapy and counseling, as well as group therapy, are integral parts of virtually any substance abuse treatment plan, but are exponentially more important for people who have co-occurring disorders.

The therapists and psychologists that provide counseling at Norwalk Drug Treatment Centers have extensive backgrounds in both substance abuse counseling and mental health disorder counseling. Many times, psychiatrists provide additional support to the treatment process.

Psychopharmacology is the study and use of medications to treat mental illnesses and disorders, and it is another useful tool in dual diagnosis treatment. The prescribing psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medications that are non-habit forming to treat the mental health portion of the dual diagnosis without triggering further addictions.

As you can see, there are serious and prevalent mental health disorders that are often linked or are co-occurring with substance abuse and addiction problems. If you have such a dual diagnosis, there are treatment options available to you so that you can receive simultaneous treatments for both your addiction and mental health disorder.

Call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Norwalk at 203-242-8279 and begin living your new, healthier life today.

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