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Understanding the Importance of a Dual Diagnosis Approach

Understanding the Importance of a Dual Diagnosis Approach

Dual diagnosis is a term used when a person has a mental illness (such as anxiety or depression) and an addiction (such as a substance use disorder) at the same time. Understanding what dual diagnosis treatment is and how it shapes your treatment plan is essential for anyone struggling with these coexisting conditions.

As a double board-certified addiction psychiatrist, Dr. Hadi Estakhri knows how complex the relationship between mental illness and addiction can be, and that’s why we implement a dual diagnosis approach here at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California.

Here’s what you need to know about our dual diagnosis approach. 

Mental illness and addiction combinations are common

An estimated 21 million Americans are currently living with a substance use disorder, and out of those 21 million, about 8 million are also diagnosed with a mental illness. These statistics highlight just how common it is to have a mental health illness and an addiction. 

Dual diagnosis can take many forms, such as: 

Because of this, the symptoms of dual diagnosis can vary from person to person. That being said, some common red flags do exist:

Although it can be tough (if not impossible) to manage dual diagnosis on your own, it’s important to know that with the right treatment, you can recover. 

The importance of a dual diagnosis treatment approach

The relationship between mental health conditions and addiction is complicated. Mental illness can increase your risk of developing substance abuse, and the opposite is also true. Substance abuse can increase your risk of developing a mental health illness, or if you already have one, it can exacerbate your symptoms. 

A dual diagnosis treatment approach takes all these factors into consideration and aims to address all aspects of your mental health. A person with a dual diagnosis must address both issues 一 any psychiatric conditions and any drug or alcohol use disorders 一 to find genuine relief. This is why dual diagnosis is so important. If either condition is neglected (even unintentionally), you run the risk of experiencing a relapse. 

After completing a thorough assessment to identify any co-occurring disorders, Dr. Estakhri may customize your treatment plan to include any of the following:

By using a dual diagnosis approach, we provide care for both psychiatric conditions and substance abuse disorders. We also examine how your underlying conditions influence each other to help support your mental well-being going forward.

To learn more about dual diagnosis and how we approach addiction treatment, book an appointment with Dr. Estakhri today by calling us at 949-945-0927 or using our online scheduler.

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