Dual Diagnosis Hollywood FL (954) 239-2548

A dual diagnosis is given to a person who has a mental health disorder or mood disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction at the same time. Drug and alcohol treatment centers Hollywood will provide you with your treatment options. Dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to address and treat both conditions simultaneously. Call drug rehab Hollywood FL today at (954) 239-2548.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

There are several mental health disorders that seem to more frequently occur simultaneously with drug or alcohol addiction than others. However, it is important to note that a person suffering from any form of mental health disorder may also have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, whether it occurs commonly or not. Examples of some of the more common mental health disorders seen in dual diagnosis are:

Eating disorders are complicated mental health disorders in that they are sometimes also referred to as secondary addictions or forms of addiction in and of themselves. However, while they share some characteristics of addiction (to eating or eating in specific way and/or exercising), they are mental health disorders in and of themselves. Some of the symptoms common to the various eating disorders include:

  • Ritualistic behaviors, especially regarding food
  • Hoarding food
  • Compulsive exercising
  • Obsessive thought patterns
  • Preoccupation with weight and appearance
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Compulsive eating (binge eating) or compulsive control of food intake
  • Depression
  • Extreme worry and anxiety

People who suffer from eating disorders have unhealthy relationships with food and exercise as well as with themselves and their perception of their body and worth. Many people who are suffering from eating disorders suffer from addictions to stimulants. Stimulant drugs are a class of drugs designed to excite or stimulate the nervous system.

This has many effects on the brain and body, some of which include a surge or burst of energy, euphoria, and loss of appetite. People with eating disorders may begin abusing stimulants to suppress their appetites or give them the energy they need to exercise more or focus better given their preoccupation with food and body weight. However, the abuse of those drugs can quickly spiral to addiction. Stimulants can be highly addictive and include Adderall, meth, Ritalin, and cocaine, as well as other amphetamines.

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and is a form of mental health disorder that develops as a result of witnessing and/or experiencing a horrific or traumatic event that causes the person distress. The distress caused by the event may be physical or mental or both. And a person can develop PTSD with or without experiencing any form of physical injury or trauma. Examples of events that trigger PTSD include military combat, physical abuse, and sexual assault or abuse. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Reliving the traumatic event
  • Hallucinations and nightmares
  • Intense and/or constant anxiety
  • Edginess
  • Isolation from outside world
  • Sudden fear or anxiety at triggers
  • Depression

When a person suffers from PTSD and a drug or alcohol addiction, that addiction is to a substance that can either suppress the negative symptoms of PTSD or can numb the mind and body to the pain of reliving the trauma over and over as well as the constant anxiety. As such many sufferers of PTSD develop addictions to alcohol or opiate drugs. Alcohol can actually suppress the negative PTSD symptoms by triggering the release of dopamine. Opiates (such as heroin or morphine) strongly trigger the reward and pleasure centers of the brain making a person feel euphoric while simultaneously slowing body functions creating an overwhelming sense of calm and restfulness.


Psychotherapy involves counseling sessions with a therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist to help a person suffering from a mental health disorder to deal directly with the feelings, thoughts, and issues they have that are causing the disorder. In the case of PTSD, for example, this involves dealing directly with the trauma and the effects it has had as well as related feelings, fears, and worries that all contribute to disordered thought and behaviors. The role that addiction plays in the mental health disorder is also dealt with (and vice versa) so as to separate the two and to be able to heal and recover from both.

Psychopharmacology is the treatment of a person's mental health disorder with prescription medications. In the case of a person who simultaneously suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction, psychopharmacology is used sparingly and in ways that do not promote or leave room for the development of future drug addictions and substance abuse problems.

While dual diagnosis may make addiction treatment more complicated, it is not a situation that is insurmountable. Drug rehab Hollywood FL is ready to help you get the treatment you need for your dual diagnosis. Call now at (954) 239-2548 to learn more about treatment options.

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