Many patients have failed treatment for substance use disorders because they were denied assistance for a mental health condition until after their recovery. Dr. Daniel Bober is proud to provide dual diagnosis treatment, a progressive method that is designed to treat both mental health disorders and substance use disorders at the same time. At his practice in Hollywood, FL, Dr. Bober can prescribe medications as part of your multi-step treatment plan to help with symptoms of mental illness and withdrawal. Dr. Bober is a board-certified psychiatrist with over 10 years in practice and a passion for helping his patients succeed. You can rest assured that you will receive the highest level of care at our practice.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a term that describes co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Dual diagnosis is also commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders or comorbidity. The most important distinction is that dual diagnosis specifies that both types of conditions are occurring at the same time. When approaching treatment for dual diagnosis, there is not a focus on which occurred first or the causation between the two conditions (which can be exceptionally difficult to identify), but instead, treating both disorders.
Defining Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders
The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) provides official definitions used by medical professionals:
- Mental Health Disorder
- A condition that involves changes in thinking, emotion, or behavior, or a combination of these aspects. This can include conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and many others.
- Substance Use Disorder
- A complex brain disease that is characterized by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. Addictive substances can include alcohol, opioids, and methamphetamine, among others.
Many patients rely on drugs and alcohol to cope with their mental illness. Additionally, mental illness and addiction can both cause changes to the brain that heighten their risk of developing the other. In fact, approximately half of patients who suffer from a mental health or substance abuse disorder will experience comorbidity.
Prevalence of Co-Occurring Conditions
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 8.5 million adults aged 18 or older suffered from both substance use disorder and mental illness. However, only 8.3 percent of these individuals sought dual diagnosis treatment.
Getting Help for Yourself or a Loved One
In some cases, it can be difficult to know whether a friend or loved one is suffering from mental illness or addiction. However, the most noticeable signs are changes in behavior such as withdrawal from social circles and normal activities, frequent mood swings, and sudden financial issues. The first step in helping your loved one is scheduling an appointment with your psychologist or Dr. Bober.
Establishing a Dual Diagnosis
Identifying and treating multiple disorders concurrently can be especially complex. Dr. Bober will first need to perform an assessment at our Hollywood office to determine the existence of mental health or addiction disorders and their severity. Clinical diagnosis of mental health and substance use disorders relies on the DSM-5 which outlines the standards that classify each disorder. Once a dual diagnosis is established, he will be able to determine how the conditions can best be addressed.
Approximately half of patients who suffer from a mental health or substance abuse disorder will experience comorbidity.
For patients seeking treatment for dual diagnosis, this will be a trying process that will require the support of family and friends.
Integrated Treatment Is Essential
Patients with a dual diagnosis will need to seek treatment for both conditions concurrently. Treating a mental health condition will not alleviate the substance use disorder and vice versa. For the best outcome, an integrated treatment plan will need to be established with aspects devoted to both aspects of the patient's health.
Treatment Is Highly Personalized
Each patient's treatment can vary significantly. Depending on their unique needs, a treatment plan may include:
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Supportive housing
- Support groups
The type and severity of your conditions will factor heavily into the treatment process.
Take Action Today
Many patients feel helpless when facing one disorder, let alone a dual diagnosis. Dr. Bober is dedicated to providing medical care that enables his patients to change their lives for the better. Schedule your consultation–or help a family member get the help they need–by calling our Hollywood office at (954) 994-1115.
- Defining dual diagnosis - National Alliance of Mental Illness
- Definition of mental illness - American Psychiatric Association
- Definition of addiction - American Psychiatric Association
- Relationship between mental illness and addiction - National Institute on Drug Abuse
- 8.5 million U.S. adults suffer from both types of disorders - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration