Florida Dual Diagnosis Rehab Centers

Mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand and, if either one of them is left untreated, can cause increased effects from the other. The state of Florida has a variety of dual diagnosis treatment facilities to address both of these conditions and get individuals back on the road to a healthy and substance-free life.

Florida is home to more than 18.3 million residents, and close to 660,000 of these adult residents are living with a serious mental health condition. Unfortunately, Florida’s mental health system only provides care for 26 percent of these adults, creating a serious gap in needs and treatment availability.

Mental health concerns affect adults of all ages, including those living in nursing homes. Nationwide, 18.7 percent of individuals living in nursing homes aged 65 to 74 years and 23.5 percent of those aged 85 years or older are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

In Florida, 9,298 adults aged 18 and older (8.9 percent) are currently depressed; 10,232 adults (13.1 percent) report receiving a diagnosis of depression at some point in their lifetime. A total of 10,241 adults aged 18 and older (11.2 percent) have received a diagnosis of anxiety at some point in their lifetime.

According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 3.5 percent of survey respondents say they have experienced at least one mentally unhealthy day in the last 30 days.

From depression to dementia, untreated mental illness can have a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life. Untreated mental illness is closely associated with substance abuse and addiction. For example, 53 percent of individuals who abuse drugs and 37 percent of individuals who abuse alcohol also have at least one serious mental illness, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Addiction is common in individuals with mental health problems, and in order to treat this addiction, it is essential to treat the underlying mental health problem, as well.

Dual Diagnosis Treats Co-Occurring Addiction & Mental Illness

Individuals with mental illness and addiction are considered to have a “co-occurring” disorder. Dual diagnosis is a specialized type of treatment that addresses both the mental illness and the addiction. Treating both is essential for long-term sobriety and good health. Oftentimes individuals with a mental illness may self-medicate as a way to manage the symptoms of their mental illness. For example, individuals who are depressed may abuse alcohol, heroin or other drugs as a way to “forget” about their pain.

Unfortunately, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol will only lead to greater health problems. Alcohol and drugs can also interact with prescription medications for treating mental illness, including antidepressants, which may further complicate treatment and adversely affect an individual’s health.

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Diagnosing and treating substance abuse and mental health disorders is not an easy process. Denial is common with both substance abuse and mental illness. However, treating one condition without addressing the other will only lead to greater problems. Finding the right dual diagnosis treatment center is essential to supporting an individual’s health and taking the first steps towards long-term sobriety.

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