Tag: depression

Understanding Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment

Dual diagnosis is when an individual suffers from a co-occurring disorder in addition their substance use disorder. Mental illness and substance dependency tend to go hand-in-hand, which means it is necessary for treatment to address both conditions or the one that is left untreated could progress.

Those with undiagnosed psychological disorders will frequently turn to drinking and drugging at an early age in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms that they are suffering from. For example, some of the most common mental disorders associated with substance abuse are depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

In fact, it has been found that more than half of all men and women currently seeking treatment for addiction issues have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or a combination of the two.

Many people with undiagnosed mental health conditions tend to drink in excess or abuse illegal drugs because it provides them temporary relief. They end up turning to a short-term remedy when they need a long-term solution, which dual diagnosis treatment can provide.

Unfortunately, using chemical substance typically prevents an individual from being properly diagnosed. This is because the symptoms of drug abuse often mimic symptoms of mental disorders. Let’s take a look at the three most common dual diagnosis disorders, and explore why they are commonly overlooked until professional inpatient treatment is finally sought.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Anxiety and panic disorders cause a major amount of disruption in the life of the afflicted individual. Nervousness, sweating, shaking, paranoia, difficulty breathing, and dizziness are all symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can be so severe that they make typical daily functions seem impossible to do and achieve.

Many individuals who suffer from anxiety but remain undiagnosed and untreated will turn to alcohol and other chemical substances to relieve their symptoms. This can ultimately lead to them becoming physically dependent on the temporary relief provided. In other words, abusing substances as a way to “self-medicate” a condition like anxiety can lead to being dependent on those very substances sought to alleviate the original symptoms.

Anxious tendencies are typically exacerbated and intensified when chemical substances are not available or being used. This can lead to the rapid development of a psychological addiction. In order to properly diagnose an individual with an anxiety disorder, he or she must remain completely sober for an extended period of time, which is why dual diagnosis treatment is essential.

Depression and Substance Abuse

Depression and substance dependency tend to feed off of one another. It is truly a two-way street. In many cases, depressed individuals will turn to alcohol to help relieve the overwhelming feelings of melancholy and worthlessness.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2013 stated that depression is a relatively good predictor of first-time alcohol dependence. There are many commonalities between depression and alcoholism or drug abuse, such as genetic predisposition, the areas of the brain affected, and the potential for contributing environmental factors (such as childhood abuse or neglect). Because of this, it is vital that both disorders are treated simultaneously.

Many individuals who are thought to be suffering from clinical depression will find that many of their symptoms begin to subside with the discontinuation of regular alcohol consumption. After all, alcohol is a depressant. Many newly sober alcoholics will be placed on mild antidepressants for a brief period of time until their brain chemistry has been restored or as instructed by licensed professionals.

PTSD and Substance Abuse

A large fraction of individuals who suffer from substance dependency issues have undergone some kind of major trauma in the past.

Female addicts tend to experience sexual trauma more frequently than men, though many men do suffer from PTSD as a result of past emotional trauma or damaging wartime experiences. Of course, these are not the only causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The initial sources of trauma range significantly.

To help ease symptoms caused by PTSD – such as nightmares, flashbacks, feelings of shame, guilt, and self-loathing, and unrelenting paranoia – many afflicted individuals will turn to substance abuse. Because the effects produced by alcohol and drugs truly do offer a temporary, false sense of relief, many men and women quickly become dependent on chemical substance.

Dual diagnosis treatment allows clients to get to the root of the issue and heal from the inside, out.

Help is Available – Call Lighthouse Recovery Institute Today

It’s critical to receive treatment for both conditions if you are suffering from dual diagnosis. If you only get one condition treated, then the other one is left untreated and this could put you at risk for a relapse.

Dual diagnosis treatment is essential so that you can recover from both conditions. You wouldn’t want to revert back to using drugs because the depression, anxiety, or PTSD continued to disrupt your life. getting the help you need is critical, so make sure that you go to a dual diagnosis treatment center when you require this type of care.

Our program of Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment has rapidly become one of the most reputable and well-known programs of recovery throughout South Florida. For more information, or to get started on your personal journey of addiction recovery, please feel free to call one of our trained representatives today at 1-866-308-2090. 

Short and Long-Term Effects of Inhalants on the Brain

The Deadly Effects of Inhalants

What Do Inhalants Do?

When someone huffs computer duster, does whip-its or any other inhalant, the effect on the brain is immediate, intense, and short-lived. The user feels drunk or dizzy, is unable to concentrate, and isn’t able to speak properly. The user may also hallucinate, black out, or even die. Inhalants can cause hostility, headaches, and rashes. Inhalant use can also cause sudden death when the chemical replaces oxygen in the lungs, essentially suffocating the individual.

Over time, the effects of inhalants on the user’s body adds up.[1] Long-term effects of inhalant abuse and addiction include:

-Muscle weakness


-Loss of coordination



-Brain damage

-Memory loss

-Hearing loss

-Bone marrow damage

-Heart failure

Long-term inhalant use has also been shown to damage the lungs, liver, and kidneys.

effects of inhalants

Why Inhalants Are so Dangerous

At their very core, inhalants work by depleting the body of oxygen. What makes inhalants so dangerous, beyond the numerous side effects, is that they’re accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

A can of hairspray, whipped-cream, glue, gasoline, paint thinner, household chemicals…all of these can be huffed. For a group of kids who’re mildly bored, huffing glue might start to sound like an okay idea. This is especially true when they’ve found information about the high they produce on the internet.

Read about other legal gateway drugs like Kratom and Kava

The Real Short-Term Effects of Inhalants

What’s actually going on when someone huffs is hypoxia (the medical term for when the body is depleted of oxygen). Oxygen doesn’t just allow us to breathe, it keeps our brain functioning. Hypoxia is particularly damaging to the hippocampus, the part of our brain responsible for memory.

The effects of inhalants over a period of time can destroy myelin (the tissue that protects nerves). Nerves carry messages throughout our body and brain. When you couple hypoxia with the destruction of myelin, well, it’s no wonder that huffing damages basic motor functions like walking and talking.

Read about the dangerous effect of alcohol and “Wet Brain”

Why the Long-Term Effects of Inhalants are Often Overlooked

Inhalants abuse is tricky because they’re often viewed differently than drugs. A normal parent doesn’t look at a can of whipped-cream and see a heroin addict, but the reality is that inhalant abuse often leads to other drug abuse. Even if it never leads elsewhere, inhalant addiction itself is deadly.

The reality of huffing is that it can kill you. Sudden Death Syndrome (often called Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome) and the short and long-term effects of inhalant use make them just as dangerous as any street drug.

The insanity of inhalant abuse lies in the short-term high. Within moments of getting high, the user has to start inhaling again. In doing so, users continually increases the amount of oxygen depleting chemicals in their body. The brain damage caused by such intense use is often irreversible. Inhalants are one of many drugs that need increased awareness as to their potential for harm and addiction.

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[1] http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/inhalants/effects.html

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