In the field of addiction the term dual diagnosis refers to a person who is addicted to both drugs and alcohol. This means they have double the issues that just a drug addict or alcoholic might have and they may need special treatment in a long-term care facility.
Here are the top ten things you should know about dual diagnosis
• If you treat one addiction (the drugs) and not the other(the alcohol) or vice versa you increase the person’s chance of relapsing after they leave treatment by 100%
• Alcohol abuses are even more likely in users of cocaine, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.
• People with a dual diagnosis account for more than 42 percent of admissions to drug rehab
• A drug habit can greatly exaggerate the effects of an alcohol habit and vice versa
• Coke addicts use alcohol to calm the anxiety that can come with doing the drug because the two combined produce a potent painkiller called coca-ethylene that is in itself addictive
• The statistic from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse says that 2.4 million of the 5.6 million people who abused illicit drugs in 2001 also abused alcohol
• The more heavily that someone abuses alcohol the more likely they are to also become a drug addict
• In 2001 a study by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reported that nearly two out of three American teenagers aged 12 to 17 who went on drinking binges also abused drugs at the same time.
One thing that is important to realize that it is only until recently that dual diagnosis has been recognized and that there is not that much information on concurrent treatments for two addictions at once. If you or a loved one has a dual diagnosis it is very important for you to monitor the treatment to make sure that comprehensive treatment is being applied.