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Dual Diagnosis Buffalo NY

People living with a dual diagnosis have co-existing mental health and substance abuse problems. Drug and alcohol addiction is typically seen in combination with anxiety disorders, depression disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Dual diagnosis interactions are bi-directional in nature, with drug use affecting mental health and mental illnesses also affecting drug use. Common dual diagnosis interactions include depression and alcoholism, panic disorders and sedative abuse, bipolar disorder and opioid dependence, and methamphetamine induced psychosis. While some of these links are causal in nature, others are complex and bi-directional, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. At Drug Treatment Centers Buffalo, we understand the complexities of these conditions and offer dual diagnosis treatment options for patients. To get the help you need today, call (716) 262-3086.


According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 45 percent of people with an addiction problem have a co-occurring disorder. This affects 8.9 million Americans each year, with only 7.4 percent receiving an adequate level of treatment for their condition. The links between mental health and substance abuse go both ways, with 51 percent of people with a mental disorder having lived with a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis conditions affect people from all walks of life, with these problems often creeping up on people over time. Of the 23 million people who need treatment for a substance abuse or dependence problem, only 3 million seek help, illustrating a huge “treatment gap” in American society.

Eating Disorders and Addiction

Eating disorders include bulimia, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder among others, with these mental health disorders often linked to substance use and dependence problems. According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, eating disorders are on the rise, with numbers rising by more than 50 percent in the last 10 years. Despite this statistic, only 10 percent of people who need treatment receive it, and of these, only 20 percent are in treatment for long enough to get the help they really need. There are a number of connections between eating disorders and substance abuse, with both disorders sharing common risk factors and displaying common patterns of compulsive behavior. Some people take methamphetamine or prescription stimulants as a way to decrease their appetite, with others slowly developing an eating disorder after years of drug use.

Panic Disorders and Addiction

Panic disorders are a range of anxiety disorders that involve recurring panic attacks and intensive episodic anxiety. Panic disorders can be classified as a medical condition or a chemical imbalance, with some people using drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. According to a study published in Behavior Research and Therapy, 10-40 percent of people with a panic disorder are also living with alcohol problems, with 10-20 percent of people living with drug problems. This relationship also goes the other way at times, with some people developing a panic disorder as a result of extensive drug dependence. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication can both be useful in treating this condition, with doctors having to be careful to avoid dangerous drug interactions.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Before starting a treatment regimen, doctors will try to differentiate between pre-existing mental health conditions and those induced by drugs or alcohol, with this initial diagnosis greatly influencing the treatment provided. Primary treatment is one option, with a single disorder treated under a single plan. Sequential treatment is another alternative, with the secondary disorder treated once the primary disorder has been stabilized. Parallel treatment involves the simultaneous treatment of both disorders, with integrated treatment making no distinction between disorders and using a single approach.

To get the best care and dual diagnosis treatment available, contact the professionals at Alcohol Treatment Centers Buffalo at (716) 262-3086.

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