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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in New Mexico

Dual diagnosis is a condition that complicates the problem of drug and alcohol addiction for substance abuse sufferers in New Mexico and throughout the country. Many mental and emotional disorders have complex relationships with addiction. Thankfully, rehab centers employ medical professionals who understand the problems of co-existing disorders and addiction and who are available to help patients with dual diagnosis treatment in New Mexico.

The basics of dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is a condition in which a patient suffers from both a mental or emotional disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. In dual diagnosis cases, the disorder and the addiction have a cause-and-effect relationship that can be very complex. The disorder in question is referred to as a co-existing disorder in the context of dual diagnosis.

Because of the complex interactions between addiction and co-existing disorders, it is necessary for any effective rehab program to treat both the addiction and the disorder. Otherwise, the patient faces the risk of relapsing into continued drug or alcohol abuse following rehab.

Interactions between addiction and mental disorders

The following mental and emotional conditions have complex interactions with drug and alcohol addiction.

– Depression: Many people who suffer from chronic depression drink heavily or use drugs in order to escape from the emotional pain caused by their condition. Alcoholism is especially common among depression sufferers.

– Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD causes emotionally painful flashbacks in its victims, and some PTSD sufferers seek temporary relief from this emotional distress by abusing drugs or alcohol.

– Anxiety: Chronic anxiety disorders can cause severe emotional distress. Some people who suffer from anxiety attacks abuse drugs or alcohol as a form of temporary relief.

– Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD causes its sufferers to become locked into irrational patterns of repetitive behavior. These patterns can cause severe disruption to the victim’s life if the condition is severe enough. Some OCD sufferers abuse opiates, which provide a form of temporary relief from the symptoms of the condition.

Eating disorders: Anorexia encourages the abuse of diet pills and other drugs that promote severe weight loss. Patients with eating disorders also commonly suffer from body dysmorphia, or a distorted body self-image, that can lead to depression and excessive drug abuse or alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism.

An estimated four million Americans suffer from both co-existing disorders and substance abuse problems.

Options for dual diagnosis treatment in New Mexico

The following methods are commonly used in dual diagnosis treatment in New Mexico rehab centers to help patients.

– Psychotherapy: This form of therapy is designed to identify co-existing conditions. Psychotherapy is administered in the form of one-on-one sessions between the patient and a psychologist.

– Psychopharmacology: Once the patient’s co-existing disorders are identified, rehab staff may administer specialized drugs to the patient that are designed to control the symptoms of his disorders. These drugs can help the patient become sober by eliminating the symptoms that contribute to his drug addiction.

– Behavioral management: The patient may also benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions, which are designed to help him evaluate the factors in his life that may cause or contribute to his drug or alcohol addiction. By doing so, the patient can learn how to remove those factors or control them in healthy and productive ways.


Once rehab is complete, the patient should begin the process of aftercare. Aftercare may include attendance in a 12-step program, where the patient can connect with other recovering addicts and share his experiences. The patient may also enroll in an alternative therapy program such as yoga or music therapy courses. Continued therapy sessions may also be necessary to help the patient maintain control over his mental or emotional disorder.

Find help for drug and alcohol addiction today

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, pick up the phone and reach out to an addiction specialist today. Recovery will not be easy, but it possible with the structure and guidance provided in treatment.