Dual Diagnosis | Co-occuring Issues with Boys

Boys caught in the grip of substance abuse are often suffering from underlying mental health issues creating a dual diagnosis (or, co-occurring issues) scenario.  Studies show that more than half of young persons with a substance abuse diagnosis also have a diagnosable mental illness.  For immediate help call us at 800-675-8101.

Unfortunately, many of these teenagers suffering a dual diagnosis scenario are only treated for obvious substance abuse issues, without being referred to a mental health professional to treat the root cause of the problem.  Without proper help from a qualified professional these teens suffer with symptoms of a mood disorder that cause them to seek relief through self-medicating with street drugs and alcohol.

Is dual diagnosis with boys common?

Many families and caregivers struggle daily with kids who suffer from undiagnosed brain disorders (mental illnesses) such as: ADHD, depression, or bipolar disorder.  As is often the case, Professionals who help adolescents with therapy or prescription drugs for these mental illnesses, do not also provide treatment for the active substance abuse, which has also taken over their life.  This lack of ability to focus and treat both disorders at the same time leaves the adolescent vulnerable to suffering for long periods of time without an effective resolution. 

Are their treatment options that work for dual diagnosis sufferers?

Dealing with adolescents that suffer from dual diagnosis need to understand that these teens do not often respond to simplistic advice or common self-realization techniques for getting better.  These adolescents rarely have the maturity or understanding to take control of their issues on their own and need professional help to make the transition back to normal living. 

Teens acting out and displaying problems such as concurrent mental illness and substance abuse disorders benefit most from trusted, professional psychotherapy and specified medication combined with appropriate self-help and peer centered support groups.  However, even in these best of scenarios, many patients are still prone to relapse.

Treatment programs designed specifically for the purposed of detoxification and short term therapy of substance abusers are not highly recommended for individuals suffering a dual diagnosed mental illness.

Their survival personality complex and bold confrontation techniques and disillusionment of the use of appropriate prescription medications compound their ability to deal with the addiction.  Therefore, the most optimal situation for recovery is to find a treatment scenario wherein both disorders are clarified and treated with the patient aware and compliant.

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