Dual Diagnosis and Anti-Social Personality Disorder

13 Oct

According to multiple studies, about 53% of people with drug addiction and 37% of people with an alcohol addiction suffer from “dual diagnosis”, a condition in which a person with a substance dependency also suffers from a mental illness, such as anti-social personality disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), anti-social personality disorder (or ASPD) is “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.”

Drug rehab programs frequently administer screening tests to determine if a person entering their facility has a dual diagnosis. In most cases, the patient has preexisting psychological issues and the substance being abused is his or her own medication. In such a case, prescription drug detox will be required. Cases where the drug addiction ecstasy treatment is the cause of mental health problems is also quite common.

According to drug rehab program research, people with antisocial personality disorder are more than 15 times more likely to have a drug problem than the average person. This term means that along with the drug or alcohol abuse problem also have a significant mental health problem. People with a dual diagnosis require holistic addiction treatment to fully address all their issues. This is because treating their psychological problems can play a major part in the addiction, and treatment can sometimes be fruitless without also addressing the patient’s mental health issues.

In the case of patients with anti-social personality disorder, they should be made to realize that they have major problems and that it is causing harm to everyone. Unless there is a conscious effort from the patients’ end to attend the treatment, full success cannot be assured. Because such patients have a harder time to relate to their peers, more attention or a more delicate treatment is given to them in order to build their confidence, while reducing their craving for drugs and alcohol.

Thus, instead of shunning away from the problem of drug abuse and banning the drug abusers from the society, individuals with dual diagnosis should be treated in rehabilitation centers to cure their addiction and give them a second chance in life. The risks for people to end up in a drug rehab center who have manic episodes or schizophrenia are similarly high, although a range of conditions including panic disorder, depression and phobias also place a person at a higher risk for addiction.

After an initial drug and alcohol detoxification, in most cases an addiction program will attempt to treat both the addiction and the anti-social personality disorder. Treating individuals with a dual diagnosis is a bigger challenge than treating one kind of problem, but with the right methods and focus in can be successful and these individuals can be lead to a better life.

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