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Does your teen or a teen you know suffer from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder? Often times, teens with mental health disorders are more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction. If your child has been diagnosed with both mental health and substance abuse disorders, they have a “dual diagnosis”.

Dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders are very common. Studies show that more than half of teens battling substance abuse also have a mental health disorder and vice versa. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percents of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.

Due to its complex nature, it is not easy to diagnose co-occurring disorders. Treating both disorders at the same time helps your child cope with their mental health issues as well as overcome addiction.  

How to know if your teen has a co-occurring disorder (dual diagnosis)

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Your teen feels like he/she needs a drug to be able to function
  • Irrational and reckless behavior
  • Using drugs in dangerous conditions

The most common mental disorder related to substance abuse is bipolar disorder. Undiagnosed mental health issues can also lead someone to self-medicate. Tackling dual diagnosis is vital to helping your teen avoid serious addiction and mental health issues in the adulthood. 

Inspirations For Youth and Families offers comprehensive treatment for teens ages 13 to 17, struggling with substance abuse disorders and mental health issues. Call us at (877) 779-8010 to learn more about how we can help your teen overcome drug addiction. No teen deserves to fight drug addiction alone.

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