Many individuals who suffer from drug addiction are left untreated because the cause of the problem has not been determined. More common than not, drug addiction patients have underlying psychological or mental illness coupled with the abuse. Many theories have been given regarding the relationship of the two problems; mental disorder and drug addiction. Some theories indicate that mental disorders are the cause of substance addiction. Anxiety and depression are common illnesses that lead an individual to drug use and then abuse. Some researchers oppose this idea stating that the drug abuse and addiction are the cause to which makes an individual have mental disorders. Both theories have reliable basis but to decide which is right between them is wrong. The possibility of both theories to occur holds true and indeed is happening to people.

The condition wherein a person suffers from a mental disorder and at the same time drug abuse is called dual diagnosis. It is also referred as co-occurring disorders. The term itself provides us with a description of the problem, both the mental illness and drug addiction are present. Whichever comes first, the problem or the addiction, both requires treatment and the target cure is for both illnesses. Assessment of the patient is important before any treatment. Sometimes, answers to assessment questions do not signify which illness came first whether the addiction or the disorder. In order to differentiate pre-existing mental illnesses from substance-induced mental problems, continuous monitoring of the treatment progress needs to be done.

Program for drug treatment uses consistent monitoring to determine the root of the patient’s problem. Mental disorders brought about by drug abuse fades away after prolonged abstinence of the drug. As the effects of the medication lowers down through detoxification, the presence of mental disorder also disappears after abstinence. This helps determine future treatment sessions since mental sickness has been ruled out. Some rehabilitation centers don’t accept patients with serious mental disorders due to lack of expertise in specific fields and some psychiatric treatment facilities don’t have enough background on substance abuse treatment.

When unsure about the state of addiction of an addict, it is best to learn more on information on dual diagnisis. The key to successful treatment lies on deeper understanding and assessment of the problem. Co-occurring conditions are commonly mistaken for ordinary cases of addiction. As evaluation and assessment becomes profound, targeting both the addiction and the illness help save the lives of these patients.