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Dual Addiction

Old 06-16-2008, 11:57 PM
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Dual Addiction

Is there anywhere on this site to learn about dual addiction?
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:01 AM
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I'm not certain what you mean by dual addiction. If you mean more than one substance, that's not unusual for addicts.

I think you mean what we call in Canada, Concurrent Disorders or Dual Diagnosis, meaning almost any combination of mental illnes and addiction. For example, someone who suffers severe depression and is an alcoholic, or someone who is bipolar and uses drugs.

In Ontario, addiction and mental health are now connected and treated together. It took a long time for this to be recognized and by the time we notice that both go together, it no longer matters which came first. Sometimes drug use relieves the pain of mental illness, and sometimes it causes it. What matters is that both desperately need to be acknowledged and treated.

I am grateful to now work in a field where this is done and where I see the results of treating both at the same time, or "concurrently" as the name suggests.

I'd be interested in how people here view this and your thoughts on what may still be missing. The following link connects to some good information about Concurrent Disorders and may be of some help to you.

CAMH:Information about Concurrent Disorders

If this is not what you mean, I apologize for going on and on, but it's an important and fairly new method of treatment that touched my heart.

Hugs
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:57 PM
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Gosh - my RAH has both - concurrent addictions and a dual diagnosis. I'm afraid that the US lags behind Canada in terms of dealing with the dual diagnosis stuff. I think that we are finally beginning to understand that you have to treat the two concurrently instead of one at a time.

If you are talking about a dual diagnosis (mental illness and addiction) then the mental health forum has been helpful to me. If you are talking about concurrent addictions I've found that anon groups for each separate addiction have been particularly helpful for me. Not many people are just addicted to one thing - it's an addictive personality thing I believe. It's just that some addictions are more harmful than others.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:35 AM
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You could try searching for... well, wait. There's two things.

Dual Diagnosis: Where someone has a diagnosable mental health disorder like depression in addition to being an alcoholic/addict.

Cross-Addiction: Where the alcoholic/addict has another compulsive type disorder like gambling, sex, food, shopping, etc.

Depending on what you're looking for, if you search for either dual diagnosis or cross-addiction (with or without the hyphen), you should find plenty on what you're looking for.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:07 PM
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Thank you for the reply. I've been sick. I meant along the lines of having an addiction to meth and booze but I also think that your right about mental illness and addiction. I was wondering if you could be addicted to more than one substance at a time. Or substute one for another.
Thanks
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by lilkim View Post
Thank you for the reply. I've been sick. I meant along the lines of having an addiction to meth and booze but I also think that your right about mental illness and addiction. I was wondering if you could be addicted to more than one substance at a time. Or substute one for another.
Thanks
After sitting in on a few lectures, what I have learned, yes most definitely there can be one plus however many more at a time! Also, what I learned is that trading in one doc for a new doc is also common, which is why total and complete sobriety is encouraged.

I'm not an addict..... so I can't speak from personal experience, but from what I have learned... it's not just addiction to drugs..... it's the addict mentality.... whether it's "go big or go home" ..... or not being able to do anything in moderation.

What I also have learned are the different stages.....

1. Experimental
2. Social
3. Habit

--------------------
4. Abuse
5. Addiction

The line between 3 and 4 can become very thin.... and then the veil between 4 and 5 is even thinner! Once crossing over to 5..... it's time to look at recovery...... and what is taught is complete abstinence of all. You can't move back up the ladder and slowly get out of it that way.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by lilkim View Post
I was wondering if you could be addicted to more than one substance at a time. Or substute one for another.
Thanks
DEFINITELY!!!

I have met a great many who are both alcohlics and drug addicts. I am one myself. In addition to alcohol, I have been addicted to marijuana and have abused benzos (vallium and other similar drugs), opiates, LSD, mushrooms, and OTC drugs.

There was a time when I actually used marijuana in an attempt to quit drinking. We call that the "marijuana maintenance program."

Alcohol is my drug of choice, but I've been known to abuse anything I can get my hands on.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:57 PM
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I got into a 12-step program because my codependence with my daughter's addiction made me sick... so sick, I was ready to commit suicide. My Alanon meetings helped - very much.

What I discovered while there, though... is -

I drank alcoholically for 10 years
I gambled when stressed about my daughter
I took Percoset the way an addict would - for the effect
When I exercised, more was never enough... I went from working out 2X week, to daily & multiple times each day.
I have always said there is no such thing as a dessert "too rich" or "too fattening" for me not to have a second (or third) helping
I realized that almost every person in my family is alcoholic/addict - even those who "gave up" drinking and using.


Alanon gave me an awareness I previously did not have. I can more clearly see MY path and MY vulnerabilities.... and am far more aware of what it takes for ME to "go back out".

I was fortunate that I found a reason to quit drinking early enough in the progression of my condition that I was ABLE to quit. I was fortunate that meth was not readily available when I was drinking, as it is exactly the kind of drug to which I would be attracted. I was LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY. And today I know I cannot rely on luck.

So in my increased awareness, I know I am an addict.... and by that I mean that the things I love... I OVERDO. Drugs, relationships, booze, pills, even exercise.

For me, being an addict means my drug of choice is .... "more". I can't imagine NOT being cross-addicted.
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