Dual diagnosis

Woman weighing herself

Eating Disorder Recovery Rate Higher Than Previous Reports

According to one recent estimate, 30 million Americans will develop an eating disorder during their lifetime. And, it can take many different forms including anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating and other variations of disordered eating patterns.

But, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, there is hope. Scientists investigated recovery rates over time and followed up with 176 patients 20 to 25 years after their initial diagnosis. They found that that nearly two-thirds of research participants who received treatment did eventually recover. (Previous research suggested that only 50% of patients recover.)

“The findings inspire me to remain hopeful in my work as a clinician with these patients,” said Kamryn Eddy, an eating disorder researcher and the study’s lead author. “Participants received all types of treatment, including outpatient individual, family, and group therapy, inpatient and residential treatment, nutritional counseling, medications and medical care,” Eddy said.

While this study suggests that individuals facing an eating disorder diagnosis can make progress with treatment, it does support the need for continued research to better understand the biology and genetics of the disease. Armed with that information, the treatment community can continue to improve recovery rates and lower the risk of relapse.

5 Common Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Do you have an unhealthy relationship with food? If you answer Yes to one or more of the following questions, contact Synergy Group Services for information about our comprehensive Florida eating disorder program.

(1) Do you often eat alone because you want to hide how much or how little you are eating?

(2) Do you often avoid social situations where you know food will be present

(3) Do you make yourself vomit or abuse laxatives in an attempt to avoid weight gain?

(4) Do you often exercise compulsively, going to the gym multiple times each day?

(5) Are you addicted to stimulants to suppress your appetite?

Florida Eating Disorder Treatment

The eating disorder program at Synergy is a designed treatment program that includes assessments and treatments addressing dietary and nutritional issues as well as issues of denial and powerlessness, and loss of control. Call (888) 267-8070 or contact us online.

Woman with a disorganized desk

Do You Have Adult ADHD? 3 Symptoms to Watch

Did you know that up to five percent of children exhibit the signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? While pediatricians now regularly screen young patients for this condition, unfortunately, it still often goes undetected in adults.

ADHD left untreated can hamper your productivity at work, cause undue stress on your personal relationships and put you at greater risk of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Given that, it is important to understand the patterns of behavior associated with this diagnosis to reduce your risk of addiction and improve your quality of life.

Below includes a few of the most common symptoms of ADHD. If these sound familiar, you should consult a licensed therapist to get an accurate diagnosis.

3 Behaviors Associated with ADHD

(1) You find it hard to follow a conversation.

Have you ever started talking to someone and suddenly found yourself at a loss for words because you had lost track of what they were talking about? One of the most profound symptoms of adult ADHD is an inability to focus while getting distracted easily. While it’s normal to have your mind wander from time to time, it may be a sign of ADHD if this happens to you frequently throughout your day.

(2) You’re chronically late to appointments and forget to pay bills on time.

Paying your phone bill one or two days past the due date certainly doesn’t guarantee a diagnosis of ADHD. But, if this becomes a regular occurrence, you might do some self-refection. Is this a busy season in your life, or has this been a regular occurrence throughout your adult life?

(3) You buy things you don’t really need and can’t stick to a budget.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping, only to come home and realize that you bought WAY too much food? Or, do you regularly get deliveries of clothes that you bought online and can’t afford? A pattern of impulsive shopping behavior is one of the most common signs of ADHD among adults.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Florida

Did you know that 70 percent of people with a substance use disorder are also battling an additional psychiatric condition. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and a co-occurring mental illness (such as ADHD) don’t wait to seek treatment. As addiction worsens, so does the co-occurring condition — and vice versa. Contact Synergy Group today so we can start treating both diseases simultaneously. Call: (888) 267-8070 to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment options.

Does Mental Illness Impact Recovery From Drug Addiction?

Rethink Mental IllnessImage via Wikipedia
Can people who suffer from mental illness recover from drug addiction?

About 30 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 experienced a mental illness in the past year, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For those ages 50 and older, about 14 percent struggled with a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder.

  • Five percent of the adult population suffered from a serious mental illness in the past year about 9 million adults seriously considered suicide in the past year. Of those, 2.5 million made plans to commit suicide and 1.1 million attempted suicide.
  • Women were more likely than men to have a mental illness in the past year (23 percent vs. nearly 17 percent).
  • Adults experiencing mental illness in the past year were three times as likely to have met the criteria for substance dependence or abuse than those who had not experienced mental illness (20 percent vs. 6 percent). Those with a serious mental illness had a rate of substance abuse or dependence of about 25 percent.
  • Nearly 2 million youth aged 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. That population was also more likely to have used illicit drugs

After looking at all the research and having the experience of treating people with a dual diagnosis, I see many commonalities in certain behaviors and disorders and the individual’s drug of choice.  The issue in treating a person with a co-occurring behavior as well as an addiction both issues must be treated effectively. Often times many Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers claim to treat a dual diagnosis patient, but do not provide all the key elements to effectively diagnose and treat appropriately.  If we accept the statistic that up to 85% of people struggling with an Alcohol or Substance Addiction have a Dual Diagnosis we can also accept that potentially many of these patients will not receive all the key essential components of treatment necessary to create long term sobriety.  

The essential steps in treating a dual diagnosis consist of firstly seeing a qualified Physician i.e. a Psychiatrist to determine if a dual Diagnosis is present.  If a Dual Diagnosis is occurring, then the determination of whether Pharmacological Intervention is necessary.  Well qualified physicians that are successful in treating a Dual Diagnosis have a skill in choosing the right prescription for the Co-occurring Disease. This should be done within the first few days of treatment.  Generally many of the drugs prescribed for co-occurring behaviors such Antidepressants, Anti-Anxiety Medications and medications for ADD or ADHD could take 4-6 weeks to achieve therapeutics levels before positive results can be achieved.  During this period the patient should continue to be under the supervision of the doctor to see if any side effects occur or if there might be a need to adjust the dose. As a final suggestion when researching a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program be prudent and review all aspects of the Program especially the staff page which will give you great insight into the competency and qualifications of the Medical and Clinical Staff.

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