Scary Statistics on Dual Diagnosis in Pennsylvania


The statistics on drug use in Pennsylvania alone are horrific. Possibly more terrifying is a large number of people with dual diagnosis here in Pennsylvania who need treatment, but fail to get it. A large part of this is that most addiction rehabilitation centers are not set up to treat dual-diagnosis patients. The numbers in the following paragraphs are approximate statistics taken from scientific surveys. The real numbers could be much higher. We at DreamLife Recovery are at the forefront of the fight against dual diagnosis suffering.

What are the dangers of untreated dual diagnosis?

Is your loved one a victim of co-occurring disorders? People who suffer from addiction and mental illness often go undiagnosed. In some worse case scenarios, these individuals end up homeless and/or in the state prison system. Some of this occurs when their addiction has escalated to the point that the people who care for them cannot continue to take care of them on their own. You do not have to bear the brunt of the cost of good treatment by yourself.  You can find help at with us at DreamLife Recovery.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a state that some people find themselves in when they are the victim of addiction and a mental disorder at the same time. This is often referred to as a co-occurring condition or disorder. Possible dual diagnosis mental disorders can include, but are not limited to:

•           Bipolar

•           PTSD

•           ADHD

•           Depression

•           Panic Disorders

Here at DreamLife Recovery in Pittsburgh, PA we are qualified to not only treat the victims of addiction, but we are also qualified to help people with the co-occurring condition that has led to addiction. Not all clinics are set up to care for patients that require dual diagnosis, and if the mental disorder is not dealt with in rehabilitation, it is much more likely that individuals will not completely recover.

How Many People in Pennsylvania have Depression?

All of these figures are for individuals who are 18+ years of age. Most doctors do not like to formally diagnose people under 18 years old with mental disorders. However, if you think that your child might have a mental disorder it is important for you to seek treatment for them. Depression is a major underlying cause of alcohol addiction.

•           679,000 people in Pennsylvania alone have had at least one serious depressive episode in their lifetime

•           389,000 people in Pennsylvania who have depression have also had serious thoughts of suicide.

•           90% of people who die of suicide have one or more mental disorders. This includes people with a dual diagnosis.

Are People with Depression at Risk for Addiction?

People with depression are at high risk for addiction. Because the stigma of drinking is less than that of taking mental health medications or going to therapy many undiagnosed, and some diagnosed people with depression choose to drink to cope with their symptoms. This is not only dangerous for the person with alcohol addiction but to others as well. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there are 10,558 alcohol-related car crashes in a year. This number does not provide information on how many fatalities resulted from these crashes or how many people were permanently injured from the crashes who were either in the car while the intoxicated person was driving or in another car that the intoxicated driver hit.

Do People with Mental Illness Abuse Substances Other Substances than Alcohol?

People with dual-diagnosis are not limited to abusing only alcohol. They can be the victims of multiple addictions at once. It is also possible for someone with a dual diagnosis to have more than one mental disorder.

•           37% of all alcohol abusers have a mental illness

•           53% of drug abusers have more than one mental illness

•           29% of all individuals with a mental illness abuse alcohol, or other drugs

Sometimes a person’s mental disorders can be hard to spot from the outside. Some people have lifelong depression causing people to think that’s “just how they are”. Other people have disorders like bipolar that are not treated correctly because the doctors think that they have depression instead. Some bipolar medications, like lithium, can be deadly if you take them while drinking. Do not let your loved one fall into the trap of not talking to their mental health provider about their alcohol addiction out of shame. You can be honest with us and the doctor that you see after treatment. We are here for you.

What are the Consequences of Untreated Dual Diagnosis?

Every year

•           26% of people living in homeless shelters have a mental illness

•           60% of adults with mental illness don’t get help

•           24% of state prisoners were diagnosed with a mental disorder.

These figures apply all across the United States, including Pennsylvania.

Is It Possible for Someone Who is Already Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder to Develop an Addiction?

Some people who are already diagnosed with a mental disorder become addicted to alcohol and drugs. At times this is because the stress they feel from balancing their disorder and everyday life is too much. Other times life becomes unmanageable because their disorder(s) are not properly treated and feel like too much of an impairment to manage without drinking even if they know the dangers of mixing certain medications with alcohol. There are also times that a person is misdiagnosed. This happens a lot with bipolar disorder. Lots of times someone with bipolar disorder is accidentally misdiagnosed as having depression. Bipolar is not treated with the same medications as depression. This means that the patient might experience additional symptoms resulting from incorrect medication.

Where Can I Get Help for my Dual Diagnosis?

Here at DreamLife Recovery, we take your needs very seriously. There is no shame in seeking help for a mental disorder. Often times they are the result of biology, trauma, and other things that are outside of your control. Like addiction your mental illness is treatable. Things will only get better when you ask for the help you need.

To contact us at DreamLife Recovery please click here

 Or call us at (844) 402-3592

Article Reviewed by Lidice Morales

Lidice MoralesLidice Morales, an honors graduate from the Kaiser University, has made a name for herself as the Director of Nursing at several behavioral health facilities and as the Director of Operations for Detox MD. Now she is the VP of Operations at DreamLife Recovery. She strives for better patient care through constant self-improvement and furthering her education. Her steadfast work ethic and passion in the field has remained the most important aspect of her professional career; showing dedication to not only the acquisition of new knowledge, but also its mastery. Lidice believes that a professional work atmosphere fosters cohesion and malleability amongst herself and her coworkers; thereby increasing both the level of patient care and quality of life.

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