According to Toledo’s Unison Behavioral Health Group, the number of dually diagnosed youth is on the rise. “Dually diagnosed” refers to the presence of a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder. With the school year in full swing, Dr. Bonnie Kauffman, Unison Program Coordinator, advises parents, caregivers, and school personnel to recognize that youth diagnosed with the following mental health disorders are at an increased risk for substance abuse: attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychotic disorders like bipolar disorder.
Some warning signs include a sudden change in personality, drop in school performance and attendance, sudden and frequent outbursts, increasing conflict with family members, changes in peer group, borrowing/stealing money, and loss of interest in hobbies.
Unison Behavorial Group treats youth ages 11-17. For more information or for support, call 419-693-0631.