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What Is A Dual Diagnosis Treatment?


Medically Reviewed by Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Oftentimes, drug or alcohol addiction is accompanied by mental health conditions, and in many cases, one may be a result of the other. Dual Diagnosis is when an individual is diagnosed as having both a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and one or more mental health disorders. Because of how intertwined addiction and mental health are and how each can exacerbate the other, it is important to treat both sides for the best chance of long-term recovery.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual Diagnosis is a combination of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and mental health conditions, which vary in symptoms from person to person. 

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent struggles with anxiety and depression while abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Erratic behavior
  • Isolation
  • Risky behaviors accompanied by heavy substance use
  • Increasing mental health problems
  • High tolerance for drugs or alcohol
  • Compulsory drug or alcohol use
  • Continual and compulsory use of drugs or alcohol for improving mood, sleep, or relaxation
  • Discomfort when not using drugs or drinking alcohol

Both the addiction and mental condition must be treated simultaneously to prevent a higher risk of relapse.

What Is An Example Of A Dual Diagnosis?

Sometimes, people cope with symptoms of a mental condition by self-medicating or abusing drugs and alcohol, which can develop into an addiction. Or, for some, addiction leads to the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Either way, it turns into a vicious cycle of both conditions feeding into one another, requiring the simultaneous treatment of both to break that cycle and move forward in recovery.

Why Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important?

Not only is it important to treat addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses in each individual with dual diagnosis, but millions of Americans struggle with it.

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that:

  • About 9.2 million American adults have a mental health condition and substance use disorder (dual diagnosis)
  • Half of these Americans are not receiving treatment
  • 360,000 American adolescents suffer from dual diagnosis

What Is The Most Common Dual Diagnosis?

Some of the most common mental health conditions that accompany addiction to alcohol and drugs include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Clinical Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia

What Medication Is Used For Dual Diagnosis?

There are a variety of methods and techniques used for treating dual diagnosis, some of which may include medication if necessary. This is case-by-case and depends on each individual’s condition and recovery needs.

Into Action Recovery Centers Offer Individualized Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment for Dual Diagnoses

We offer a variety of treatment options for dual diagnosis, covering the whole spectrum of drug and alcohol addiction and mental health conditions, including residential and outpatient treatment programs.

Some of our recovery treatments and activities include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques: Treatment for anxiety, personality, and substance disorders, etc.
  • Motivational Interviews: Normative-based feedback to evaluate motivation over the course of ongoing behavior change.
  • Relapse Prevention Education & Counseling: Training on relapse prevention activities.
  • Relationship Counseling: Identifying and managing or reconciling differences and negative patterns in the client’s relationships.
  • Life Skills Training: Training in skills that meet the demands and challenges of everyday life.
  • Coping Skills Education & Counseling: Training in coping skills for personal and interpersonal challenges, such as facing stressors or triggers.
  • Mindfulness Training: Training in mindfulness and stress reduction techniques.
  • Aftercare & Discharge Planning: Planning for treatment, housing, work, and self-care.

Call us today at 844-303-3969 to take the next important step for life-long recovery.

Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Dr. Saeed is a psychiatry specialist with over 40 years of experience in the medical field. He received training in General Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was selected as the Medical Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently serves as the medical director at Into Action Recovery Centers. Full Bio

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