Understanding Dual Diagnosis Treatment 

Dual diagnosis treatment happens when you have a mental health problem and a substance use disorder. It can affect your mental health. Occasionally, substance abuse disorders result in mental health disorders. Other times, one might use substances to self-medicate for mental disease. Knowing which came initially can be complicated. You might not understand whether you originally had a mental health problem or a substance abuse problem. The NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) states three possible bases for dual diagnosis treatment

  • One might have common hazard factors for both.
  • Trauma can be associated with both mental health and substance use
  • Family and genetics are other risk factor for having a dual diagnosis

You might be at an elevated risk of experiencing trauma when someone abuses substances. Under the influence of any substance, you might take hazardous risks or hurt your loved ones. In addition, these emotions and experiences can contribute to formulating a mental health disorder.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment helps a person with mental health and substance use simultaneously. Dealing with both mental health and substance abuse problems at once is essential. You can not recover from one illness without dealing with the other. This is why most rehabilitation programs will have some aspect of dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual diagnosis is about three things:

  • Coping with problems and finding healthy means to cope with mental disease
  • Getting rid of fatal substances in your body with detoxification
  • Learning relapse to retain your sobriety

If a person has substance abuse and is actively using, treatment for addictions will not be effective. Detox could be the initial step to dealing with your dual diagnosis. Withdrawal indications during detox can be hard to deal with. Most treatments can help you through detox with medical assistance.

After detox, one can concentrate on coping with your mental health problems. With a clear head, one can learn healthy means to live with a mental disease. During treatment, one will learn new means to cope without alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. Common mental health difficulties that co-occur with substance abuse:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Signs of Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders

These mental health problems can be treated with individual and group therapy. Most people find CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) helpful for dealing with their mental health and bipolar disorder treatment. Dual diagnosis can influence your life in other areas, like social and vocational wellness.

Types Of Dual Diagnosis Treatment 

Some of the most popular types of dual diagnosis treatment are:

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

This program is great if you require a lot of support but have family or school. IOPs have flexible plans and usually regulate after-school hours or normal work. It is helpful if a person has a healthy home setting. It may be a “step down” from more severe forms of mental disorder treatments.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

PHPs are similar to IOPs, except they are less flexible with their plans. For example, you might be released to a PHP after an inpatient stay. PHPs need more hours than IOPs, generally during regular business hours. It could be the next step in pursuing a psychiatric hospital stay.

Residential Treatment Programs

One might think of residential programs as a “rehab program.” Residential treatment comprises mental health and substance abuse treatment while one stays in the facility. Residential treatment might be best for them if a person is not stable or safe to recover at home. They will have 24/7 support from the best dual diagnosis treatment centers. Several residential treatment programs also give aftercare as outpatient treatment. For young adults and teens, finding a program to enable them to launch into young adulthood is essential. Young individuals might not be able to succeed without support to show them the way.

One might want an inpatient stay at residential treatment for teens with mental health and substance use diseases. Teens frequently struggle with fitting in and perish to peer pressure. Kids with mental illness might not feel like they fit in the setting. At a residential treatment program, teens will be surrounded by like-minded kids with identical issues. 

What Is A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?

A dual diagnosis center enables one with both mental health and substance use disease at the same time. One cannot address one problem without the other. If one tries to deal with just a mental illness while proceeding to abuse substances, one will strive to get better. Only receiving addiction treatment without assistance for a mental health disease would not help you in the long run. Each condition feeds into or results in the other. One needs to treat both problems at a similar time. At a dual diagnosis treatment near you, one gets assistance for substance abuse while dealing with mental health problems.

Mental health problems might be the root reason for substance use disorders. Dual diagnosis centers have staff members equipped in both substance use and mental health disorder treatment. In addition, several dual-diagnosis treatment centers comprehend that dual diagnosis influences other regions of health and well-being. For example, you might have other social, physical, and behavioral health besides dual diagnosis.


Substance use, mental health, and physical and social wellness are all linked to one another. One should discover a treatment center that can help them in numerous areas. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers can help individuals formulate a treatment plan for aftercare when they leave the facility after completing a treatment program. One might continue attending support groups at the facility. For long-term healing, having assistance from family is significant for mental health and sobriety. Treatment centers frequently teach parents how to hold their children and keep them safe when they come back home from treatment.

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