Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Addiction & Mental Health Treatment

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People who are experiencing drug addiction and mental health issues can find help through a specialized type of care called dual diagnosis treatment. This treatment option is common in addiction treatment programs and addresses both substance abuse and mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Chemical dependency related to alcohol, opioids, or stimulants can be stressful. However, some people develop other mental health disorders in addition to drug and alcohol addiction.

Treating multiple co-occurring behavioral health disorders may seem daunting, but dual diagnosis treatment can help people address both issues for better long-term outcomes.

Read on to learn more.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment refers to an integrated approach that simultaneously addresses substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health disorders.

Addiction treatment centers aim to treat individuals who experience co-occurring conditions because research emphasizes the interplay between addiction and mental health issues.

This comprehensive treatment approach helps improve coping skills, benefiting overall outcomes and long-term recovery for individuals facing these complex challenges.

The Complex Connection Between Drug Abuse And Mental Illness

The need for dual diagnosis treatment centers originates from the complex connection between drug use and mental health issues that causes frequent comorbidity.

Substance abuse can lead to or exacerbate mental health issues, while pre-existing mental health conditions can also increase the risk of developing substance use disorders through self-medication.

Factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental influences contribute to this complex relationship, making integrated dual diagnosis treatment essential for effective recovery.

Some common mental health disorders found with drug addiction include:

  • depression
  • anxiety disorders
  • bipolar disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • schizophrenia
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • eating disorder or other compulsive disorders

Practices Utilized In Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When clients enter a dual diagnosis treatment program, they need to be properly assessed in order to receive the appropriate psychiatric, medical, and social services.

Screening and Assessment Protocols

The screening process in dual diagnosis treatment involves assessing individuals for both substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

It may include a(n):

  • interview about past drug use
  • review of family members’ substance use and mental health history
  • questionnaire to determine the presence of co-occurring disorders
  • assessment to identify symptoms and warning signs of mental health problems

This assessment helps in developing personalized treatment plans for integrated treatment.

Evidence-Based Approaches

Evidence-based approaches in dual diagnosis treatment programs are therapeutic methods that have been rigorously researched and proven effective through scientific studies.

Some common evidence-based approaches include:

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • motivational interviewing (MI)
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • group therapy
  • family therapy

Multidisciplinary Teams

Multidisciplinary teams play a vital role in dual diagnosis treatment by bringing together professionals from various disciplines.

The different treatment providers that can administer dual diagnosis treatment are:

  • psychiatrists
  • psychologists
  • addiction counselors
  • social workers
  • medical staff

These individuals collaborate to assess patients holistically, considering aspects of both addiction and mental health.

This comprehensive approach ensures coordinated care, individualized treatment plans, and improved outcomes for individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Individualized Treatment Plans

Professional healthcare staff create individualized treatment plans by conducting thorough assessments that consider the unique needs, challenges, and goals of each person.

Staff tailor interventions to address addiction and mental health issues, offering a personalized combination of detox, evidence-based therapies, medications, and support services.

Continuum of Care

People will need ongoing care once dual diagnosis treatment ends. Treatment staff will include aftercare options for clients, so they can continue recovering.

A continuum of care plan may include:

  • ongoing therapy
  • peer support groups
  • regular check-ins with mental health and addiction specialists
  • holistic approaches, such as mindfulness meditation

How Effective Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment has shown promising effectiveness in improving outcomes for individuals with co-occurring disorders.

By addressing both addiction and mental health issues simultaneously, it helps break the cycle of relapse and offers a more comprehensive approach to recovery.

However, success can vary depending on individual factors, the severity of the conditions present, and adherence to treatment plans.

Where Can I Receive Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

People can receive dual diagnosis treatment at various levels of care offered in different types of substance abuse treatment facilities.

Dual diagnosis treatment may be offered through:

Find Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near You

We can help you or a loved one find a drug and alcohol rehab center that offers dual diagnosis treatment at DetoxRehabs.net.


Canton, Massachusetts

Bedrock Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

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Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ohio Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

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Spring Hill Recovery Center


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