Helpline information

Get Help Now

100% Confidential and free


24/7 Treatment Help

For immediate Treatment Help Call:

Recover with us - We're here to help. 24/7 Treatment Help:

Trusted content

Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab Centers For Co-Occurring Disorders

Young man with hands clasped together understanding dual diagnosis

Published: September 14, 2023

One common type of drug and alcohol rehab is dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders. Many people choose these programs based on their individual needs or the recommendations of their healthcare provider.

People with both addiction issues and mental health disorders may benefit from dual diagnosis care.

If you’re researching different rehab program types for yourself or a loved one, you may have come across dual diagnosis treatment. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of this type of addiction program as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment is a kind of addiction rehab program that addresses both substance use disorder (SUD), also called addiction, and co-occurring mental health disorders simultaneously.

Co-occurring disorders are commonly seen in people with drug and alcohol addictions, and in some cases are the root of the addiction.

The goal of a dual diagnosis program is to help a person achieve long-lasting progress through recovery from addiction and management of their mental health condition. By addressing both issues at the same time, lasting recovery is much more likely.

Dual diagnosis treatment helps people by fostering a more comprehensive approach to treating SUD. People who seek this type of program will learn coping skills and methods and behavioral changes that can help them manage their addiction and mental health concerns long-term.

Mental Health Disorders That Commonly Occur With Addiction

Any kind of mental health disorder can occur alongside addiction. In many cases, mental health issues can be the root of someone’s addiction or exacerbate it.

People who struggle with their mental health may turn to addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol to cope with their disorder as a way of self-medicating.

Some common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Types Of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

While dual diagnosis care is a kind of treatment on its own, it’s important to note that there are various dual-diagnosis programs.

Each type of program is different in the type and frequency of care provided, so certain program types may be better suited for different people.

Read on to learn a bit about each type of dual diagnosis program.

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient programs are a type of program that provide 24/7 care in a designated facility. Participants of inpatient programs live in the designated care center for the length of their treatment.

These kinds of programs are very structured and often have a regimented schedule for each individual in the program.

Dual diagnosis treatment in an inpatient program often involves attending different therapies and counseling sessions on any given day for both disorders. For example, you may have a group counseling session followed by a behavioral therapy session on the same day.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs are considered a step down from inpatient programs in that individuals do not receive round-the-clock care and are not required to stay at a facility throughout their treatment.

When it comes to an outpatient program, oftentimes, individuals remain living in their home and are expected to travel to a treatment center on specific days to receive care.

Receiving dual diagnosis treatment in an outpatient setting is often similar to receiving it in an inpatient setting in that it will most likely include different kinds of counseling sessions or therapies.

However, these sessions may not be on the same day or sessions may be less frequent, and you will return home after your scheduled care.

Aftercare Programs

Aftercare programs are various services offered to people after they have completed addiction treatment programs, either inpatient, outpatient, both, or a variation of either.

Aftercare programs are meant to ease the transition between addiction treatment and returning to day-to-day life.

These programs can vary quite a bit and are often based on what the individual needs, but it may look like periodical therapy sessions, support groups, or counseling.

Dual diagnosis treatment can be included in aftercare programs by using the methods above to address someone’s progress with their mental health concerns. Those in recovery can make any adjustments to the routine if they feel themselves falling into old patterns.

Services In Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

There are also a myriad of different services provided in dual diagnosis treatment facilities. Some individuals may encounter all of these treatment options during their recovery journey, while others may only encounter a few.

Each service has specific benefits and may be more well-suited for certain groups of people. Many of the services are also often tailored to individual needs.

Scroll down to learn a bit about each treatment service and what you can expect if you receive this service.

Diagnostic Testing

Almost everyone who receives dual diagnosis treatment will receive diagnostic testing at some point in their treatment journey, whether prior to enrolling in a program or during the program.

Diagnostic testing is used to identify any and all co-occurring disorders to determine the person’s treatment plan and needs.

There are several different evaluations that may be used to identify these issues including a psychiatric screening, SUD evaluation, and various tests for specific disorders.

Based on suspected disorders, your treatment provider may suggest different diagnostic tests.

Treatment Planning

Treatment planning is an addiction recovery service that all individuals will encounter when they enroll in a rehab program.

Treatment planning, much like it sounds, is the process of outlining an individualized treatment plan for the person receiving care.

This service is necessary for optimal results ,as every person has different needs and goals when it comes to addiction recovery.

Different disorders will respond best to different therapies or other treatment services. For example, someone with an opioid addiction and depression may be treated differently than someone with an alcohol addiction and bipolar disorder.

It’s important to note that treatment plans are also not set in stone. Most people will see adjustments to their treatment plan as their care providers determine what is most effective for them.

Drug And Alcohol Detox

Another common service you may encounter if you enroll in a dual diagnosis treatment program is drug and alcohol detox or detoxification. This phase of treatment may not be necessary for every person, but is a common beginning step in many rehab programs.

Detox is a service that helps you rid your body of the addictive substance. Detoxification involves monitoring your vitals as well as managing any withdrawal symptoms you may experience.

Detoxing from an addictive substance can be immensely challenging, which is why a detoxification treatment service is the only way many can start their recovery journey.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a rehab treatment tool that involves the use of medications to treat addiction as well as mental health problems.

MAT can be an incredibly powerful tool in recovery as it can help individuals manage different disorders and any addiction cravings.

Common MAT medications may include:

  • Suboxone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone
  • Vivitrol
  • Disulfiram

Common mental health medications can include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety meds
  • Amphetamines
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood stabilizers

One or more of these medications may be used as mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Symptom Management

There are countless symptoms you may experience if you have co-occurring disorders. This of course will vary between individuals and depend on the disorders you are diagnosed with.

Some common warning signs people with co-occurring disorders experience include:

  • Extreme mood changes
  • Difficulty maintaining focus or concentrating
  • Feeling like you need an addictive substance to function
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Risky behavioral patterns
  • Sudden behavioral changes
  • Confusion or psychosis
  • Difficulty with your professional or academic life
  • Withdrawal from family members or friends
  • Developing a high tolerance for a substance
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors, and cravings

Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy may be provided in individual or group settings, and oftentimes both. This kind of therapy is designed to help you work through your addiction and find ways to live a life without addiction.

Many kinds of addiction therapy focus on what caused your addiction, what triggers it, your goals on your addiction recovery journey, behavioral patterns or coping mechanisms to avoid relapse, etc.

Mental Health Therapy

Mental health therapy or behavioral therapy is another kind of therapy used in dual diagnosis treatment programs to address the co-occurring disorders you are diagnosed with.

This type of therapy is typically focused on reframing your mindset, learning new coping skills, and changing behavioral patterns to lessen the symptoms of your mental health disorder and, in turn, treat your SUD.

Some common psychotherapies used are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing.

Support Groups

Many dual diagnosis programs also use support groups as a recovery tool. Support groups involve people dealing with the same or similar disorders meeting and discussing their addiction.

Support groups can be an invaluable tool, as they provide an opportunity to connect with peers; share failures, successes, and strategies; and create a sense of accountability.

Alternative Therapy

Alternative therapies are a bit less common than some of the previously mentioned treatment services, but are still very popular among recovery facilities.

These therapies can vary quite a bit, but use unconventional strategies to help treat SUD and co-occurring disorders.

Alternative therapies can include:

  • Music therapy
  • Animal therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Holistic therapy

What Happens When Co-Occurring Disorders Are Not Treated Together?

When co-occurring disorders are not treated together, addiction treatment may not be as successful and long-lasting.

People who do not receive treatment for their co-occurring disorders together may be at an increased risk of several negative outcomes.

These may include:

  • Increased risk of recidivism
  • Increased risk of relapse
  • Increased risk of side effects for both mental health disorders and SUD
  • Increased risk of developing new addictions

Benefits Of Dual Diagnosis Rehab Programs

The benefits of dual diagnosis treatment programs are countless. Many people who receive this kind of rehab treatment see improvements in various areas of their lives.

Some common benefits of dual diagnosis treatment can include:

  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved personal and professional relationships
  • Improved professional and academic life
  • Decreased risk of relapse
  • Decreased risk of death from substance abuse
  • Decreased risk of comorbidities
  • New relationships
  • New hobbies
  • Positive life outlook

These benefits will of course vary from person to person, but it’s important to remember that you’re not only improving your physical health by seeking professional care.

Find Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Near You

Dual diagnosis treatment is a unique and immensely powerful tool during your addiction recovery journey. It can be tailored directly to your needs and have a lasting impact on your life.

If you’re ready to find a dual diagnosis program near you, call our helpline today.

Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab FAQs

How do you treat a dual diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is treated in an addiction treatment program via a comprehensive approach using several different treatment services.

Treatment tools such as therapies, counseling, MAT, support groups, detoxification, diagnostic testing, alternative therapies, and more may be used to treat your co-occurring disorders.

What are common medications used to treat dual diagnosis?

There are several medications commonly used to treat co-occurring disorders. Suboxone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine are some of the most popular medications used for SUD.

Mental health medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers are also often used to treat a dual diagnosis.

Is dual diagnosis treatment effective?

Dual diagnosis care is very effective in treating co-occurring disorders. This is because dual diagnosis programs address mental health and SUD/physical dependence at the same time.

This comprehensive approach creates a more well-rounded treatment program that greatly decreases the risk of relapse in many individuals.

© 2024 All Rights reserved.