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What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

A person that has a substance abuse problem coupled with a mental health disorder has a dual diagnosis. It may be anxiety, depression or some other disorder but the bottom like is that if you treat one, you have to treat the other as well for the treatment to be effective. Of course, dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy thing to do, but it becomes even more complicated and difficult when you also struggle with mental health problems. Dual diagnosis treatment is when both problems are treated simultaneously for the best possible outcome. It is a personalized treatment plan that with the right method and support, can be extremely successful.

Disorders that co-occur will each have their own unique symptoms that need to be addressed. Each will complicate the ability to function in its own unique way. When the two problems interact and go untreated, the problem with substance abuse tends to worsen. As abuse with alcohol or drugs worsen, the mental health problems continue to increase as well. As you can see, it is a vicious cycle to be in.

Successful recovery can only happen if both the addiction and the mental health problem is treated together in one program. It doesn’t matter which problem happened first, and one should not be given priority over the other. Fortunately, the majority of people who suffer from a dual diagnosis are able to recover and lead normal lives with the right treatment and ongoing support. It will take time so don’t get discouraged and give up if things don’t start to improve right away. Your courage and commitment will play a huge role in the long term success of the treatment.

Relapse may happen – and for those with a dual diagnosis – it is often a normal part of the recovery process. Try not to get too down on yourself. Pick yourself back up and get back to work on your recovery. Use your resources and peer support. Leaning on others who know what you are going through can be very helpful.

Dual diagnosis is not an uncommon problem and you are not alone. It just takes getting through the first step of entering recovery to put your life on a positive path – the path to recovery and regaining a sense of normalcy. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end to fight for yourself.

We Can Help! Call Us Today at (888) 842-3167 for your Free Confidential Assessment for Drug and Alcohol Treatment


Our articles are written by individuals who have seen addiction up close. They may have watched addiction take a toll on someone they loved or had their own battles with substances, and they write for us to spare others some of that pain and confusion. If you find these writings useful and would like to speak to someone who gets addiction, call us at (844) 826-1700.

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