What Is Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis refers to an individual affected by both a substance use disorder and mental illness. Each condition can affect a person physically, socially and psychologically. Symptoms can also overlap, making it harder to diagnose and treat co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health disorders.

Some of the most common signs of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health conditions include:

  • Finding it difficult to concentrate
  • Experiencing sudden mood changes
  • Avoiding family or friends
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Experiencing relationship or work problems
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms

How Common Is It?

It’s not unusual for a person to have a co-occurring substance abuse and mental health condition. Research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed approximately 9.2 million people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health disorder in 2021. 

There’s no single reason someone may develop co-occurring disorders. However, there are a few risk factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Family history
  • Coping skills
  • Personality
  • Psychological factors

types of Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is the use of medications to treat alcohol and drug abuse. These medications help reduce drug cravings to prevent relapse or overdose. It’s particularly effective for treating opioid addiction and alcohol abuse. MAT can be helpful for dual diagnoses because it’s paired with more traditional treatments, such as individual therapy to help people process their substance addiction and understand how their mental disorder may be influencing it.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides 24-hour care in a safe environment for individuals struggling with severe symptoms. You live at a residential facility full-time and have access to medical professionals for physical, emotional and social support. Throughout the day, you attend various treatment sessions, such as individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and support groups to better understand how your mental illness impacts substance use.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab offers similar services to inpatient treatment but with a more flexible schedule. You commute to a dual diagnosis treatment center to attend therapy or support group sessions a few days per week and return home afterward.

This allows individuals to receive treatment for their mental illnesses while maintaining other responsibilities, such as work or school. However, outpatient treatment may not be an ideal option for severe substance use disorders, especially if you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

Co-Occurring Disorders We Treat

Our dual diagnosis treatment center caters to various co-occurring mental health disorders, including:

  • Psychotic disorders. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are psychotic disorders that affect how a person thinks or perceives themselves and others. Psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, can make it difficult to diagnose a co-occurring substance use disorder because of symptom overlap.

  • Mood disorders. An individual suffering from a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder, usually struggles with persistent low mood or extreme mood changes that may encourage substance use as self-medication.

  • Personality disorders. Borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder are common personality disorders that may co-occur with a substance use disorder. These mental health conditions are characterized by unhealthy patterns of thinking or behaving and more commonly co-occur with drug abuse over alcohol addiction.

  • Anxiety disorders. Several conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, are categorized as anxiety disorders. Individuals may abuse drugs to cope with the persistent worry or fear these mental disorders can cause.

Benefits of Therapy

Attending therapy during dual diagnosis treatment can provide various benefits, such as:

  • Understanding how to better manage a mental health disorder
  • Learning how to adopt healthier habits instead of using substances to self-medicate
  • Addressing the root cause of substance use and mental health disorders
  • Understanding how co-occurring disorders affect each other
  • Learning how to identify and avoid triggers impacting substance use
  • Developing a relapse prevention plan that includes aftercare planning

Types of therapy we offer include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Right for You?

If you’ve been diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis treatment can help you effectively manage both conditions. When you enter our addiction and mental health treatment center, a team of clinicians will develop an individualized treatment plan catered to your exact conditions, ensuring you receive the appropriate services. 

Dual diagnosis can take a serious toll on a person’s overall health and well-being. At Resurgence Behavioral Health in Riverside, CA, we’re dedicated to treating the whole person, not just their mental illnesses. Call us at (855) 458-0050 or submit our contact form to begin your dual diagnosis recovery today. 

FAQs About Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis refers to two or more conditions occurring simultaneously. While the term is often used regarding substance abuse and mental illness, it can refer to any combination of simultaneous health conditions. Co-occurring disorders are specifically related to substance use and mental health disorders. 

The cost of treatment depends on the type of treatment you attend. Your insurance coverage can also impact treatment costs. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we’ll work with you to ensure you get the help you need according to your budget.  

We offer 30-day, 60-day and 90-day programs.  Treatment duration typically depends on the severity of your substance abuse and mental health problems.