Things to Know About Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis is a condition when one suffers from a mental illness as well as a substance abuse problem. It is also called co-occurring disorders (COD). It is a double whammy for mental patients who are also drug abuse victims. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), half of the mental illness patients also suffer from substance abuse disorder. That means a staggering 8.9 million American adults suffer from the COD. Ironically, only 7.4 percent individuals receive treatment for both the conditions.

The statistics also suggest that substance abuse and mental condition go hand in hand. So, dual diagnosis treatment is important. However, the path leading to dual diagnosis is also strewn with a lot of challenges because drug abuse itself induces several psychiatric issues in a person. So, it becomes difficult to differentiate between a pre-existing mental illness and the one induced by substance abuse.

If somebody is treated for a drug abuse problem but the underlying mental condition that might have triggered the abuse of drugs is left untreated, then a relapse is inevitable. No wonder we see so many relapses in rehab centers that leave people frustrated and even more disillusioned. The failure to diagnose the hidden mental illness resulting in further delay of treatment would only deteriorate the condition.

However, with this one can be free from the shackles of any mental condition and progress rapidly towards sobriety. The respite would only come from an authentic treatment center similar to the dual diagnosis treatment centers, which are doing a remarkable work in diagnosing and treating dual diagnosis patients.

In dual diagnosis it is purely the case of “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” It is often difficult to ascertain what came first, the substance abuse or the mental disorder. People resort to alcohol and drugs to ward off depression and mental anxiety. But on the contrary they only exacerbate the condition and trigger the onset of a vicious cycle for the victim. In such a scenario it is often observed that:

  1. Alcohol and drug abuse may increase an underlying risk of mental disorders in a person
  2. Alcohol and drug abuse can worsen symptoms of a mental health problem in a patient

Hence, self-medicating with the help of alcohol and drugs for any mental condition can never be the solution for the affected person.


The mental health problems that most commonly co-occur with substance abuse are depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder.

The treatment of this problem is often difficult because there is denial on part of the patient. For both – drug abuse problem and mental illness – the affected people do not accept that they have an issue and try to evade as far as possible. But these issues do not heal or get better on its own. You have to be proactive and choose treatment over indolence to completely overcome a drug abuse and mental disorder.

The dual diagnosis treatment is quite advanced and considered among the best in the U.S. Initiate discussions immediately and check in to a treatment center of your choice. The Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline is here to make sure that those seeking treatment for co-occurring disorders get the help they need.