Dual diagnosis, which occurs when individuals have co-occurring disorders, is fairly common in the world of addiction. Having dual disorders may seem alarming at first, but it can be a relief to understand underlying issues. Learning more about it can put a person’s fears to rest. Understanding dual diagnosis treatment options can also show those suffering from addiction that it’s possible to manage both conditions.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

woman receives dual diagnosis treatment at her therapist's office

A qualified counselor, therapist or other professional can diagnose co-occurring disorders. A dual diagnosis occurs when the patient has an addiction problem along with a co-occurring mental disorder.

Alcohol and drug addictions tend to develop alongside anxiety, depression and personality disorders. Sometimes the mental disorder is present when the addiction starts. Other times, an addiction can cause a mental disorder to develop.

Co-occurring disorders can be scary for someone who doesn’t know that he or she has been suffering with mental illness. It might be a relief for someone who thinks that there’s a problem, but doctors have missed it. The symptoms might include feelings of sadness and despair, delusions, severe mood swings, and thoughts of suicide.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the health industry started using dual disorder treatment. Doctors used to treat individuals with addictions separately from those with mental health disorders. Those with dual disorders were often denied mental health treatment until they achieved sobriety. Because of this lack of understanding of co-occurring disorders, many people never got the help that they needed.

Treatment for dual disorders fixed this issue. Now those suffering from addictions and mental disorders can get well-rounded care to treat the root of addiction. This is the best path to addiction recovery and optimal mental health.

Types of Treatment Programs

There’s no one course of treatment that works for every patient with a dual diagnosis, because there are many mental health conditions that can occur alongside addiction. However, all treatment programs address the addictive behavior and specific disorder. The level of care that each patient needs depends on the extent of the addiction and severity of the disorder. A treatment program might include medication, therapy and support groups.

Many rehab centers that offer dual diagnosis treatment use medication to prevent delusions and traumatic flashbacks. These drugs also reduce agitation and anxiety as well as stabilize moods. Just as important is the education that patients and their loved ones receive. The more informed everyone is, the more likely the patients are to have support and succeed in rehab.

The Importance of Treatment

Anxiety, compulsive disorders, depression and trauma sometimes cause people with addictions to self-medicate when they can’t control their symptoms. This is what makes treatment for co-occurring disorders so important. The symptoms of mental illness are risk factors for relapse, so treating both problems improves the rate of success.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Crestview Recovery

Located in Portland, Oregon, Crestview Recovery offers treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders. We use evidence-based techniques for all types of substance abuse. Our facility offers activities such as skiing, snowboarding and whitewater rafting. Along with dual diagnosis therapy, our staff of clinicians provides:

  • Acupuncture
  • Art therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Trauma therapy

Don’t let addiction and mental illness rule your life or the lives of your loved ones. You can take back control by enrolling in an addiction treatment program that Crestview Recovery offers. Contact us today at 866.262.0531 so we can help you begin the road to recovery.