Dual Diagnosis - Treatment for Addiction Recovery Patients with Co-Occurring Disorders

Medically Reviewed by Peace Valley Recovery Editorial Staff,
Last Updated: May 3, 2022

Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that half of those who go to rehab need dual diagnosis treatment. Co-occurring disorders are very common among people with drug and alcohol abuse problems. Treating one without the other is likely to result in a relapse.

According to SAMHSA, close to 8 million people in the United States have addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders. That statistic is eye-opening, and a clear indication that people need to be aware of the type of help that is available for them.

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What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment involves addressing both a substance abuse problem and a mental health condition at the same time. People usually do not realize how closely these issues are often linked to one another. But many people will abuse substances because of their mental health symptoms. This is called self-medication, which we will discuss further in just a moment.

In dual diagnosis treatment, the mental health condition is typically identified as being the main cause of the person’s addiction. Once a person has been diagnosed, proper treatment can be recommended and started to help alleviate their symptoms. This might include various forms of therapy as well as the addition of medications.