Dealing with the co-occurrence of a mental health disorder and addiction is known as dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is more common than you’d think, with over 1 in 4 adults meeting the diagnostic criteria for co-occurring disorders.

Treating co-occurring disorders is typically more challenging, however, recovery is possible. For example, one condition the patient has may begin affecting the other. Because of this, both conditions must be treated simultaneously and effectively. Additionally, each patient’s treatment plan will differ, as each individual suffers from unique problems.

As you’ll read from the guide below, there is hope for individuals seeking luxury dual diagnosis treatment near you.


By definition, dual diagnosis is characterized by a patient suffering from a mental health disorder as well as a developed substance abuse problem. This is also known as comorbidity or co-occurring disorders.

One of the most difficult to understand aspects of a dual diagnosis is that there are many different ways they may develop. For example, one dual diagnosis could be social anxiety plus alcoholism, while another could be bipolar disorder and cocaine abuse. With endless combinations of possible co-occurring disorders, each one is a unique challenge that addiction specialists and mental health experts must evaluate and treat.

Furthermore, the symptoms of one condition may worsen the other. Because of this, doctors are extra careful to treat both of the patient’s disorders.


Co-occurring disorders typically begin with the emergence of one mental health condition, leading to the development of another. For example, individuals suffering from alcoholism may begin to develop depression due to the effects of their substance abuse. As a result, their depression may lead to more self-medication with alcohol, exacerbating the cycle of untreated mental health and addiction.

On the other hand, the individual might be chronically depressed first and then develop the drinking problem to self-medicate. Either way, this accurately displays how both disorders reinforce each other. While this may add to the challenging aspects of treatment, with the proper evidence-based therapies and procedures, individuals are able to make a full recovery.


Unfortunately, co-occurring disorders and dual diagnoses are increasingly common in America. In fact, 7.9 million adults in America suffer from both mental illness and addiction or alcoholism. More than half of them (4.1 million) are men.

On the bright side, this means that medical professionals have treated millions of these cases for years upon years. So, although each one of these cases is a unique challenge for doctors and medical staff, there are years of data and resources for them to refer to during treatment.


Each diagnosis is unique, presenting differing challenges for each individual. Due to this, dual diagnosis treatment focuses on individualizing each patient’s treatment plan to fit their unique needs and challenges.

With that being said, there’s no generic, textbook cure. In other words, dual diagnosis is not treated by a one-size-fits-all type of treatment plan. Effective dual diagnosis treatment requires attentive, personalized care.

Patients with co-occurring disorders require more attention as well as a more carefully crafted/monitored treatment plan than individuals with less complex problems.


Because of the complex nature of dual diagnoses, both conditions must be treated together. The reason is that, most often, both disorders feed off of each other.

We mentioned already how one’s alcoholism can contribute to depression. Keeping that in mind, if alcoholism is treated, but not the underlying depression, the patient is more likely to return to drinking to self-medicate.

If one of the conditions goes untreated, it essentially derails any attempt to treat 1he other. As a result, co-occurring disorders must be addressed and treated at the same time. If you or a loved one suffer from co-occurring conditions, it may be time to look for luxury dual diagnosis treatment center near you.


Not only do the conditions of a dual diagnosis affect each other, but the treatment of each will affect the other also. Sometimes, treating one condition can negatively affect others.

For example, a medication for a specific mental health disorder might be very detrimental for someone who is addicted to substances. This is another reason why the doctor must treat both problems—the whole problem—and not only part of the problem.


A doctor needs to know all the details of a patient’s co-occurring disorders to treat them. Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware of their co-occurring disorders or neglect to disclose information on their mental health condition.

Some patients may not be comfortable opening up about their mental health disorders. It is, after all, very personal. While the patient may be comfortable telling the doctor about his social anxiety, he may not be comfortable speaking about his heroin addiction. On the other hand, some individuals may be more likely to disclose information about their substance abuse rather than admitting to having a mental health condition.

As a result, the doctor will provide ineffective treatment, unaware that the treatment plan should be adjusted for a co-occurring disorder.

Other times, the patient is unaware of the second condition. While they may realize they have a drinking problem, their mental health condition remains undetected. This happens because many symptoms of mental health conditions may be masked by the abuse of substances. Fortunately, mental health experts at a dual diagnosis treatment center are able to diagnose difficult-to-identify mental illnesses, allowing the patient to receive the full continuum of care.


As you can see, it is vital for doctors treating dual diagnosis to be able to see the full picture. Once the co-occurring disorders are identified, doctors craft a treatment plan that’s appropriate for both conditions and how they may affect one another.

Also, an important aspect of treatment is helping the patient see things this way, too. If the patient can learn to identify how their two conditions feed off of each other, it may help them end the cycle. As a result, they can fight both disorders effectively, resulting in long-term sobriety and recovery.

Treatment for mental health and addiction focuses on education as well as training with a therapist. For example, CBT and other psychotherapy techniques might be applied to an individual’s treatment plan.


Some individuals may feel as if they cannot receive dual diagnosis treatment, in fear of losing their job while taking time off. However, there are laws in place to protect people’s rights to professional mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to give employees time off for medical/family issues. Both mental health disorders and addiction treatment are included under this act.

Individuals are entitled to 12 workweeks of medical leave (unpaid) for every 12 months. In other words, you cannot be fired for seeking dual diagnosis treatment. Also, family intervention for a loved one receiving dual diagnosis treatment is covered by the FMLA as well.


Do you or a loved one need luxury addiction treatment? Have you or a family member suffered from the effects of co-occurring disorders? If so, please don’t wait to get help. Recovery from the combination of mental health conditions and substance abuse is possible with professional dual diagnosis treatment.

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