What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

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Addiction and alcoholism, or substance use disorder, is rarely a solitary issue. Some studies have found that as many as 60% of addicts have a co-occurring mental health disorder. A co-occurring mental health disorder with an addiction is called dual diagnosis. The diagnosis is not strictly for addiction and it is not strictly for a mental health disorder. Both exist at the same time, have an influence on one another, and must be treated concurrently.

Many addicts and alcoholics who go to treatment are not aware of the fact that they have a dual diagnosis. Addiction is ofte a manifestation of untreated mental health conditions. Millions of people are living every day with mental health disorders they don’t know they have. Burdened with troublesome symptoms and overwhelming feelings, people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Having a mental health condition increases the likelihood of addiction. Oce someone choose to go to treatment, they discover that they have had this untreated issue for years of their life. As both issues are treated, an individual finds relief like they have never known before. Consequently, they are able to stay sober.

How Do I Know If I Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

During the admissions process you will go through a preliminary assessment with an intake counselor and then a secondary assessment with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will be able to give you a full diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to effectively treat both issues. Until then, you might not be able to tell whether or not you have a dual diagnosis. However, there are some signs

  • You use drugs and alcohol to cope with stress, difficult circumstances, your self-worth, your emotions, or the feeling that you’re incapable of handling life without them
  • You had a diagnosis when you were younger but you stopped taking medication or seeing a treatment specialist. When you started doing drugs and alcohol you felt that you didn’t have problems any more
  • Your symptoms of withdrawal are psychologically more severe than other people you know who have gone through it. You have thoughts of violence and possibly of suicide. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255


Avalon By The Sea is one of Southern California’s only trusted primary mental health care treatment facilities. Providing both primary mental health and primary substance abuse treatment, our dual diagnosis programs are incomparable to others. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us now: 888-958-7511.

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