Dual Diagnosis Treatment and Rehabilitation Overview


Dual Diagnosis Treatment and Rehabilitation Overview

Dual Diagnosis means that a person has two different illnesses.


Such illnesses include:

  1. Severe or major mental illness and a substance disorder(s)
  2. Substance disorder(s) and a personality disorder(s)
  3. Substance disorder(s) and a personality disorder(s) and substance induced acute symptoms that may require psychiatric care, such as:
    • Hallucinations
    • Depression
    • Other symptoms resulting from substance abuse or withdrawal
  4. Substance abuse, mental illness and organic syndromes in various combinations
  5. Both of these illnesses frequently contribute to one another.


Dual diagnosis is something that many people have. Studies have shown that almost half of those suffering from substance addiction have a mental health issue as well. Successful treatment of dual diagnosis should involve a treatment for both the substance abuse and the mental condition. Unfortunately, in many cases the mental health issue is not addressed in drug rehabilitation centers.


When an addiction treatment center focuses only on the substance addiction and fails to attend to the mental health issue, the mental condition will bring about another bout of addiction after the person has recovered. Failing to treat the illnesses together most often leads to chronic relapse.


A successful dual diagnosis treatment has to incorporate mental health treatment with addiction treatment. A person cannot get rid of one problem without hurting the other, unless he or she is being treated for both. A person who is suffering from both alcoholism and depression and is only being treated for the former has very low chances of getting better. The depression will just get worse without the alcohol. In fact, when the depression fails to get looked into, it could lead the sufferer back to drinking. If a person with both of these problems only gets treated for depression but continues drinking, the possibility of recovery is almost nil.


If you have been into an addiction treatment program and have relapsed, there is a chance that you may have mental health issues that prevent you from fully recovering. Ask your physician about dual diagnosis and let him or her decide whether you have to be treated for mental conditions aside from your addiction. Many times after a person has relapsed, he realizes that he has mental health issues as well. Once treated for dual diagnosis, inpiduals are more likely to stay on the road to recovery and have less chances of relapse. If you think that this is something you’re dealing with, talk to your doctor. You can get into an addiction treatment program that will also treat your mental health problems and can help you get better faster.

Addiction Treatment Reference

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  1. Addict

    Many Dual Diagnosis resources for training can be downloaded from our web site http://www.upstate.edu/psych/dualrecovery/

  2. Addict

    Thank you so much for the post about dual diagnosis treatment centers. My brother has a problem and I want to help him out. He suffers from clinical depression and he also has a heroine problem. I don't want to be that brother that pesters him into changing his life, but I do want to help in any way that I can. Any tips?

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