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What is Dual Diagnosis?

September 16, 2022

What is Dual Diagnosis? Who Should Take Dual Diagnosis?

More than 31 million Americans have used illegal drugs, and more than half the population has been affected by drug abuse directly and indirectly. Mental illness affects more than 51 million people and sometimes drug abuse and mental illness intersects.

When there is drug abuse and a mental health problem simultaneous it is termed a dual diagnosis. Signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders may look like drug abuse itself. One telltale sign of dual diagnosis is rapid mood changes and withdrawal from others.

Who should take dual diagnosis treatment? Anyone who is currently struggling with a substance addiction as well as a mental illness. Others who may benefit from treatment are friends and family members affected by the drug abuser.
Dual diagnosis treatment differs from regular drug addiction treatment because it is treating both addiction and mental health. You will learn various coping skills and cognitive reconstruction with an addiction counselor.

Dual Diagnosis

Have you experienced withdrawal from family members, sudden changes in behavior, using substances under dangerous conditions, withdrawal and tolerance from a substance, developed severe mood changes, and/ or feel like you need a substance to function? You may be experiencing a dual diagnosis.

The term dual diagnosis is used when an individual is experiencing substance abuse and mental illness at the same time. Treatment for dual diagnosis includes partial treatment, sequential treatment, parallel treatment, and integrated treatment.
An example of dual diagnosis would be suffering from alcoholism and bipolar disorder simultaneously.
Dual diagnosis drug rehab is widely available in the United States but differs from regular addiction treatment. Some of the best treatment centers for dual diagnosis are in California. There are many specialized dual diagnosis treatments specifically in los Angeles.

Below you will learn more about dual diagnosis drug addiction and mental illness, as well as dual diagnosis residential treatment, and be provided with the best dual diagnosis treatment centers.

Understanding Dual Diagnosis

Some of the most common mental illnesses involved with substance abuse are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, panic, OCD, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and eating disorders. Dual diagnosis is also sometimes referred to as a co occurring disorder.

How common are dual diagnosis?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, of the 21 million Americans with a substance abuse disorder, 8 million of those individuals also suffer from a mental illness. It is possible that one may cause the other, although this is not always the case. Individuals with mental illness are at higher risk for developing a substance abuse addiction.
It’s important to understand that drugs and alcohol can affect your mental illness much more severely. In a study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it was shown that people with mental illness consumed 38% of all alcohol, 44% of all cocaine and over half of all opioids in the United States.

Signs that Someone Needs a Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Individuals living with dual diagnosis will show common signs of struggle. One of the most important signs of a mental illness and substance abuse problem is not having the ability to work daily. They may change the way they communicate, such as withdrawing slowly to almost completely stopping communication.
There may be legal issues due to risky behaviors that comes with being intoxicated. Another sign of a dual diagnosis is financial problems due to spending so much money on the substance. Changes in mood and behavior is also a symptom of dual diagnosis.
If any of these signs and symptoms are re occurring with you or a loved one it may be time to consider long term residential treatment for dual diagnosis.

What Makes Dual Diagnosis Treatment Different

Comparing results to the general public, people who suffer mental illness are twice as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. Similarly, individuals with substance addiction are also at higher risk for developing mental illness.
There are many factors that cause dual diagnosis such as:

  • Brain responses
  • Genetics
  • Environmental triggers
  • Early exposure to drugs or alcohol
  • Trauma/ Adverse childhood experiences

Dual diagnosis treatment will vary, depending on the substance abused and the mental illness. A dual diagnosis treatment facility will provide detoxification services, inpatient rehab, psychotherapy, varying medications, supportive housing, and self-help/ support groups.
One of the best ways to stay on top of your recovery and your mental health is by having a healthy support system. Support groups have been shown to lessen the chance of a relapse while in treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is different because we are not only working towards sobriety, but also maintaining a health mental state.

Best Treatment Centers for Dual Diagnosis

Treatment for dual diagnosis can be expensive, but there are also insurance options. In most cases you will pay out of pocket around $200 to $900 per day. You should expect to stay in treatment for 30 to 90 days and may even decide to stay longer with certain programs. The duration of your stay in rehab will vary depending on your addiction severity and mental health and what best fits your individual needs.
Are you in California and asking yourself what are the best dual diagnosis treatment centers near me? If you are thinking of treatment, do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction counselor to help you find the right treatment center for you.
Here is a list of some of the best dual diagnosis centers in California.

  1. Clearview Treatment | Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Treatment in L.A.
  2. Residential Mental Health Treatment Facilities – Bridges to Recovery
  3. Phoenix Rising Recovery | Palm Springs Rehab Center | California Rehab
  4. Addiction Treatment Center | Alcohol & Drug Rehab – Restoration Recovery (
  5. Premiere Women’s Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Santa Barbara | Casa Serena
  6. Ranch Creek Recovery: Non 12-Step Drug Rehab Center in CA

If you or a loved one is seeking information on addiction or mental health resources please call (888) 564-4780.

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