Dual Diagnosis

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 37.9 percent of people with drug addiction (aka substance use disorders) have at least one mental illness. Having two or more disorders is known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. 


Quality addiction treatment centers know that addiction is as much mental as physical. So they will likely provide dual diagnosis treatment programs that treat addiction and mental illness. This treatment approach ensures that both conditions are addressed at the same time.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs: What to Expect

Most dual diagnosis programs are inpatient or live-in programs. However, if your substance abuse and mental illness are milder than average, you may be eligible for outpatient dual diagnosis treatment. 


Whether you decide on inpatient or outpatient treatment, a team of treatment specialists will evaluate your condition before you start the program. This way, they can verify that you meet the criteria for at least one mental health condition defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). 


Following an evaluation, they’ll design a personalized treatment plan for your substance use disorder and other mental health issues. 

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Treating Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders

Treating co-occurring mental health conditions and substance abuse can be complicated. It depends on the treatment center, but most dual diagnosis programs will treat the majority of mental health disorders, including: 


  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • depression 
  • anxiety disorders 
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • eating disorders 
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) 
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


Most integrated treatment plans include one or a combination of the following treatment services: 


Medical Detox

The only way to recover from substance abuse is to stop using drugs and alcohol. During medical detox, your treatment team will aid your efforts to stop while monitoring your vitals and ensuring your safety. 


They may also prescribe medications, such as sleep aids or anti-nausea medications, to ease severe withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is essential in treating dual diagnoses. The most common types of therapy for dual diagnosis include: 


  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), where individuals learn how to recognize their behavioral patterns and helpful tools to manage them. 
  • family therapy, where you and your family learn ways to support your recovery from drug abuse and other mental health issues. 
  • group therapy, where someone can share their experiences and coping skills with other people recovering from a dual diagnosis 
  • contingency management, where you can receive rewards like gift cards for staying sober and making positive life changes

MAT Medications

While not everyone with a dual diagnosis needs medication, many find that they help relieve unpleasant symptoms of mental health illnesses, making them more willing to participate in therapy. 


Typically MAT medications prescribed for dual diagnosis treatment include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety meds. 

Alternative Therapy

There are a lot of layers to a person. Treatment for dual diagnosis addresses each layer at the physical, mental, and emotional levels. This is why most dual diagnosis programs will offer wellness activities or alternative therapies such as: 


  • meditation 
  • yoga 
  • exercise 
  • journaling
  • arts and crafts 
  • animal therapies 

All these activities help improve your mood and help you focus on the present moment, making a successful recovery more tangible. 

Aftercare Planning

Before leaving a dual diagnosis program, your treatment team will help create a personalized aftercare plan. Designed to help you avoid any possible pitfalls and avoid relapse. Some examples of ongoing treatment services include: 

  • continued individual therapy 
  • support groups (AA, NA) 
  • wellness activities 
  • assistance with housing and employment


Start Your TruHealing Today

TruHealing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment is a Joint Commision accredited, nationwide network of alcohol addiction, substance use disorder and mental health treatment facilities. With over 20 centers across Flordida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas, TruHealing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment is one of the fastest growing networks of treatment providers in the country.


TruHealing Centers clinical program utilizers a focused treatment approach and provides the full continuum of care. This includes inpatient and outpatient levels of care treating primary substance use disorders, primary mental health disorders, and co-occuring disorders. The multi-disciplinary teams include professionals with advanced degrees and clinical licenses. They use evidence-based practices and outcome-based method as part of their treatment approach, continually in pursuit of clnical exellence.

Will Health Insurance Cover Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Most major insurance plans will cover part or all of your dual diagnosis treatment program costs. Contact a treatment facility with your insurance information to figure out how much coverage you are eligible for. 

If you suspect that you or a loved one has a co-occurring disorder, please contact TruHealing Centers. Our addiction treatment specialists are here to answer any questions about dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Lets Recover Together.


National Institute on Drug Abuse – Comorbidity: Substance Use and Other Mental Disorders

National Library of Medicine – Dual Diagnosis


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