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What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

a young woman begins to heal in dual diagnosis treatment

Dual diagnosis is an important topic in mental health and addiction treatment. But what is dual diagnosis? In the addiction and mental health treatment field, dual diagnosis is a term used for when someone struggles with an addiction and a mental health condition at the same time. This is a very common occurrence. Some estimates indicate as many as half of people who have a mental health condition will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. The overlap between mental health and addiction thus called for a concerted response. Dual diagnosis treatment is that response.

Learn more about dual diagnosis treatment by calling Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 or filling out our online contact form.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

As the introduction indicated, dual diagnosis is when someone simultaneously has an addiction and a mental health condition. Mental health issues and addiction run together often and for various reasons. For starters, both types of conditions share similar risk factors. A genetic predisposition, stress, and trauma can all play a role in both mental health and substance abuse.

Moreover, mental health and addiction are mutually influential. This often shows up with self-medication. For instance, someone with severe depression may use substances to relieve their depression symptoms. While it may provide short-term relief, it does not address the root issue and leave someone open to acquiring a substance abuse disorder. The relationship runs in the opposite direction at times, too, because substance use often causes mental and emotional issues as side effects.

Dual diagnosis treatment is thus designed to address the complex, intertwined relationship between mental health and addiction. Trying to treat just one condition at a time is largely ineffective. Both must be treated together to produce lasting, positive outcomes.

Addressing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Through Dual Diagnosis Treatment

What is dual diagnosis treatment? Addressing mental health and addiction requires a comprehensive approach. The first step is always detoxification. This is the process of removing substances from the body and stopping substance usage. After completing detoxification, dual diagnosis treatment relies on behavioral therapy, medication, and support groups to achieve healing and recovery.

Both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) get used in dual diagnosis treatment at high rates. These therapies are evidence-based and proven to treat both mental health and addiction. CBT emphasizes the acquisition of positive coping skills and works to modify negative thought patterns that hold someone back. Meanwhile, DBT targets reducing dangerous or self-destructive behavior, such as self-harm or suicidal ideation.

In addition to therapy, people receiving dual diagnosis treatment may be prescribed one or more medications. These can target mental health symptoms or issues stemming from substance abuse, including withdrawal symptoms. Lastly, support groups provide emotional and social support during the recovery process. Many people make lifelong friends during recovery who act as mentors throughout the healing journey.

Discover the Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Serenity Grove

Serenity Grove is a leading provider of dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis is the premier approach for addressing mental health and substance abuse together. This type of treatment offers many benefits, including:

  • Increased success in recovery
  • Better mental health, including symptom alleviation
  • Better physical health
  • Increased quality of life
  • More motivation to complete recovery

Have you tried mental health or addiction treatment before and been disappointed with the results? Chances are, your treatment may not have been as comprehensive as it needed to be. The best way to overcome mental health conditions and addiction is through dual diagnosis treatment. No other method is able to deliver the necessary, holistic results.

Find out more about Serenity Grove’s approach to dual diagnosis treatment by contacting us at 844.904.3485 or via our online form.