Why dual diagnosis being used in addiction treatment

dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis treatment is needed when someone is suffering from both a mental health disorder and alcohol or drug addiction. It is very common and both conditions must be treated through a regime of rehabilitation and counseling. It is highly common to find a teen with an alcohol or drug abuse problem also have mental health problems.

Dual diagnosis in our treatment centers

Cove Center for Recovery and Inspirations for Youth and Families drug and alcohol treatment centers that specialize in dual diagnosis treatment of addiction. Our integrated treatment plans are designed to concurrently address an individual’s substance abuse and mental health problems.

Methods of treatment


The first major hurdle that people will have to pass is detoxification. During inpatient detoxification, a person is monitored 24/7 by a trained medical staff for up to 7 days. The staff may administer tapering amounts of the substance or its medical alternative in order to wean a person off and lessen the effects of withdrawal.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

A person experiencing a serious mental illness and dangerous or dependent patterns of abuse may benefit most from an inpatient rehabilitation center where she can receive concentrated medical and mental health care 24/7. These treatment centers provide their with therapy, support, medication and health services with the goal of treating addiction and its underlying causes.

Supportive housing, like group homes or sober houses, is another type of residential treatment center that is most helpful for people who are newly sober or trying to avoid relapse. These treatment centers allow for more freedom while still providing round-the-clock care.


Medication is a useful tool for treating a variety of mental illnesses. Depending on the mental health symptoms a person is experiencing, different mental health medications may play an important role one’s recovery.
Certain medications are also helpful for people experiencing substance abuse. These medications are used to help ease withdrawal symptoms or promote recovery. Medications to ease withdrawal are used during the detoxification process. They produce similar effects in the body as certain addictive drugs.


Psychotherapy is almost always a large part of an effective dual diagnosis treatment plan. Education on a person’s illness and how their beliefs and behaviors influence their thoughts has been shown in countless studies to improve the symptoms of both mental illness and substance abuse.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular is effective in helping people with dual diagnosis learn how to cope and to change ineffective patterns of thinking.

Self-help and Support Groups

Dealing with a dual diagnosis can feel challenging and isolating. Support groups allow members to share frustrations, successes, referrals for specialists, where to find the best community resources and tips on what works best when trying to recover. They also form friendships and provide encouragement to stay clean. Here are some groups that can offer support.