Dual diagnosis treatment needed in more addiction recovery centers

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 | By JP Emerald Coast

What is a dual diagnosis and why is treating it so important?

The term dual diagnosis is used when an individual experiences both mental health and substance use disorders. Other common terms include comorbidity and co-occurring disorders.

Dual diagnosis is quite common, as approximately half of all individuals with a chemical dependency disorder also have a co-occurring mental health illness. Strategically treating a dual diagnosis is key to addiction recovery, as both disorders create a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. Regardless of whether the addiction or mental health disorder came first, treating both together is the secret to achieving lasting sobriety.


Below are a few facts you must know about mental health and addiction:

  1. Only 40 percent of individuals with a dual diagnosis receive treatment. Have you ever wondered why the chance of addiction relapse is so high? Failing to address the root of addiction makes it difficult to live a life of lasting recovery. Without treating a co-occurring mental health disorder, there’s a greater likelihood that an individual will return to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication. By addressing underlying personality disorders or features, drug addicts are able to pinpoint their personal triggers and avoid relapse.
  1. The majority of alcohol and drug rehab centers are not equipped to treat dual diagnosis. Though treating co-occurring disorders is critical to recovery, many addiction treatment centers do not offer dual diagnosis treatment. Since dual diagnosis treatment addresses two separate disorders, treatment can take longer than standard addiction treatment. Through integrated care, which combines expertise from both psychiatric professionals and addiction counselors, we are able to ensure both treatment programs are complimenting the other. At JourneyPure, we approach addiction recovery with an emphasis on mental health and trauma.
  1. Drug addiction is a mental illness. Substance abuse and addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways. Drugs disturb a person’s sense of desires and priorities, which results in compulsive behaviors. Compulsive drug use, despite negative consequences, is often a symptom of other illnesses. Remember, drugs and alcohol are often used as self-medication.


JourneyPure is committed to helping dual diagnosis patients get the comprehensive treatment they deserve to break the cycle of addiction. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental health abuse and an addiction disorder, it’s time to seek comprehensive treatment to heal.

Call (615) 907-5928 to find the program you need to recover today.

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At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we understand the challenges of this dual diagnosis. Learning how to cope with anxiety can help you end the cycle of self-medication.



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