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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

A dual diagnosis refers to an individual who is suffering from both an alcohol or drug addiction, as well as from an underlying psychiatric illness. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 37 percent of all alcoholics and 53 percent of all drug abusers have at least one underlying mental illness. A dual diagnosis is best treated by a dual-diagnosis treatment center. If you or someone you love has questions concerning dual diagnosis, call us at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? to speak with one of our advisors anytime, day or night.

Choosing the Right Treatment Center

An individual who is suffering from a dual diagnosis is treated differently from an individual solely having an addiction. Drug and alcohol use can often mask the symptoms of a mental disorder. When the individual begins to detox, withdrawal symptoms can be identical to some of the symptoms of mental illness. Professionals at a dual-diagnosis treatment center are trained to treat both the illness and the addiction and to identify the difference between the two. It is important that you find the right treatment center in order to get the care that you need. Be sure to look at several dual-diagnosis rehab facilities before deciding on the one to complete your treatment. Some things that you can ask and look for include:

  • Will you be required to enter the program immediately? Is there a waiting period, and if so, how long will you have to wait?
  • Will you be allowed to have your own room, or will you have to share your room with another person?
  • Are all the staff members trained to deal with mental illness as well as addiction?
  • Will you be allowed to contact friends and family members while you are going through treatment? Will they be allowed to visit you if you are in an inpatient program?
  • Does the facility offer after care once you complete your program?
  • Does the facility take your insurance, or will you have to come out of pocket for the cost of treatment?
  • How long will the treatment last?
  • What types of programs does the facility treat?

Tour each facility, and speak with staff members. Pay close attention to the patients who are there. Do the patients appear content, or are they being ignored and left to themselves? Are there common areas for the patients to talk to one another, or are the patients confined to their rooms? Choose a facility that you feel you will be most comfortable with. The key to your success will be finding the best treatment center for you.


Most dual-diagnosis treatment centers offer inpatient treatment. According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, approximately three million individuals receive addiction treatment at an inpatient treatment facility each year. A dual-diagnosis residential treatment center will provide you with 24-hour care. When you first enter the program, a physician will determine your underlying mental illness. The physician will determine the best course of action for your treatment. After your initial evaluation, you will undergo a period of detox. Detox is the initial stage of your journey toward getting clean and sober. Trained professionals will monitor you as you detox to keep you safe and comfortable. You will be given medications to help you deal with your mental illness, such as antidepressants. In some instances, you will be given medications that will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms. Detox can last from several days to several weeks, depending on the substance you are addicted to and the severity of the addiction. A dual-diagnosis treatment facility is the best place for you to detox while treating your mental illness at the same time.



When mental illness is left untreated, it often leads to drug or alcohol addiction. Individuals who suffer from mental illness often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Twenty-nine percent of mentally ill individuals abuse either alcohol or drugs.

Once you have completed the initial stage of detox, you will enter into a stage of rehabilitation. A dual-diagnosis treatment center will provide you with individual and group therapy. During individual therapy, a trained therapist will ask you about your drug history. You will also identify triggers that cause you to use drugs or alcohol, and you will be encouraged to discover a new hobby or revisit an old one. You will also learn time management skills so you do not find yourself using your free time to think about old habits.

Group therapy at a dual-diagnosis treatment center will teach you new ways to associate with others. You will meet regularly with others who are going through addiction treatment. Addicts will be encouraged to share their stories of addiction and success. Group therapy offers you the opportunity to have people who understand your situation to talk to and to provide mutual encouragement.

If you or someone you love needs help locating a dual-diagnosis treatment center, you can call us at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? for more information. Calls to this hotline are always private and confidential.