What Is a Dual Diagnosis in Mental Health?

Dual diagnosis in mental health is the term that refers to someone who has been diagnosed with both substance abuse and a concurrent mental health disorder. Also referred to as co-occurring disorders, they generally are the underlying cause of addiction which are often overlooked and untreated for years. Research shows that individuals battling drug and/or alcohol addictions are more likely to suffer from at least one mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. According to a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million people in the U.S. experience both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously.

Individuals struggling with dual diagnoses often have developed the mental health condition first and the symptoms lead to drugs and alcohol abuse in the attempt to “self-medicate”. The substance abuse or the mental health condition, if left untreated, can over time lead to individuals experiencing debilitating problems and hardship in their lives. Warnings signs, such as extreme mood changes, confused thinking or problems with concentrating, avoiding friends and social activities and thoughts of suicide, may be reasons for the existence of mental disorder which require treatment.

Treating Dual Diagnosis (drugs or alcohol) and mental illness disorders (depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, etc.)

Getting a loved one who is struggling with addiction, psychoanalyzed, and detoxed from the harmful substances in his or her body is the first step in treating dual diagnosis. The recommended setting for this treatment is inpatient treatment which generally lasts 30 days and up to 45 days. Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) prides itself on providing comprehensive addiction treatment, geared towards long term sobriety offering both the recovering individuals as well as their families with specialized therapeutic services. FCR’s intensive family recovery program creates an opportunity for the entire family to embrace and participate in the healing process. Our addiction treatment plans focus on the overall well being of our clients battling dual diagnosis and allow them to create a peaceful and sober lifestyle that frees them and their families from the heartbreak of addiction and mental disorder.

Florida Center for Recovery utilizes an array of evidence-based, traditional, holistic, and alternative therapies in the treatment of addiction. Therapeutic treatment is delivered face-to-face in both individual and group sessions. Group sessions include psychotherapy and a variety of educational lectures and discussions related to the disease of addiction as well as effective strategies for maintaining sobriety.