Dual Diagnosis Brain

Co-occurring Disorder Treatment for Drug Addiction and Mental Illness in One Treatment Plan

What is co-occurring disorder treatment?

Co-occurring disorder (dual diagnosis) treatment helps individuals that have a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder by treating both disorders at the same time. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to combine the appropriate treatments for both disorders and modify treatments for each individual’s need. Types of mental health and substance abuse addiction that treatment centers look for when treating an individual are:

Mental Disorders

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social phobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
  • Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
  • Cognitive Disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder

Substance Use Disorders

  • Alcohol
  • Ambien
  • Ativan
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Halcion
  • Heroin
  • Klonopin
  • Lunesta
  • MS Contain
  • Morphine
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Xanax

What are the benefits of co-occurring disorder treatment?

Treating individuals with behavioral health problems often involves a combination of counseling and medication. When medication is given to a patient with a mental health disorder, it allows the patient to focus on different therapy and long-term recovery. With dual co-occurring treatment the outcomes are better:

  • Reduced substance use
  • Improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning
  • Decreased hospitalization
  • Increased housing stability
  • Fewer arrests
  • Improved quality of life

It is important that treatments and support services for mental health and substance use disorders be tailored to fit the individual's needs.

Mental Disorder

Challenges in diagnosing Co-occurring disorders.

A dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders) can be challenging to make due to the complexity of symptoms, as both disorders may vary in severity. In numerous cases, individuals receive treatment for one disorder while the other disorder remains untreated because both have psychological, biological, and social components. Other factors that could be the cause are an overlap of symptoms, inadequate training, or other health issues needed to be addressed first. If not treated correctly there is a higher likelihood of:

  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Medical illnesses
  • Suicide
  • Early death