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In order to treat the addiction we must treat the mind.

I really feel my Counselor cared and heard me! Incorporating DBT and Health Realization into my treatment plan was just what I needed. I know now I do not have to react to every negative thought or stressful situation that comes my way. Learning coping skills is exactly what I needed to continue with my recovery plan from my addictions. Jennifer See more Testimonials >

Dual Diagnosis

What does dual diagnosis mean and why is it important to address in a rehab setting?

The term dual diagnosis is often used interchangeably with the terms co-morbidity, co-occurring disorder, and dual disorder. Women who experience a dual diagnosis often face a wide range of psychosocial issues and may experience multiple interacting illnesses (more than two).

A dual diagnosis occurs when a woman is affected by both substance abuse disorder and an emotional or psychiatric illness. Both illnesses may affect an individual physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Each illness has symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function effectively and relate to themselves and others. Not only is the woman affected by two separate illnesses which can exacerbate one another but they can also mask each other making an accurate diagnosis difficult.

A variety of problems are possible as a result of a dual diagnosis. For example:
  • Psychiatric symptoms may be covered up or masked by alcohol or drug use.
  • Alcohol or drug use or the withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs can mimic or give the appearance of some psychiatric illness.
  • Untreated substance use disorder can contribute to a reoccurrence of psychiatric symptoms.
  • Untreated psychiatric illness can contribute to an alcohol or drug relapse.
Other problems and consequences that are associated with dual disorder include:
  • Family problems or problems in intimate relationships
  • Isolation and social withdrawal
  • Financial problems
  • Employment or school problems
  • Multiple admission for chemical dependency services due to relapse.
  • Multiple admissions for psychiatric care
  • Increased emergency room admissions
  • Increased need for health care services
  • Legal problems and possible incarceration
  • Homelessness
There are as many dual diagnosis as there are psychiatric illness although Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia and Personality Disorders tend to be the most common. There are also many patterns of alcohol or drug abuse. As a result, a variety of different forms of dual or multiple disorders are possible.

A woman may sincerely try to recover from one disorder and not acknowledge the other. As she neglects her mental health, those symptoms may recur. This recurrence may, in turn, lead the woman to feel the need to "self-medicate" through drug and/or alcohol.

A woman is in dual recovery when they are actively following a program of health that focuses on her recovery needs for both substance use disorder and mental health issues.

If you or someone you know is experiencing drug or alcohol problems, please contact Women Drug Treatment Women's Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center today. We do care and we can help.

Residential Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Outpatient Dual Diagnosis
Assessment and Treatment

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