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Do I Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

An underlying mental health disorder sometimes drives drug or alcohol addiction and other types of addictive behaviors. As such, getting addiction treatment alone is not enough to end the problem. Therefore, asking, “Do I need dual diagnosis treatment?” helps you to find out what level of care you need to overcome addiction. If you decide to get help from an addiction treatment center in South Florida, the medical team can do a dual diagnosis evaluation. This process helps us determine if you need both substance abuse and mental health treatment.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that you should seek professional medical treatment for, no matter the severity of your condition. The disorder often overlaps or co-occurs with a severe mental health illness (SMI). Around 1 in 4 individuals with an SMI also have an SUD. Conditions that commonly overlap drug and alcohol abuse include personality disorder, eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, as well as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Dual diagnosis treatment is a relatively new approach to treating addiction. It focuses on preventing substance abuse by addressing the underlying reason the person may turn to drugs or alcohol. In some cases, substance use disorder causes mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. About 69.5 percent of adults with an SMI and SUD received treatment for either of them in 2018.

Do I Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

You can get answers to the question do I need dual diagnosis treatment by searching online. However, the best person to answer this question is the mental health professional assessing your mental health during evaluation and intake.

Back in the days, people received treatment for substance abuse only until studies found a link between psychiatric disorders and addiction. The standard addiction treatment plan generally involved detox, withdrawal, and counseling. However, detox alone is rarely enough to help an addicted person abstain from substance abuse. Moreover, the client could not receive mental health treatment until after leaving rehab.

Because many of them did not follow up or received the necessary treatment, they eventually fell off the wagon or relapsed. Later on, dual diagnosis treatment became a part of the recovery process to ensure individuals get treatment before leaving rehab.

Why Do I Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Recovering from an addiction can be twice as hard for those who also have a mental health problem. However, receiving dual treatment can make things easier. There are also several essential benefits in treating substance abuse and mental health disorders simultaneously. Here are some of them:

  • You will get to understand the connection between psychiatric problems such as anxiety or depression and drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Your mental health counselor will help you develop a plan to cope with distress and prevent relapse.
  • Your relapse prevention plan may include medication management to prevent prescription drug abuse.
  • You will find positive ways to manage life problems instead of suppressing physical or emotional pain with drugs or alcohol.
  • You will have a better chance of remaining sober longer.

Why Choose a Florida Rehab?

You or a loved one can receive addiction and mental health treatment at any rehab of your choice across the US. If you live in South Florida, you are welcome to check out the programs we offer at Atlantic Recovery Center. We will personalize and integrate various programs and therapies into your treatment plan. The plan could include addiction treatment, mental health therapy, medication management, family therapy, and counseling. The aim is to provide holistic care and boost your chances of long-term recovery. We will help determine which of these treatment programs is suitable for you based on your circumstances:

  1. Residential Program
  2. Partial Hospitalization Program
  3. Intensive Outpatient Program
  4. Aftercare Program 

One reason so many people turn to substances is because they have underlying mental health issues that need addressing, a condition referred to as having a dual diagnosis. It’s also why some individuals have a hard time adjusting after leaving a rehab center. They may receive treatment for the outward signs of their addiction, but not get help for their mental disorder. People who suffer from a substance abuse and mental disorder are said to have a dual diagnosis. Read on to see if you should be asking yourself, “Do I require dual diagnosis treatment?”


There are some common conditions that often manifest among clients dealing with addiction issues. Anyone who shows signs of a mental disorder should work considerations for that illness into any long-term treatment plan.

You may need to ask yourself, “Do I require dual diagnosis treatment” if you’ve been diagnosed with or exhibited signs of the following mental issues:

  • Anxiety — Individuals with anxiety disorders feel intense, persistent worry about situations most people navigate without issue. You may feel peaks of terror, called panic attacks, that paralyze you and keep you from acting. It could get to the point where you’re unable to function normally.
  • Depression — You may suffer from clinical depression if you find yourself battling feelings of hopelessness and despair. There may be constant thoughts of self-harm, including the desire to end your life. Substance abuse may be your way of keeping those ideas out of your head.
  • Bipolar Disorder — People with bipolar disorder suffer from rapid shifts in mood. You may feel happy one moment, then feel anger or despair in the next. The episodes can last for long periods covering days or even weeks. Those emotional swings are caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain. Genetics also play a role in whether you end up developing bipolar disorder.


One of the reasons getting the right answer to the question, “Do I require dual diagnosis treatment?” is so essential is that mental health and substance abuse problems tend to feed into each other. Here are some signs that you may suffer from a dual diagnosis:

  1. You use substance abuse as an emotional crutch.
  2. Using drugs or alcohol is the only time that you feel like “yourself.”
  3. There’s a recognized history of mental health disorders in your family.
  4. You experience withdrawal symptoms or become unstable when you try to quit using drugs and alcohol.
  5. A doctor has medically diagnosed you with a mental health disorder.

Other symptoms often exhibited by people with a dual diagnosis include:

  • Acting out impulsively and erratically
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Not following through on responsibilities
  • Rejection of any attempts to get treatment
  • Issues with finances
  • Issues with performance at school or work


Atlantic Recovery Center offers a variety of programs and treatments aimed at helping those who are asking questions like, “Do I require dual diagnosis treatment?”

There is Hope for a Successful Recovery

The highly trained and compassionate treatment specialists at Atlantic Recovery Center, in South Florida, will help you return to your community sober and with a renewed sense of purpose. Being addiction-free and getting assistance with managing your mental health helps sustain your sobriety and enhance your quality of life. Call 1-866-824-5193 to find out how to enroll in our treatment programs.