Why is Dual-Diagnosis Important?

An estimated 23 million people on average are in need of treatment for addiction each year. Nearly a third of those individuals will have co-occurring mental health issues as well. Addiction is seen as both a behavioral health and mental health disorder. Co-occurring disorders are diagnosable conditions occurring alongside addiction to drugs and alcohol. A dual-diagnosis is important for ensuring patients get the thorough treatment necessary for successful and long term recovery. Proper diagnosis and treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders raises the rates of long-term recovery.

Why is Dual-Diagnosis Important?

Why Treatment for Both Matters

Oftentimes, addiction and/or alcoholism are the side effects of mental illness. It is not because the mentally ill are predisposed to drinking and drug use, though that’s a simple way of viewing it. People who are suffering from mental illness and have gone a lifetime without proper diagnosis or treatment are lacking in the coping skills they need for survival in life. Essentially, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to regulating their emotions, understanding their thoughts, and learning how to function. Burdened by the chaos in their minds brought on by mental illness, their first interaction with drugs and alcohol causes feelings of relief. Relieved from their unmanageable symptoms of mental illness, they turn to substances to cope.

Treating both a co-occurring disorder and addiction in a dual-diagnosis is like teaching a children all the subjects they need to learn in school. Recovery is regarded as a program for learning how to  live. Without the right information, it would be difficult to move on from treatment and use what has been learned successfully. Individuals with specific needs have to learn how to live within those needs. Untreated dual-diagnosis can actually impair one’s ability to learn and process their experiences while in treatment. Blanket treatments for addiction simply are not enough.


Types of Co-Occurring Disorders

Depression and anxiety are the leading co-occurring disorders found in a dual-diagnosis situation with substance abuse. ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar (both I and II) are also common. Other co-occurring disorders include:

  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Eating Disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, Body Dysmorphic Disorder)


Aurora Recovery Center offers specific dual-diagnosis treatment for addiction, alcoholism and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand the critical importance for treating all areas of addiction in the recovery process. Our programs are open to men and women seeking transformation in their lives. For more information call us today at 1844-515-STOP.

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