Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers for Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Health Issues


A significant amount of people suffering with substance abuse and addiction meet the criteria for having additional psychiatric disorders, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The phenomenon of co-existing substance abuse disorders and psychiatric conditions is referred to as comorbidity, co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis conditions.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

It’s often quite difficult to establish a causal or directional relationship between a substance abuse disorder and a psychiatric disorder because they often emerge simultaneously. For instance, when some people abuse alcohol or drugs to the point of becoming addicted, changes in the brain occur. These changes might secondarily give rise to psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and even psychosis.

Alternatively, some people might have pre-existing, or sub-clinical aspects of these anxious, depressed, or psychotic conditions and begin using alcohol or drugs as a means to modify the undesirable symptoms they experience. The use of substances to address psychiatric symptoms is known as “self-medication.”

Regardless of whether the psychiatric condition was a factor in the substance abuse or the substance abuse gave rise to the psychiatric condition, treating dual diagnosis patients provides a challenge, though it is not an insurmountable one. Many treatment centers are equipped to handle the issue or even specialize in dual diagnosis rehab.

If you feel you might be suffering from a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and a psychiatric condition, you can find treatment that will meet your recovery needs. For immediate assistance in finding a reputable co-occurring disorder addiction treatment center, please call American Addiction Centers (AAC) for help toll-free at . Treatment support advisors are standing by to take your confidential call.

Credit: ehowhealth

Types of Co-Occurring Disorders

With as many as 50% of those admitted to addiction treatment facilities being dually diagnosed, the importance of dual diagnosis treatment as a part of therapeutic practice at all addiction treatment centers is obvious. People struggling with addiction have twice the rates of concurrent anxiety and mood disorders when compared to the general population. The list of dual diagnoses doesn’t end with mood disorders and anxiety disorders, however.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation

For best results, both disorders should be treated concurrently. It is not merely an issue of treating substance use and psychiatric disorders in parallel, as they have much interplay with each other.

Specialized dual diagnosis treatment will employ a variety of pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions that will address the separate conditions, as well as the interaction between them:

Sometimes the dual diagnosis won’t be made until treatment is already underway. A person might present to treatment for detox, and only then will a concurrent condition be discovered, since substances can cover and distort the expression of mental health symptoms. It will be important at this stage for medical professionals to quickly modify treatment accordingly.

Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Centers

Dual diagnosis treatment can be provided in an outpatient rehab or inpatient treatment facility, with the decision depending upon a variety of factors.

Not all treatment centers are the same, just as no two individuals are the same. Patients might require medically assisted detox, which in some instances will necessitate adjusting the medications used to manage the individual’s mental stability and potential symptoms. For many cases of dual diagnosis, the careful balance of medications and targeted therapies required strongly favor inpatient treatment.

Specialized inpatient centers have trained psychiatric and medical staff whose job it is to manage these uncertain and difficult cases.

Understanding Insurance Benefits, Costs, and Reimbursements

Dual diagnosis treatment centers can be expensive, but many health insurance plans will cover, at least in part, this type of treatment. Additional health insurance coverage may be available depending on your income, diagnosis, and working status. These programs, which tend to be inpatient programs due to the higher level of care, tend to have out-of-pocket costs that range between $200 and $900 per day. This cost will vary depending on the program duration, with longer treatment plans generally having lower costs per day. The cost can also vary by the program location and amenities offered, with more luxurious programs naturally costing more.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment programs and has trusted rehab facilities across the country. If you are having trouble locating an insurance covered treatment center near you, you don’t have to go it alone. Please call us free at to get help finding a treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis recovery. You can start your new life today.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Levels of Care

Recommended Substance Abuse and Mental Health Rehab-Related Articles

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.