Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center – Co-Occurring Disorders

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Interviewer: So can you share with us, what is dual diagnosis treatment exactly?

Maria: Dual diagnosis often referred to as co-occurring disorders, is the presentation of two disorders or conditions. In our atmosphere, in our space, we’re looking at addiction or substance use disorders, and in addition to a mental health disorder. Often this might be depression and anxiety paired up with alcohol use. And when the two come together, it creates a complication where we have now a layering of symptoms to the point that then we have to really differentiate which came first. So we want to isolate those symptoms and have an understanding of its origin chemical, what’s going on, psychosocial of the environment, and then as we separate to really evaluate what those symptoms are, and then understanding them, and where they came from, then be able to simultaneously address the two at the same time, which is very possible, and which has the best outcomes for individuals struggling with those types of symptoms. So an individual coming into treatment may not know I had anxiety, and because of the anxiety, I began to drink. I was really struggling with depression, so I began using marijuana. It might have started off in that fashion, or that I started off using one of those substances, not realizing that some of the side effects are mental health-like symptoms: anxiety, depression, restlessness, hopelessness. So when we’re looking at co-occurring or dual diagnosis, it’s really important to consider that both would be present, not knowing necessarily which one began and started. But it’s important then to assess as you go through the treatment process, to know then, what aftercare and long-term treatment needs would look like for an individual based on which occurred first. 

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