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Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Many people who are diagnosed with a substance abuse problem also have a co-existing psychological or behavioral issue. A dual diagnosis is a term for this condition. Individuals who have a dual diagnosis need a treatment approach that treats both disorders as interrelated issues. A co-occurring condition affected approximately 8.5 million people in 2017. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one out of every 4 people suffering from a mental illness is also addicted. Unfortunately, only 8.3% of people who sought therapy for both disorders got treatment. 45 percent of people with addiction have a co-occurring mental health issue, as per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

You can strive toward the satisfying and healthy life you deserve by getting addiction treatment and for co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders.

When somebody has both a mental health problem and an addiction, they are said to have a dual diagnosis. Occasionally, the addiction component is treated while the mental health disorder is left untreated.

Identifying a dual diagnosis might be challenging. It requires time to figure out what’s a mental health issue and what’s an alcohol or drug problem. The indications and symptoms differ based on the sort of substance abused, whether it’s alcohol, addictive substances, or prescription medicines. Depression and marijuana usage, for instance, may present themselves in quite different ways than psychosis and alcohol consumption. There are, nevertheless, some general indicators that you may well have a co-occurring disorder:

  • Do you use drugs or alcohol to deal with negative memories or emotions, manage pain or the severity of your moods, confront frightening circumstances, or stay focused on the tasks?
  • Do you think there’s a link between your substance abuse and your psychological health? Would you get depressed if you drink, for instance? Or do you drink when you’re stressed or have a lot of bad memories?
  • Has somebody in your family struggled with a mental illness or abused alcohol or drugs?
  • Even when you’re sober, do you feel melancholy, worried, or otherwise out of sorts?
  • Have you received treatment for your addiction or mental health issue in the past? Was it your mental health problem that caused the substance abuse therapy to fail, or was it the other way around?

If you have serious mental health issues as well as serious substance abuse, you may be handed a ‘dual diagnosis,’ which means that both disorders are identified at the same time.

If you have a dual diagnosis, there are a number of resources available to you:

Mental health and social services

If you have a dual diagnosis, mental health care services, not alcohol or drug services, should be in charge of your treatment.

They must be able to direct you to someone who can assist you with:

  • An appropriate housing
  • Job
  • Additional Benefits

Professionals will need to examine your demands in detail, so tell them as much as you can about your situation.

You have the following options:

  • You will be referred to your local Community Mental Health Team
  • An Assertive Outreach Team will be advised to you
  • A care coordinator will be assigned to you
  • Under the Care Program, you must have a written care plan
  • If you’re having trouble getting the aid you need, a medical assistant might be able to help.


Finding a place to live when you have a dual diagnosis might be tough. Drug users will be turned down by several housing organizations and supported housing trusts.

A number of residents associations and trusts, on the other hand, offer suitable programs. For more information, see Housing and Mental Health.

Self-help organizations

A self-help group where you can speak about your mental health issues and drug users with other people who are going through the same thing can be quite beneficial. Many organizations, including some local social welfare services, run self-help groups. 

Help with the criminal justice system

If you have had involvement with the criminal court system as a result of your drug use, the type of treatment you receive should not be affected.

If you’re in prison, you can be offered a ‘therapeutic community,’ which was created to assist people with drug addictions in a prison setting.

Services for Drug and Alcohol Abusers

Drug or alcohol support services may offer assistance in order to persuade you to quit using drugs or alcohol. This usually entails being assigned a support worker and receiving intense one-on-one assistance.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends the following programs:

Motivational interviewing – It seeks to assist you in deciding what to do about your drug usage and follow through on your decisions. One or two sessions may be offered to you.

Contingency management – you may be offered incentives (such as shopping vouchers) to persuade you to stay off drugs under contingency management. As part of this, you will be required to consent to urine or saliva tests.

If you stop drinking suddenly after a lengthy period of severe drinking, you will almost certainly be admitted to the hospital. To address withdrawal symptoms, you may be prescribed an antipsychotic, benzodiazepine, or a combination of the two.

It can be a crazy ride of emotions to help someone who has both a mental health condition and a substance abuse problem. Treatment resistance is typical, and the road to dual diagnosis recovery can be arduous.

Accepting what you can and cannot do is the key to helping someone. You can’t make someone stay sober, take their medicines, or follow their appointments if they don’t want to. What you should do is make healthy choices for yourself, urge your loved one to seek help, and provide your support while maintaining your own peace.

Seek support. It can be unpleasant and alienating to deal with a loved one’s mental illness and substance usage. Ascertain that you are receiving the emotional assistance you require to cope. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re going through. Getting your own therapy or joining a support group might also be beneficial.

Define your limits. Be honest with yourself about how much care you can provide without becoming overwhelmed and angry. Set and keep to boundaries for disruptive behavior. Allowing co-occurring disorders to take control of your life is unhealthy for you or a loved one.

Make an effort to educate oneself. Learn everything you can about your loved one’s mental health issue, as well as therapy and rehabilitation from substance misuse. You will be better prepared to benefit from dual diagnosis drug rehab if you have a greater understanding of what your loved one is going through.

Patience is required. Co-occurring disorder recovery does not happen overnight. Relapse is a regular occurrence in the process of recovery. As you move toward recovery, you and your loved one will need continuous support, and you can get through this terrible period together and take control of your life.

Dual diagnosis rehab manages both the substance abuse problem and the mental health condition at the same time. These holistic treatment programs use medical and dual diagnosis therapy options to test, assess, and treat both illnesses at the same time.

  • Treatment options for mental health issues include medication, self-help techniques, lifestyle changes, individual or group therapy, and peer support.
  •  Treatment options for substance abuse may include detox, management of withdrawal symptoms, support groups, and behavioral therapy to help you stay sober.

Holistic dual diagnosis treatment centers offer comprehensive management at any point along the care continuum, including:

Detoxification: The first step for people who have a chemical dependency problem, is usually done in a medically controlled facility with round-the-clock medical monitoring, where doctors may prescribe medicines as needed to guarantee safety and comfort as the person detoxes from drugs and alcohol.

Inpatient rehabilitation: People learn how to handle their substance use and the clinical signs of any co-occurring ailments at inpatient rehab facilities, where they can receive therapy, education, psychiatric care, social services, and medication as well as health monitoring, from a staff of mental health experts who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Outpatient treatment. In outpatient settings, treatment, therapies, and services are similar, if not identical, to those found in inpatient settings. Individuals undergoing medical care for co-occurring disorders live at home or in a sober living facility or another comparable housing setting.

Individuals undergoing medical care for co-occurring disorders live at home or in a sober living facility or another comparable housing setting.

Continuing care, often known as aftercare. Individuals in long-term recovery benefit from ongoing support, like mutual-help groups for both co-occurring disorders and substance use disorders, individual treatment, alumni reunions, and more.

The goal of holistic treatment is to help people stay sober or dramatically reduce their substance use while also managing their symptoms related to mental illness. Counseling, behavioral therapy, and, in certain cases, medication is all part of the process. Integrated treatment may comprise a variety of therapeutic strategies that have been shown to be successful in the treatment of mental health diseases and substance abuse disorders, such as:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This evidence-based talk therapy enhances an individual’s coping mechanisms by examining and modifying their beliefs and thought patterns. CBT is frequently used to help people avoid relapsing.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT aims to enhance an individual’s emotional state and minimize undesirable behaviors including self-harm, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation by focusing on mindfulness and self-awareness.

Management of contingencies. This therapy encourages healthy habits by providing vouchers and other minor prizes for desirable outcomes, such as clearing a drug test.

Support and self-help groups. Mutual-help groups or peer support groups like Dual Diagnosis Anonymous and other 12-step, psychoeducation or skills-based groups, customized to population densities with co-occurring disorders or substance use, may be provided as part of rehab for dual diagnosis to alleviate a sense of isolation and support the development of healthy coping skills.

Check to see if the program is properly certified and registered, if the therapeutic approaches are research-based, and if there is a follow-up program to prevent a recurrence. You should also check to see if the organization has expertise with your specific mental health issue. For instance, some programs may have treated anxiety or depression but not bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Top-rated dual diagnosis treatment centers can take a number of approaches, but there are several basic characteristics of a good dual diagnosis facility that you should aim for:

  • Treatment should treat both your mental health and substance abuse issues.
  • You are a part of the decision-making team and actively participate in creating goals and formulating strategies for positive change.
  • Basic education of your health condition and related issues is part of treatment.
  • Effective coping skills and tactics are taught to help you avoid substance abuse, build your relationships, and deal with life’s stresses, challenges, and setbacks.

There are over 150 rehab centers in Georgia that offer dual diagnosis management. It is difficult to choose among them as most of these provide quality rehab. We have picked 10 dual diagnosis rehab centers in Georgia that, in our opinion, provide the best dual diagnosis services across Georgia. The list is as below:

  • Twin Lakes Recovery Center
  • Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
  • The Summit Wellness Group – Roswell
  • Project Adam
  • Stepping Stones To Recovery
  • Turning Point Hospital
  • Rivertown Psychiatry
  • Bluff Plantation
  • Tender Touch Counseling
  • Eagle Overlook Recovery For Adolescents

If business commitments, celebrity, or athlete status has kept you, your friends or a family member from seeking medical assistance for your dual diagnosis, high-end luxury and executive rehab facilities may be the answer. By integrating sophisticated drug, alcohol, and mental health treatments with the convenience of laptop and mobile phone access, corporate executives and other high-ranked professionals may receive dual diagnosis treatment in comfort and luxury.

Most upscale luxury drug and mental health disorder treatment programs provide amenities comparable to those found in a four- or five-star hotel, with the main goal of ensuring your happiness and success. For everything from dietary consults, chef-prepared cuisine, and excellent bedding to exercise centers and in-house massage therapies, you can get the finest substance abuse and mental health treatment for yourself, a partner, or a relative while unwinding in comfort.

We provide dual diagnosis treatments in our gorgeous premium luxury treatment venues for top dignitaries, elite-class businesspersons, celebrities, and athletes. With all of the high-end luxury services and amenities and evidence-based traditional and non-traditional treatments, your stay with us would be really comfortable. Our top clients’ confidentiality, secrecy, and privacy are of the utmost importance to us. In-house facilities like mobile phone and computer usage are allowed for executives and CEOs to handle their work obligations, with high-speed internet and single rooms with picturesque scenery.



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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