Dual Diagnosis

A person who has both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder is said to have a dual diagnosis. To have the best chance at long-term recovery, the person needs treatment for both problems.

Mental health disorders are very common among persons abusing alcohol or drugs. A major reason for this is that persons with mental disorders are at a much greater risk of using alcohol or drugs to “self-medicate” the underlying problem, which often leads to abuse and dependence. In other cases a person may develop symptoms of a psychiatric disorder when substance use has become severe. Some of the more common co-occurring mental disorders are:

  • Depressive disorders, such as depression and bi-polar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias
  • Other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and personality disorders
  • Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Our philosophy is to treat both problems concurrently with a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians in the areas of counseling, psychiatry and nursing, who specialize in mental health and chemical dependence issues. Medication for the psychiatric condition may be recommended and would be monitored by our psychiatrist. If a client prefers working with their own psychiatrist, we can coordinate care with them.