Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Dual Diagnosis treatment includes addiction treatment and mental health treatment. Treating both increases long-term recovery possibilities. Individuals suffering from untreated mental illnesses frequently turn to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both as a form of self-medication.

The Massachusetts Center for Addiction offers comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment in Quincy, MA, providing individuals with the necessary tools to address both their addiction and mental health issues. This integrated approach allows for a more thorough and personalized treatment plan, leading to increased success rates in long-term recovery. With a team of licensed professionals specializing in addiction and mental health, the center provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to heal and overcome their challenges. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and mental health issues, contact Massachusetts Center for Addiction. We’ll gladly walk you through our dual diagnosis drug rehab options.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis, often known as a “co-occurring disorder,” is when a person is diagnosed with both a mental health issue and an addiction at the same time.

Because the signs of substance abuse often mirror the symptoms of mental illness, these co-occurring disorders can be difficult to identify. Yet, simultaneously, addiction can exacerbate an underlying mental health problem.

A dual-diagnosis treatment program treats not only substance use disorder but mental health concerns as well. The nature of everyone’s addiction and mental anguish varies, so each dual diagnosis treatment will look different. As a result, some people must undergo detox, inpatient care, and an aftercare program.

Some people can do forms of outpatient care, therapy sessions, behavioral therapy, and psychiatry. But, no matter which path is taken on the journey to sobriety and mental wellness, Massachusetts Center for Addiction is there to help along the way.

Common Mental Health Issues and Addiction

Substance use and co-occurring mental disorders often present themselves in different combinations, with different substances used to cope with various mental disturbances.

Common comorbidities include anxiety disorders, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and various personality disorders.

This is a non-exhaustive list, as a dual diagnosis can compass many mental health issues alongside a substance use disorder or addiction. It is also possible for there to be more than one mental health issue plaguing an individual.

Frequently, when someone has mental health disorders, they lack a sense of control in their lives and attempt to rectify this with drugs or alcohol. They might turn to illicit substances to manage physical and mental pain.

Someone might feel like consuming these substances is the only way to socialize or get through their day. However, when taken over time, the body begins to build up a tolerance, and the user must take more drugs or alcohol to get the same effect it once did. This can lead to overdoses, long-term health detriments, or even death.

Warning Signs of a Co-Occurring Disorder

There are several combinations of co-occurring disorders, each with its own indicators and symptoms. They will also require various treatment strategies. Also, spotting a co-occurring disorder without a formal mental health diagnosis can be hard. While it will look different for everyone, the following are symptoms of a co-occurring substance addiction disorder:

  •     Unexpected behavioral changes
  •     Isolation from others
  •     Using drugs without regard for their safety
  •     Consuming increasingly higher doses of drugs or alcohol
  •     Withdrawal symptoms
  •     Cravings for the substance and the notion that they require it to function.

Symptoms of a mental health crisis will also differ from person to person. However, the most severe warning signs are confused thinking, difficulty focusing, and suicidal ideation. If someone exhibits these behaviors along with substance use, they must seek immediate medical assistance from expert mental health and substance abuse healthcare providers.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Self-medication refers to using substances to treat a medical condition or relieve physical and emotional distress. These substances are used outside of an official care plan and can be done with legal substances that may or may not have been prescribed or with illegal substances.

Some people may have heard about prescription drugs’ dangers but still begin to misuse them. On the other hand, some people take illegal drugs because they are easier to obtain than prescription drugs. As a result, they can potentially be contaminated or contain more than one drug that someone wasn’t expecting to ingest. Sometimes they can even contain materials unsuitable for consumption, like household cleaners.

With many outside variables, and the possibility of growing tolerant to these drugs over time, overdose is a serious risk. Although many people who misuse prescriptions start taking them as prescribed by their doctor, they build up a tolerance over time. Ultimately, they might seek prescriptions from multiple doctors, turn to dealers they know, or even find sources online.

Another example would be someone with alcohol addiction. More alcohol must be consumed to reach the state of being buzzed, drunk, or blacked out. Eventually, the liver can not properly process the alcohol, which can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Statistics on Co-Occurring Disorders

In 2017, an estimated 8.5 million people had a co-occurring illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one out of four people with a mental health disorder has an addiction. Unfortunately, when people went to get treatment, only 8.3 percent of people received treatment for both disorders.

According to research, men account for 56% of those seeking treatment for co-occurring disorders. In addition, individuals suffering from anxiety and depression are also more likely to develop co-occurring substance use disorders. For example, it’s estimated people who have a drug addiction are 1.3 times more likely to suffer from depression in a given year.

People who have struggled with addiction at some point are 1.3 times more likely to suffer from a generalized anxiety condition. The likelihood of developing an addiction is even higher for sufferers of certain personality disorders, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

Get Help for a Dual Diagnosis

Living with addiction can be a significant struggle in life, but you or your loved one doesn’t have to suffer any longer. Here at the Massachusetts Center for Addiction, every individual is evaluated by our experienced clinicians, who will craft a personalized treatment plan for them.

Proper addiction and mental health treatment can help each patient grow and recover. To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment center, call us at 844-486-0671 today.




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The first step when looking for help is to give us a call. Whether it is for a family member or for yourself, we’re happy to help guide you. Our admissions counselors are available all day, every day to answer any questions you may have.