What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is “the coexistence of both a mental health and substance use disorder.” Also referred to as “co-occurring disorders,” this concept has revolutionized treatment services and increased the cases of successful sobriety.

The Evolution of Dual Diagnosis

The 1980s witnessed the introduction of the concept of dual diagnosis: people dealing with mental illness and a substance(s) use disorder. Before this, the approach was often “sober up, and then we’ll worry about underlying issues.” Unfortunately, this was a recipe for recovery failure.

The Prevalence of Dual Diagnosis

About 17.5 million Americans aged 18 and older had a serious mental health disorder or event in the past year. Of those adults, approximately 4 million also struggled with a co-occurring substance use disorder. Roughly 1 in 4 was dealing with a dual diagnosis concern.

The Treatment of a Dual Diagnosis

A successful program for treating someone with a dual diagnosis must be integrated, customizable, and flexible. It cannot be a “which comes first, the chicken or the egg” scenario. Both mental health disorders and substance use disorder must be addressed and treated concurrently.

Summit Malibu Can Help

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) believes that the following should be considered in a successful integrated treatment program:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient rehab
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Supportive Housing
  • Self-Help and Support Groups

Summit Malibu’s holistic and bespoke treatment services encompass all of these and more. If you are concerned for a loved one or even yourself, contact us today for more information about our caring and successful dual diagnosis programs.