Dual Diagnosis Treatment Process 2018-07-03T10:49:44+00:00

Addiction Rehab for Dual-diagnosis Patients

Given the fact that addictive substances induce pleasure by messing with the chemistry of the brain, it is not surprising that other mental disorders pop up as a substance abuser continuously state his/her cravings. Thus, co-occurring diseases are not as rare as we previously thought. As the opiate epidemic sweeps over the country, approximately 8 million adults now suffer from co-occurring diseases.

Dual-Diagnosis -Definition

Dual-diagnosis is when a person who suffers from Substance Use Disorder suffers from at least one other mental disorder. For instance, the diagnosis of a SUD sufferer who suffers from ADHD as well is a dual-diagnosis. The SUD plus ADHD combination is then called co-occurring diseases. In some cases, comorbidities occur as a person begins to suffer from physical illness resulting from substance abuse.

Which came first? SUD or the other Mental Health Challenge?

This is like a chicken-and-egg cycle, though there can be a case-to-case answer to the question. There will be times where it is the SUD that came first and resulted in mental health challenges. Likewise, there can be a case where it is the mental health challenge that ignited the SUD. For example, a war veteran who suffered from PTSD can try to consume substances to fight the stress. This will lead to SUD. On the contrary, a substance abuser can end up suffering from schizophrenia. In the latter case, it is SUD  that leads to the mental health challenge.

Why is it important to treat Co-occurring Diseases?

Sadly, people who suffer mentally are stigmatized. People will simply tell them “Hey, do something and things will be fine.” Unfortunately, the happy-ever-after of a dual-diagnosed individual does not simply depend on a mind-over-matter solution. It has to be treated in a proper way because unassisted withdrawal and treatment can result in DEATH, whether it is by depression or by physical withdrawal effects. Added to this is the fact that the co-occurring diseases should be addressed at the same time. Thus, it requires proper facility and professional assistance.

Integrated Care

As mentioned earlier, Co-occurring diseases should be treated at the same time. Treating one and leaving the other unattended is unwise and will simply result in the treatment is useless. A treatment method that will address the problems at the same time is called Integrated Care. This is a complex series of treatment that involves both detox and treatment processes that are not relevant to substance abuses. It also involves close professional monitoring in order to avoid future complications.

While many rehab centers claim that their methods involve integrated care, some of them does not address the issue properly. For instance, a rehab center may do detox but will not adhere to the standards of addressing mental health challenges such as depression. Thus, it is important to find a rehab center that offers integrated care not only in the name but in practice as well.


Funding Your Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Since rehab, in general, can be costly, especially for those who have low-paying jobs, paying for a dual-diagnosis treatment can be challenging. Nevertheless, there are plenty of help you can utilize, such as insurance coverage.


Most non-grandfathered insurance plans will cover dual-diagnosis treatment. This is because they are covered by the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This includes plans that are purchased in the Health Marketplace and Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare provided insurance. Health insurance plans from your employer will also be included unless it is grandfathered.

Sliding Scale Fees

Some rehabs offer an option for sliding scale fees. As its name itself suggests, the price you will pay is directly proportional to what you can reasonably pay. The factors that will primarily affect the scaling is your income.

State/Local Government Assistance

Various government assistance programs exist. Depending on the program, the coverage may range from a fraction of your rehab expense to the total coverage of rehab and medications.


Treating co-occurring diseases is a must and is something you can not normally do by yourself. Going cold turkey will be too risky and can mean life and death. Worse, the situation can escalate if the co-occurring diseases are simply ignored. Thus, one must look for suitable rehab centers that offer appropriate services. While this may seem expensive, there are a plethora of financing options out there.