Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers – Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders

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Dual diagnosis treatment centers provide proper rehabilitation for people with a psychological disorder and a substance abuse issue. The term dual diagnosis is defined as an individual who has at least one psychological disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder. It is now referred to as a co-occurring disorder. This can include a bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD and others. Studies have shown nearly 37% of alcohol abusers and over 50% of drug addicts suffer from at least one psychiatric condition.

  • It is vitally important both conditions receive proper treatment simultaneously.

How They Work

Dual diagnosis treatment refers to a type of program that provides therapy which addresses both the substance abuse and psychiatric condition. This area of addiction medicine has been growing in popularity in recent years, and is thought to be a more comprehensive, effective approach. Most addiction experts believe in the importance of treating both conditions as the best way to be successful. Treating both conditions simultaneously has been shown to be more effective in long-term recovery.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers tends to be effective for several reasons, including:

  • The therapy focuses on the underlying causes behind an addiction
  • It has been found to be more effective over the long run
  • Patients are more likely to reach a long lasting recovery
  • Patients have better tools to recover from relapses more quickly

People suffering from a psychiatric disorder are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, so it is important that the facility they attend be experienced and well-versed in addressing both the mental disorder as well as alcohol and drug misuse.

The co-occurring condition can be bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD, panic, personality disorders and others. When these two illnesses interact with each other, it can become difficult to determine which symptoms are being caused by which disorder.


Therapy is most effective in evidence-based programs. Evidenced-based practices use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, family counseling and community oriented support groups.

The best therapy consists of a variety of techniques for both the mental illness and substance abuse. It should be designed to help the client develop hope, knowledge, and skills to better manage their conditions. Properly trained therapists can help a patient realize the destructive role alcohol and drugs have been playing in their lives. They need to realize alcohol and drugs have been exacerbate their psychiatric disorder. The best dual diagnosis treatment centers  offer a variety of addiction counseling and cognitive therapy programs that are individually tailored to address each patient’s specific needs.

When the two conditions interact with each other, it can become difficult to determine which symptoms are caused by which disorder. Conversely, alcohol or drug abuse can cause similar type behaviors that can mimic real psychiatric conditions. Because these symptoms are so tightly intertwined, it is vital for anyone suffering from both a mental illness and substance abuse problem to get treatment at an inpatient drug rehab facility experienced in dual diagnosis treatment.


According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, 60% of individuals diagnosed with a bipolar condition are also struggling with addiction, generally substance abuse. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37% of all alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one psychological disorder.

  • About 44 million Americans experience some type of mental disorder
  • Nearly 7 million adults in the US have a co-occurring mental health and substance-related disorder
  • Almost 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders are affected by substance abuse
  • Nearly 40 percent of people diagnosed with alcoholism have at least one mental condition.
  • Over 50 percent of individuals with drug addiction have a co-occurring psyche disorder

Admission Process

In order to get admitted to a dual diagnosis treatment center, you must meet the criteria of having a clear and diagnosable mental health disorder, as defined by the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Secondly, the person needs to have a clear diagnosis of either substance abuse and or drug abuse as defined by the same manual listed above.

10 Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in the US

Here it is, our list of the 10 best dual diagnosis treatment centers in the United States. It is based on staff, success rate, facilities, program integrity & treating patients with compassion. They are listed here in alphabetical order by name.

Treatment CenterLocationPhone
Alo HouseMalibu, California877-247-6467
Ashley AddictionHavre de Grace, Maryland866-313-6307
Boonville Valley HopeBoonville, Missouri800-544-5101
Brighton HospitalBrighton, Michigan888-215-2700
Caron FoundationWernersville, Pennsylvania800-854-6023
Caron RenaissanceBoca Raton, Florida800-221-6500
Chandler Valley HopeChandler, Arizona800-544-5101
Cirque LodgeSundance, Utah800-582-0709
Cumberland HeightsNashville, Tennessee800-646-9998
Harmony FoundationEstes Park, Colorado866-686-7867
HazeldenNaples, Florida855-357-5221
HazeldenCenter City, Minnesota855-357-5221
RosecranceRockford, Illinois888-928-5278
Silver Hill HospitalNew Canaan, Connecticut866-542-4455
Sundown M RanchYakima, Washington800-326-7444

Top Rehab List (.pdf)

Video – Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers


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