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What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment refers to clinical and medical care that addresses addiction alongside related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. To be successful in recovery, patients with more than one diagnosis need comprehensive care that addresses all their medical and mental health needs. Over time, the lack of treatment for one of these conditions can intensify the other. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer a dual diagnosis program to provide quality treatment for these individuals.


Frequently, addiction and mental health conditions go hand in hand. To accurately diagnosis and help a dual diagnosis patient, substance use should cease for a certain period. Detox from drugs and alcohol in most circumstances should be monitored and take place in a licensed facility to assist with the psychiatric symptoms and physical withdrawal signs. After that, continuing with an addiction treatment center after a drug detox program or alcohol detox program gives the individual time to stabilize and understand how to navigate symptoms produced by their mental health disorder without the use of substances.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Treating Addiction and Mental Health

Dual diagnosis treatment consists of specialty programming for the treatment of patients with substance use disorder and additional mental health or medical diagnosis. To provide dual diagnosis care, at Lighthouse Recovery Institute we offer psychiatric services, medication management, and individual treatment plans to address all our patients’ needs.

Physical and psychological assessments are available regularly, and each member of our clinical team participates in the treatment plan for each patient. Our board-certified physicians use medications for mental health symptoms that are non-narcotic and not intended to be addictive. Our multidisciplinary treatment team offers programs that are custom to fit everyone’s cognitive, emotional, and physical needs.

To be successful in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, individuals must address the underlying or co-occurring conditions which impact substance use. For example, someone who suffers from depression may need psychotropic medication, regular psychiatric appointments, mental health therapy, and additional support with vocational skills to attain the benefits that recovery can offer.

We provide hands-on dual diagnosis care to assist our patients in reaching their full potential and leading productive lives.

Dual Diagnosis Patients

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Up until the early 1990s, those who suffered from a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder in conjunction with a substance dependency disorder were treated for both issues separately. These disorders frequently overlapped, though those who were suffering from psychological conditions were denied psychiatric assessment or management until they had been successfully treated for their addictive disorder. Today much has changed in treating these disorders and the medical world treats both co-occurring disorders simultaneously.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

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Many cases of substance dependency are heavily influenced by attempts to self-medicate symptoms of underlying psychological disorders. For this reason, treating both issues separately proved to be rarely effective, and chronic relapse was almost an inevitability amongst those suffering from co-occurring conditions.

Fortunately, psychological disorders and substance dependency issues are now treated as part of a continuum at quality dual diagnosis treatment facilities nationwide. We at Lighthouse Recovery Institute specialize in treating mental disorders and addiction concurrently – fully understanding the significance of comprehensive and thorough care for treating both ailments. In addition to having licensed addiction professionals on staff, we also have a team of experienced psychiatrists and mental health professionals on-site to successfully diagnose and treat all potential dual diagnosis disorders.

Depression & Addiction

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The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) recently reported that somewhere around 20% of American citizens who suffer from a significant mood or anxiety disorder also suffer from substance use dependency. It is increasingly common for addicts and alcoholics to struggle with mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety disorders – in fact, compared to members of the general population, individuals who suffer from drug addiction are twice as likely to be afflicted with mood disorders (as according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Depression is one of the most common disorders amongst drug addicts and alcoholics. This may be in part because both conditions share several significant triggers. Therefore, it is imperative that the mental health of an individual be treated alongside the addiction during the treatment episode.

Anxiety & Addiction

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Anxiety is another exceedingly common disorder amongst those who suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism. In many instances, individuals who are afflicted with undiagnosed and untreated anxiety will resort to using tranquilizers (such as Haldol), benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Valium) and/or depressants (such as alcohol) to calm their nerves and self-medicate uncomfortable symptoms. While treatment of symptoms caused by anxiety through drug and alcohol use will cause temporary relief in the afflicted individual, the significant long-term damage will inevitably be done without the development of healthier coping skills.

The internal mechanisms that help individuals naturally alleviate the symptoms of anxiety will be damaged irreparably, making treating the issue effectively with medications and therapy far more difficult. Additionally, as tolerance increases with continued use, more of the substance will be needed for the individual to achieve the same calming effects, and the vicious cycle of abuse and addiction will inevitably ensue.

Generic Predisposition

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Genetic factors play an important role in both the development of addiction and in the presence of psychological disorders. Your DNA could put you at greater risk for developing one, the other, or both. Genetic factors, additionally, make it more likely that one condition will occur after the other has appeared (in example, if symptoms of depression begin presenting themselves in an individual with a genetic predisposition to substance abuse, it is significantly more likely that he or she will begin using drugs or alcohol within a short matter of time).

Developmental Issues

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If an individual begins abusing drugs or alcohol at an early age, he or she is far more prone to harming the brain and acquiring significant developmental issues. It has also been found that those who experience mental health problems early on in life will turn to drug and alcohol abuse later in life.

Dual Diagnosis & The Brain

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The areas in the brain that are directly affected by depressive disorders are the same areas in the brain that are affected by prolonged alcohol and drug abuse. Depression, for example, directly affects the area of the brain that handles stress responses. Substance abuse affects the same area of the brain, affecting stress responses in different ways. Thus those that suffer from depression may be more likely to abuse drugs in order to neutralize the effects or symptoms of their psychological disorder.

Environmental Factors

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Environmental factors such as traumatic experience or constant stress have been shown to impact the likelihood of substance abuse and depression in certain individuals. Those who grow up in dysfunctional households, for example, are more prone to suffer from dual diagnosis disorders than those who grow up in supportive and loving households in areas less prone to prevalent drug abuse.


Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

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Working through drug addiction is difficult to overcome on its own, but overcoming various disorders at the same time is exceptionally challenging. Having the integration of the clinical and medical teamwork in conjunction with our patients throughout the treatment episode is one of the many reasons Lighthouse Recovery Institute is giving individuals the chance to gain control over their mental health.

Patients undergo a full, comprehensive psychiatric and medical assessment upon their intake and undergo follow-up assessments at regular intervals to monitor progress. Our medical staff, including our board-certified psychiatrist and physician’s assistant, work together with patients to identify any symptoms that need attention in real-time. Throughout addiction treatment, patients with mental health diagnoses receive ongoing assessments by medical and psychiatric staff and have regular appointments for medication management. During these weekly appointments, patients discuss their progress, side effects, symptoms, and their level of functioning in a variety of domains. Through consistent care, we can help patients recover from addiction and manage complex illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other conditions. 


Treating Dual Diagnosis at Lighthouse

It is important that those suffering from dual diagnosis disorders attend a treatment facility that is specifically geared towards treating drug addiction, alcoholism, and psychological disorders simultaneously. We at Lighthouse Recovery Institute fully understand the importance of treating mental health and substance abuse separately and at the same time, allowing each of patients the opportunity to achieve comprehensive, thorough, and lasting recovery. For more information on dual diagnosis disorders and on taking the first step on your personal journey of mental, physical, and spiritual rehabilitation, please call one of our trained representatives today.

Does Insurance Cover Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers?

Insurance plans will share in some or all of the cost of dual diagnosis treatment programs when substance abuse is the primary diagnosis. If you or a loved one is considering seeking help for addiction, and also struggling with mental illness, and looking to obtain information about your insurance plans contact our trained staff today for a free assessment.

For more information regarding insurance coverage for drug detox programs or outpatient drug rehab programs contact us today. We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the right decision for your family. 

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.

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