Dual Diagnosis

The term “dual diagnosis” (or co-occurring disorder) is well known in addiction treatment centers , yet it’s not widely known in the wider world. In its simplest form, the term refers to a condition when the patient is simultaneously dealing with a mental health disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol. This makes treatment a little more complicated because doctors and therapists need to address both problems.

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Common Mental Health Disorders in Dual Diagnosis

Below are just some of the more common mental health issues involved in co-occurring disorders

  • PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Borderline Personality Disorder


Both drug addiction and mental health disorders bear a negative connotation in regular society – no one wants to be around the “crazy” person or “junkie.” This makes reaching out for help hard in either case and doubly so in the case of a dual diagnosis. Some dual diagnosis patients may feel they cannot overcome these diseases.

The good news is that co-occurring disorders are treatable, particularly with the experiential therapy we offer in our holistic addiction treatment center.


What Are Some Red Flags of a Co-Occurring Disorder?

The thing about dual diagnosis is it’s very risky to make sweeping statements. The symptoms will differ depending on the combination drugs being used and existing mental health conditions.

Things to look for:

  • Sudden withdrawal from friends, family, and society
  • Drastic change in behavior
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Losing focus and concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lethargy/drowsiness
  • Manic energy
  • Quickness to anger
  • Irritability


It’s important to be always vigilant. Generally, when you find a drastic change in behavior in your kids or any other family member, you need to reach out. It might be nothing, and you’re no worse off than you were at the beginning.


Can You Self-Detox With Dual Diagnosis?

Simple answer: no. This assessment is shared by virtually every traditional and modern drug and alcohol rehab center. Withdrawal can be painful, even fatal in some cases, and mental health conditions make calm decision-making difficult. Constant monitoring and supervision are needed to make sure the patient is safe.


Cyclical Trap

The thing about dual diagnosis is one condition feeds off from the other. The substance abuse will magnify the feeling of mania or depression. In order to avoid feeling depressed, the patient turns to drugs. Drug addiction treatment centers recognize that it’s a cyclical abuse that is very hard to escape from without professional help.


What are the typical modes of treatment for dual diagnosis patients?


The toxins in your body needs to be flushed out. This can be done through two methods: outpatient or inpatient. Both have their own pros and cons, so talk to out treatment specialist about any questions you might have.



Most drug addiction treatment centers offer cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, family therapy and the like. Ranch Creek also offers dialectical behavioral therapy, which is dedicated to our guests who have self-harming tendencies.


At the Ranch Creek holistic addiction treatment center, we don’t just treat the substance abuse alone while ignoring the mental health disorder. We treat the whole person, as befits our philosophy.

Ranch Creek Recovery is a residential and outpatient treatment facility, which offers a non-12 step treatment program for people with dual diagnosis. All the treatment programs are backed by years of research and success. Our combination of behavioral therapy along with equine addiction treatment, yoga, and meditation, massage therapy, gardening, acupuncture and gong sound healing. Call today to find out more.

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