A person with a dual diagnosis has been diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. Nearly half of adults in the United States have a dual diagnosis, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 

Individuals with mental health disorders are twice as likely to have substance use disorders compared with the general population. Mental health disorders can induce addiction and vice versa.

Individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use are also at higher risk of adverse outcomes, including suicidal thoughts or attempts. Fortunately, effective treatments are available for people with a dual diagnosis. 

In this article, we’ll provide a brief overview of what a dual diagnosis is and what standard treatment of a dual diagnosis entails. 

What is a dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to the presence of mental illness as well as substance use disorder (alcohol or drug dependence, abuse or addiction). Examples of mental health disorders commonly linked to substance use include:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

When individuals with a dual diagnosis seek help, often they’ll receive treatment for substance use while the co-occurring mental illness goes unaddressed. The interactions of these conditions each worsen the effects of the other and, when left untreated, can be fatal. It’s important that a dual diagnosis is accurately diagnosed and treated.

How do you treat a dual diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis requires a specialized plan designed to treat both the mental disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. 

Rather than address one disorder at a time or assume that helping the individual recover from one will help them recover from the other, studies show that integrated treatment leads to more successful outcomes.

That’s why here at Silver Ridge Recovery, we offer a variety of different treatment plans that address your body, mind, and spirit in order to promote a full-spectrum recovery.

Different dual diagnosis treatments

At Silver Ridge, we’ve developed a holistic approach to rehabilitation that utilizes a combination of conventional and complementary alternative methods in order to address all of your needs and help ensure a whole-being healing.

We offer a range of therapies in order to treat a dual diagnosis, including traditional therapies, alternative therapies, and pharmacotherapies.

Traditional therapy 

Traditional therapy includes individual sessions, couples therapy, family therapy and psychoeducational classes with licensed counselors.

Alternative therapy 

Alternative therapies typically focus on rebalancing the emotional and physical aspect of your healing. There are endless methods included in this category, but some popular alternative therapies include mindfulness, meditation, yoga, animal therapy and nutritional education.


Pharmacotherapy involves the use of medication to reduce drug or alcohol cravings, manage withdrawals, or stabilize any chemical imbalances that may have occurred as a result of substance abuse. This form of therapy is not necessary for everyone, as each situation is different.

Due to the increased risk that co-occurring disorders bring, it’s important to seek professional help if you or someone you love is suffering from a dual diagnosis.

With our three-fold method of approaching dual diagnosis, you will heal your mind, recover the health of your body and experience a better quality of life.

Contact us to begin your journey today

If you suspect that you or someone you love is struggling from both a mental illness and substance abuse, professional help can provide the best chance for achieving a successful recovery.

Recovery is challenging, but with professional treatment, individuals struggling from a dual diagnosis can achieve sobriety and go on to enjoy a healthy, positive and fulfilling life.

To learn more about which treatment plan will best suit you and your unique needs and goals, contact us today. 

After you submit the form on our website, an experienced member from our medical admissions team will contact you promptly and give you a confidential phone call to discuss your options and answer any questions you might have.

If you are ready to get started, give us a call at 855-945-7788.