What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term used throughout the mental health and addiction treatment profession for co-occurring mental health disorders. Comorbidity is also used interchangeably with dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis, Co-occurring, or Comorbidity are words used to describe two or more mental health disorders or mental health illnesses occurring in the same person. The mental health disorders can occur at the same time or one after the other. Interactions between the illnesses can also worsen the course of both mental health disorders.

In addiction treatment, one of the disorders is the addiction and the other is a mental health disorder such as depression, or bipolar, or post traumatic stress disorder and so on. Since addiction changes the brain chemistry, often altering a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and substituting new hierarch of needs connected with obtaining and using the drug or alcohol, addiction is recognized as one of the two disorders or illnesses in a dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment:

The rate of dual diagnosis between drug use disorders and other mental illnesses or disorders calls for a comprehensive approach that identifies and evaluates both. Accordingly, anyone seeking help for either drug abuse/addiction or another mental disorder should be checked for both and treated accordingly.

There are several behavioral therapies that have shown promise for treating dual diagnosis conditions. These approaches can be designed to target clients (patients) according to specific factors such as age or marital status: some therapies have proved more effective for adolescents, while others have shown greater effectiveness for adults; some therapies are designed for families and groups, others for individuals.

While several medications exist for treating addiction and other mental health issues, most have not been studied in patients with dual diagnosis. For example, individuals addicted to heroin, prescription pain medications, cigarettes, or alcohol can be treated with appropriate medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and drug craving; similarly, separate medications are available to help improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. More research is needed to better understand how such medications act when combined in individuals with dual diagnosis, or whether such medications can be dually effective.

Dual Diagnosis Program – Core Beliefs:

There are four core beliefs that serve as the foundation for our Dual Diagnosis Program:

1. Chemical Dependency is often a primary illness with a mental health diagnosis.
2. The individual plays an integral part in the creation of the treatment plan.
3. The individual is willful and cooperative during the treatment program.
4. There are often mental health issues that must be addressed for optimal treatment success.

Dual Diagnosis Program – Therapy:

• Individual Therapy
• Group Therapy and workshops
• Family Therapy
• Art Therapy
• Music Therapy
• Recreational Therapy
• Experiential Therapy
• Expressive Therapy
• Cognitive Therapy

Additional Therapeutic Modalities:

• Life Skills Program
• Psycho Educational Groups
• Relapse Prevention Groups or Presentations
• Medication Management Presentations

Note:
Solution Focused Therapy is an approach the Cove embraces, in helping clients co-create solutions to their problems and develop the skills to continue a solution focused approach to life’s challenges. Solution Focused Therapy provides “life recovery tools”.

Dual Diagnosis Program – Professional Staff:

• Licensed Psychiatrists, ARNP
• Masters-Level Counselors, Licensed Therapists, Certified Addiction Professionals
• Recreational Therapists
• Art Therapists
• Educational Consultants

Note:
A Nutritional Consultant is available for those clients struggling with an eating disorder or individuals in need of nutritional education and assistance. Additional professionals are available for clients on an individual basis.