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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs in Sacramento (530) 204-5366

A dual diagnosis means that two conditions are diagnosed and treated simultaneously. It is common in all types of addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment seeks to address co-occurring conditions through a number of medicinal treatments and therapies that are backed by scientific research. Finding the appropriate treatment depends on which types of co-occurring conditions each patient is suffering from.

People can be addicted to substances such as alcohol, street drugs, or prescription drugs, and to behaviors such as gambling, or compulsive sex or shopping, that may be diagnosed alongside substance addiction. Programs for eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, panic attacks, and other mental health disorders are also commonly included in dual diagnosis treatment.

If you or a loved one need dual diagnosis treatment, please call Alcohol Treatment Centers Sacramento at (530) 204-5366.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse. Sacramento, CA dual diagnosis treatments recognize different disorder profiles, such as, mental illnesses or Substance use and abuse and personality disorder. There are a vast amount of mental illnesses that are associated with dual diagnosis.

In a dual diagnosis one of the conditions is considered primary and another may be viewed as secondary. For example, a person addicted to heroin may become obsessed with gambling in an attempt to win enough money to support their drug use. In this case gambling is the secondary addiction.

Mental illnesses include:

  • PTSD – The post-traumatic stress disorder causes patients to feel stressed or frightened when they have experienced a painful event. Many soldiers who have fought in war struggle with PTSD after returning home.
  • Schizophrenia – A chronic, disabling, and severe brain disorder that causes people to feel paranoid and imagine scenarios.
  • Bipolar Disorder – A condition in which an individual is extremely depressed or extremely happy, or both at the same time.
  • Anxiety – Unease or nervousness about an imminent event or an uncertain outcome.

Types of Co-Occurring Conditions


Depression is one of the commonest disorders identified in a dual diagnosis, and it is often difficult to determine if depression led to the addiction or vice versa. Depression can lead people to try to escape from it through excessive use of medications, drugs, or alcohol, but these addictions also produce depression as a side effect. Sometimes it is the drugs themselves that result in depression: alcohol and benzodiazapines are chemical depressants, for example.

Eating Disorders

Dual diagnosis often includes some form of eating disorder associated with other addictions. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are perhaps the best known, but many other eating disorders exist, such as an obsession with eating only certain foods or avoiding whole food groups.

Eating disorders and substance abuse are related since they are often linked to chemical imbalances in the brain that can be traced in many cases to trauma or abuse early in life. They are also associated with low self-esteem and high levels of anxiety.

According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, more people die from eating disorders in America than from any other type of mental health disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Experiencing or witnessing trauma can produce a serious form of stress known as PTSD, and this is often associated with addictions. PTSD can cause terrifying nightmares and flashbacks and result in anxiety and panic attacks. In an attempt to relieve these symptoms, some sufferers turn to drugs or alcohol and become addicted to them over time.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Another common disorder associated with addiction is OCD, as these patients may also try to treat their anxiety and fears by drinking or using drugs. The Journal of Anxiety Disorders reports that more than 25 percent of people with OCD also suffer from a substance abuse disorder.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis Patients

The most successful dual diagnosis treatment for addiction is one that recognizes and treats other conditions identified at the same time. The diagnosis is often made during a residential stay in a drug rehab center, and treatment for underlying or associated conditions will often begin during the medical detox period. Anti-depressants may be prescribed, for example, to help the patient cope with their depression, which could otherwise jeopardize their recovery.

If the two conditions are not treated simultaneously the patient is more likely to relapse and return to their drug or alcohol use or their behavioral addiction. If serious mental illness is diagnosed, this may be treated after medical detox during a further residence in rehab or in a hospital or support accommodation.

After the medical detoxification period, the patient will be offered a range of therapies to help them with their underlying issues. They will also have the opportunity to learn new skills to live a balanced life and cope with the ups and downs without resorting to addictions.

Getting sober and staying sober are two different situations. Sacramento, CA rehabs will ensure all the attention for addiction and treatment as well as advice a person needs to enter back into their communities. Call Alcohol Treatment Centers Sacramento at (530) 204-5366 if you want to get sober today.

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