Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Knowing What, How, and When

Posted on: August 5, 2019 by in Dual Diagnosis
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Dual Diagnoses: What is it?

A dual diagnosis revolves around mental illness (i.e. bipolar, depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia) and substance abuse. Substance abuse involves mistreating a substance to cope with a stressor in an individual’s life. This is not the same as an individual who is dependent upon a prescribed medication to go about daily living. 

How Does a Dual Diagnosis Occur?

An individual with a mental illness may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope; on the other hand, an individual with a substance abuse disorder may develop a mental disorder as a side effect of the substance. A few examples of signs and symptoms include isolation, irritability, changes in eating or sleep, shakiness, or slurred speech.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis treatment center can offer either inpatient or outpatient services. The dual diagnosis treatment center can offer integrated treatment. This is where an individual and their healthcare team provide care towards both mental illness and substance abuse.

Privacy and Insurance During Treatment

Will the dual diagnosis treatment center keep mine or my loved one’s information private? Ultimately, yes, the dual diagnosis treatment center is under HIPAA standards to keep yours or your loved one’s information private unless withholding such information harms the individual or another. If you or a loved one find a dual diagnosis treatment center, make sure that your insurance policy covers the treatment plan and that your dual diagnosis treatment center takes your insurance, especially if you have private insurance (i.e. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, etc.). If you suspect yourself or a loved one, there are national hotlines that can help refer you to local resources and dual diagnosis treatment centers. 


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