Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis is by far one of the most common conditions throughout the United States, as the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health (NSDUH) reported that in 2014, 7.9 million people in the country were diagnosed with it.

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So, what exactly is a dual diagnosis? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. For many, it can be difficult to determine if the substance use disorder came first or the mental illness came first, however, through our dual diagnosis treatment in Paducah, KY, this can become clearer.

For those who have a substance use disorder, it is extremely common to also have a mental illness occurring alongside it. Also known as a co-occurring disorder, a dual diagnosis can be appropriately treated through the right approach and effective means of doing so.

Up until the 1990s, mental illnesses and substance use disorders were treated separately, which proved to not be as effective as originally thought. Dividing both conditions up and giving them individual attention only improved one of the conditions more than the other, or left an individual still struggling with symptoms of both. Today, however, our dual diagnosis treatment in Paducah ensures that treatment for both the mental illness and the substance use disorder are treated simultaneously in order to affect positive change.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

It is highly common for people who have a dual diagnosis to not even know it. In fact, those around someone with a dual diagnosis might not even know exactly what is occurring either, as identifying a condition like this can be difficult. It can be even more challenging to do so when one’s substance use disorder is making it seem as though an individual’s behaviors are a direct reaction to his or her substance abuse.

However, some of the most common symptoms of a dual diagnosis are not that hard to identify if it is known what to look for. Consider the following symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Problems upholding a job
  • Inability to maintain relationships
  • Financial problems
  • Severe mood swings
  • Problems managing emotions
  • Legal issues
  • Needing a substance in order to function

Of course, these symptoms can be synonymous with a substance use disorder alone, however, when they are exaggerated or more intense, it is often because there is another issue that is occurring.

How Is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Dual diagnosis is treated comprehensively through a process known as an integrated intervention. Integrated intervention focuses on providing treatment for both conditions at the same time, as opposed to splitting them up and only managing one at a time. Any other approach to dual diagnosis treatment is either not effective or has not proven to be effective at this time.

As with any other form of treatment, the level of one’s care will depend on his or her individual needs. For some, their dual diagnosis can be treated through outpatient means, however many require in-depth inpatient care to address both issues. According to NAMI, the following steps are essential for more focused care:


Any time when substance abuse is involved, especially when an individual is dependent, it is imperative that he or she detox prior to moving into any other phase of care. This is because, during the detox process, individuals can clear their bodies of all toxic substances that would otherwise negatively impact their mental and physical functioning. When this process is complete, individuals can begin working on the other steps of our dual diagnosis treatment Paducah, Kentucky

Inpatient/Outpatient rehab

Dual diagnoses can be very complex to treat, and doing so can take time. Therefore, when indicated, individuals should participate in inpatient or outpatient rehab, which typically follows after detox. At this time, those recovering from a dual diagnosis will do so with the help of several professionals at our Paducah dual diagnosis treatment. These professionals can offer therapeutic treatments such as individual and group therapy, behavioral therapy, and therapies consistent with their mental illness (e.g. eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for posttraumatic stress disorder).

Supportive housing

It is usually recommended that someone with a dual diagnosis who needs more care than what is offered through an outpatient program obtains supportive housing, such as what can be offered through attending an inpatient program at our dual diagnosis treatment in Paducah, Kentucky. Being in a space that encourages continued recovery can be highly beneficial, as it prevents individuals from straying from a treatment plan, relapsing, or putting themselves or others in danger.


As mentioned before, the benefits of psychotherapy can be far-reaching, as it not only helps individuals address the underlying emotional and psychological causes of their dual diagnosis, but it also gives them the opportunity to develop coping skills so that they can manage their symptoms safely and effectively.


Medications, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, are necessary for those with a dual diagnosis. At our dual diagnosis treatment program, individuals will work with psychiatric professionals who are not only able to diagnose them but also able to provide them with the appropriate medications needed to better manage their mental health and wellbeing.

Self-help and support groups

Millions of people grapple with the symptoms of a dual diagnosis. However, none of these individuals need to go through it alone. Through support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Double Trouble in Recovery, dual diagnosis patients can obtain support from others who can understand what they are experiencing, as well as provide support to those in need.

Get Help Today Through Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Paducah

Getting help for a dual diagnosis is not always easy, however, it is necessary. Dual diagnosis treatment in Paducah can help you or a loved one overcome the many obstacles that a dual diagnosis can prevent so that recovery can be obtained.

There is no need to continue to ignore symptoms and keep spiraling into a place of emptiness. Our dual diagnosis treatment in Paducah, Kentucky can help you or someone you love finds the tools necessary to live a happy, healthy, well-balanced life.