Dual Diagnosis


Many people unknowingly suffer from an undiagnosed mental health disorder that exacerbates their addiction. Many people self-soothe their mental health symptoms with substances like drugs and alcohol instead of seeking medical treatment that would be far more effective in treating their symptoms. Common examples of underlying psychiatric issues are anxiety, trauma, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

At Recovery in Motion, identifying co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders is a priority for anyone entering treatment. Treating just a mental illness without addressing substance abuse or vice versa sets people up for failure. By treating both the addiction and the underlying mental health issues, we are able to more effectively treat both. Long-term recovery is nearly impossible without identifying and addressing parallel mental illness and addiction.

Both addiction and mental illness carry unwarranted stigmas in society. Many people who are suffering don’t seek help because they are concerned about being judged. It’s important to understand that there is no shame in suffering from mental illness. Many people experience mental illness and it is not a form of weakness. Similarly, addiction is not an indication of moral failure. When we treat people as whole people, including their co-occurring illnesses and life experiences, we are better able to treat them as opposed to simply alleviating symptoms. Mental illness requires careful management and compassion but it’s possible to lead a fulfilling life in recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that, “People with mental illness are more likely to experience a substance use disorder than those not affected by a mental illness. According to SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.” It is often difficult for medical professionals to treat a co-occurring mental illness while someone is in active addiction because symptoms overlap and fluctuate in severity.

Substances affect your mood and brain functioning, making it difficult for medical professionals to assess the mood fluctuations associated with many mental illnesses. People who have a co-occurring mental health disorder and an active addiction are at a higher risk for homelessness, imprisonment, and suicide. Treating addictions and mental illness simultaneously are hugely beneficial for people managing their symptoms of mental illness and for living in addiction recovery.

If someone continues to suffer from a mental health disorder, they won’t be able to fully enjoy a happy and healthy life of substance abuse recovery. At Recovery in Motion, we are committed to comprehensively healing our patients in treatment, including outpatient programs so that the healing continues. Some studies have also found that people become optimistic when both their addiction and mental illness are being treated. They become hopeful as they are more educated about their experiences and able to manage their mental health.

Dual diagnosis treatment allows us to integrate mental health disorders and addiction treatment. We guide our patients through a healing process that implements proven strategies to help them consistently manage their symptoms.

Every addiction is unique and co-occurring mental disorders complicate symptoms. This makes appropriate treatment plans more complex. Our addiction specialists are adept at crafting comprehensive healing strategies for each person who comes to Recovery in Motion for help.