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dual diagnosis
The term dual diagnosis has been thrown around a lot in the addiction treatment world however, very few know what the term means. If you are researching treatment for yourself or a loved one then chances are you have came across this term.

What is dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis treatment is needed when someone is suffering from both a mental health disorder and alcohol or drug addiction. It is very common and both conditions must be treated through a regime of rehabilitation and counseling. It is highly common to find a teen with an alcohol or drug abuse problem also have mental health problems.

Dual diagnosis at Inspirations

Inspirations for Youth and Families is a teen drug and alcohol treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment of addiction. Our integrated treatment plans are designed to concurrently address an individual’s substance abuse and mental health problems.

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

  1. Chemical Dependency is a primary illness
  2. The family plays an integral part in the illness and its treatment
  3. Treatment must be individualized
  4. There are often concurrent psychiatric problems that must be addressed for optimal treatment success

Methods of treatment


The first major hurdle that people will have to pass is detoxification. During inpatient detoxification, a person is monitored 24/7 by a trained medical staff for up to 7 days. The staff may administer medical alternatives in order to wean a person off and lessen the effects of withdrawal.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

A person experiencing a serious mental illness and dangerous or dependent patterns of abuse may benefit most from an inpatient rehabilitation center where they can receive concentrated medical and mental health care 24/7. These treatment centers provide therapy, support, medication and health services with the goal of treating addiction and its underlying causes.


Medication is a used for treating a variety of mental illnesses. Depending on the mental health symptoms a person is experiencing, different medications may be issued.Medications to ease withdrawal are used during the detoxification process. They produce similar effects in the body as certain addictive drugs.


Psychotherapy is always a large part of an effective treatment plan. Education on a person’s illness and how their beliefs and behaviors influence their thoughts has been shown to improve the symptoms of both mental illness and substance abuse.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)  is effective in helping people learn how to cope and to change ineffective patterns of thinking.

Self-help and Support Groups

Dealing with a dual diagnosis can feel challenging and isolating. Support groups allow members to share frustrations, successes, referrals for specialists, where to find the best community resources and tips on what works best when trying to recover. They also form friendships and provide encouragement to stay clean. Here are some groups that can offer support.

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