Call us today

(973) 862 4820
Menu close
Help Available 24/7

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

What Is the Difference Between Co-occurring and Dual Diagnosis?

Person comparing two different types of applesAn addiction can touch almost every part of a person’s life. Relationships, finances, careers, and more can all fall by the wayside when an addiction is in full swing. Sometimes, the addiction can grow so powerful that it sparks other physical and mental health conditions.

For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that people addicted to drugs are about twice as likely to deal with mood and anxiety disorders, when compared to the general population. These are two very different diagnoses, but they can apply to the same person.

Naming is important to medical professionals that deal with these issues, as the terms they use can help to both define the disorder and describe how it might be dealt with in the future. There are two terms that can be used when two or more conditions appear in the same person at the same time: dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis

This term could be applied to an issue of two or more conditions in the same person at the same time, but it is also a broader term that could apply to any combination of physical conditions that apply to one person. For example, someone with diabetes and heart disease might have a dual diagnosis. Someone with cancer and migraines might also have a dual diagnosis. Anytime medical professionals can diagnose two separate but equal conditions, they might use this term.

For people with addictions, physical problems that might merit a dual diagnosis include:

  • Hepatitis B infections
  • AIDS infections
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Lung scarring
  • Chronic constipation
  • Tissue death
  • Mental illness

Arguably, these are all things that could be caused by drug abuse, but they are separate physical diagnoses. They could fall under the heading of a dual diagnosis.

Co-Occurring Disorders

This term is used almost exclusively in reference to a mental health issue that comes as a result of, or contributes to, an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Symptoms of that problem, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, include:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Using or abusing substances under dangerous conditions
  • Loss of the ability to control or curb drug use
  • Tolerance to the impact of drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms when no substances are taken
  • A need to use in order to handle everyday life
  • Risky behaviors caused by substance abuse

For some people, mental illness sparks the need to use and abuse drugs. For these people, the substances work as a form of symptom control. With substances, they feel capable of handling the difficulties the mental health issue can bring. For others, mental health issues come about due to drug abuse and the brain damage it can cause.

Patient speaking with therapist about co-occurring disorders or dual-diagnosis

co-occurring-disorder-icon

When It’s More Than Substance Abuse

We Address & Treat Underlying Co-Occurring Issues
(888) 660-2640

Treatment Options

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests that integrated treatment, in which all the person’s difficulties are handled by the same team at the same time, is ideal for dual diagnosis and co-occurring condition problems. These other issues can make recovery from addiction harder, so it makes sense to deal with them as part of the recovery process. Until they are addressed, they will function as endless relapse prompts.

Not all treatment programs are capable of handling multiple issues at the same time, so families will need to choose providers with care. By selecting a treatment team that can deal with these multiple issues, people can get the relief they need.

You Might Be Interested In
Therapist analyzing patient behaviors
Addiction Therapy Essentials

Nurse holding different antidepressants
Antidepressants To Assist in Recovery