Dual Diagnosis / Co-Occurring Disorders

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

WHAT IS DUAL DIAGNOSIS / CO-OCCURING DISORDERS? Dual Diagnosis, also known as Co-Occurring Disorders, is when an individual experiences both a substance use and mental health disorder at the same time. This is a relatively new concept to the mental health field that encompasses treating the whole individual who may be experiencing two or more disorders simultaneously. Despite being a newer clinical concept, it is quite common for an individual who has been experiencing drug or alcohol problems to also experience mental health issues. According to a national survey on drug use and health, around 7.9 million adults were diagnosed with a co-occurring/dual diagnosis in 2014.

Signs and Symptoms of a Co-Occurring Disorder

Drugs or Alcohol (see also Drug or Alcohol Abuse)           

  • Legal concerns due to drinking or drug use such as driving while intoxicated
  • Physical health issues such as memory loss, illness, seizures, frequent vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, insomnia, weight loss
  • Difficulties with maintaining work, social, or family obligations
  • Relationship problems
  • Lack of interest in doing things or feeling hopeless
  • Loss of income due to drinking and drug use
  • Participating in impulsive behaviors such as binge eating, one-night stands, shopping sprees, etc.

Common Mental Health Issues Co-Occurring With Drug or Alcohol Disorder (not all are listed below):

CAN THERAPY HELP?  There is no single treatment that works best for those who experience co-occurring disorders, since each person experiences unique symptoms based on their various life concerns. It is most beneficial to use an integrated treatment approach using a combination of various effective methods that treat all of the issues specific to the individual. Integrated treatment includes helping individuals understand how their drinking or drug use relates to their mental health issues, and working to identify and develop recovery goals. Through successful strategies including cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention, and contingency management, those dealing with significant issues of a co-occurring disorder can find relief from their symptoms, and learn how to develop skills, hope, and recovery to meet their goals.

WHY SHOREPOINTE? At Shorepointe Counseling, we have nearly 40 years of combined experience in the mental health and addictions professions working with families and individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders.  We devise integrated, specialized individual treatment plans to work on both the substance or drinking use and the mental health symptoms you are experiencing to help achieve your definition of recovery . We understand the impact that co-occurring disorders can have on individuals, couples, and families, and will work with you to regain control of your emotional and physical health. We provide a non-judgmental, nurturing environment and offer flexibility in meeting your needs and your schedule. We look forward to helping you on your journey!