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What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

About half the people who have a mental disorder will also experience a drug or alcohol problem at some point in their lives, and many people who suffer from substance use disorder also have a mental illness. When these conditions occur at the same time, the individual has a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.

In the United States, about 9.2 million adults struggle with co-occurring disorders.

Does Addiction Cause Mental Illness?

No. Addiction does not cause mental illness, nor does mental illness cause addiction. Still, the 2 disorders tend to appear at the same time. Some people use drugs and/or alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms of their mental illness and form an addiction simultaneously, but others form a mental illness while their addiction rewires their brain. The same set of factors also increases an individual’s risk for both substance use disorders and mental disorders.

Risk factors for substance use disorder, mental illness, and dual diagnosis include:

  • Genetics (these conditions run in your family)
  • Stress (and other environmental factors)
  • Trauma (many people developmental conditions and unhealthy coping mechanisms after experiencing trauma)

Just like any other illness, both mental health conditions and substance use disorders can occur in anyone, regardless of their overall health, happiness, and success. When an individual gets sick, they may also need treatment to recover.

How Does Treatment Work?

Recovering from a co-occurring disorder should never be a source of shame or stigma. The first step in your recovery will be eliminating drugs and/or alcohol from your system (detox) and getting sober. From there, you may need behavioral therapies, medicine, and increased social support. All the treatments you participate in are designed to break negative habits and give you ways to cope with difficult symptoms and situations in the future.

Fortunately, you can address all components of your treatment in one place at an inpatient rehabilitation center like Mount Sinai.

About Mount Sinai Wellness Center

At Mount Sinai, our team is here to help you see the bright and rich future available for you on the other side of recovery. We accomplish this by guiding you through your addiction treatment journey and providing the services and support you need to feel better.

When you join us for inpatient care, you will have access to the United State’s top physicians and clinicians, enjoy comfort and privacy at our beautiful facilities, eat masterfully prepared meals, and have the time you need to focus on yourself and your mental health.

Rediscover happiness and sober living. Call us at (800) 353-4673 today or contact us online to get started.

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