Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

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Understanding Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Simply put, dual-diagnosis treatment is treatment for addiction which identifies and treats other co-occurring conditions at the same time. Dependence on drugs or alcohol alone presents a serious mental health challenge. Make no mistake, addiction is a mental health disorder. But when addiction is combined with another diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, the effect can be exponential. 

This is one of the reasons why dual-diagnosis treatment is so important to successful and lasting recovery. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), at least 45% of patients admitted to treatment for a substance use disorder have a dual diagnosis. What that tells us is dual-diagnosis patients are quite common. What it doesn’t tell us is that the majority of them still aren’t getting the help they really need.

Common conditions seen in dual-diagnosis patients include:

  • Major Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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The Dual-Diagnosis Patient

What is perhaps most important to understand about the dual-diagnosis patient is that addiction and other mental illnesses don’t exist in a vacuum. That is, they inherently affect one another. Both are diseases of the mind. When addiction is present, it re-orders that person’s normal priorities and creates a situation where the drugs and alcohol inevitably end up at the top of the list. 

This often leads to behaviors, aside from the drug or alcohol use, which are not conducive to good mental health. Sleep deprivation, dishonesty, angry outbursts, isolation. The list is long. Ironically, one of the reasons dual-diagnosis patients engage in substance use is to “self-medicate” symptoms of another disorder. Whether it’s drinking to quell anxiety or abusing opioids to combat depression, it clearly isn’t a solution. 

What matters most for dual-diagnosis patients:

  • Accurate diagnosis of co-occurring conditions
  • Effective treatment which addresses both addiction and the other condition(s)
  • Knowledge of their conditions and the treatment solutions for them
  • Compliance with medication orders, if prescribed
  • Consistency, routine and order in their lives

How Through the Archway can Help

Where Through the Archway fits into the dual-diagnosis treatment plan is as a catalyst for change. Our approach is called spiritual immersion in part because it’s intended to bring about nothing less than a psychic change: a profound reordering of the way our patients see themselves and the world. This dramatic shift in perspective, and the recovery lifestyle which we teach our patients to embrace, are what will help them continue their progress forward long after they leave treatment with us.

The robust clinical, medical, psychiatric and vocational lanes of treatment engineered into the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center’s dual-diagnosis program combined with the spiritual element creates a customized wellness package for each client. Accurate diagnosis and treatment is what helps return our patients to a state of mental wellness. The spiritual immersion at Through the Archway is part of what helps keep them there and gives them strength in the days to come.

How TTA helps dual-diagnosis patients:

  • Increases their knowledge and understanding of addiction
  • Provides meaning and context for the work we do in recovery
  • Facilitates an awakening and opportunity for personal transformation
  • Empowers them with tools for managing their emotions and behavior
  • Instills a sense of personal accountability and responsibility to do what is right


If you are ready to learn the techniques that will help you initiate or reboot your sobriety, please contact us to schedule a tour or consultation at our South Florida location 844-620-1546

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