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Dual Diagnosis РAmarillo (806) 318-9013

A dual diagnosis is the co-occurrence of one or several mental health disorders and a drug or alcohol addiction. Treating co-occurring disorders can be difficult simply because the two conditions affect each other. Specialized treatment that combines traditional rehab treatment and mental health medicine can be effective for addicts who suffer from mental illness.

If you are looking to get rehab treatment with a dual diagnosis, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Amarillo at (806) 318-9013.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

The truth is that any mental health disorder can occur at the same time as a drug or alcohol addiction. This co-occurrence does not necessarily define or imply causality. In other words, it does not determine whether or not the mental health disorder or the addiction came first. However, some mental health disorders seem to be more commonly associated with addiction or substance abuse problems than others.

Eating Disorders and Addiction

Eating disorders are complicated mental health disorders in that they have many of the same characteristics of an addiction. They involve compulsive behaviors, routines, and an inability to stop those behaviors as well as physical symptoms and consequences.

Sometimes termed a secondary addiction, eating disorders often coincide with addictions to stimulants such as cocaine, caffeine pills, or the like. Additionally, addictions to diet pills often coincide with eating disorders.

PTSD and Addiction

PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder that occurs following a trauma of some sort. This can be exposure to extreme violence, abuse, a car accident, or any other event that is damaging or traumatic to the patient. Severe anxiety can occur as a result, chronic nightmares and insomnia, and the uncontrollable recurrence of thoughts surrounding the event that caused the trauma.

PTSD can co-occur with depressant drugs that are designed to relax or calm the mind and body such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin. PTSD patients may also become addicted to marijuana as it has similar calming effects.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options

When a person suffers from both a mental health disorder and a drug or alcohol addiction, they need to get treatment for both disorders. In the past, mental health disorders and drug addictions were treated in succession rather than simultaneously. However, today there are dual diagnosis treatment centers that can address the needs of both mental health disorders and drug addictions. The primary treatment options in such centers include:


Psychotherapy is a therapeutic and counseling technique that can help to treat both the recovering addict’s mental health disorder and their addiction. Therapy can occur in one-on-one individual sessions with a therapist, with family members, or in group settings. The idea is to determine the root causes of both the mental health disorder and the addiction, determine triggers, and to develop coping mechanisms to deal with those triggers, cravings, and feelings.


Many mental health disorders require treatment by medication. However, when a person also has a drug addiction, there is a risk of developing further addictions to prescription medications given to patients to treat mental health disorders. Psychopharmacology for people who are dual diagnosed must take into account the possibility of developing drug dependence and attempt to use drugs that do not cause chemical dependencies.

Seek dual diagnosis treatment by contacting the experts of Alcohol Treatment Centers Amarillo at (806) 318-9013.

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