Everything You Need to Know About Dual Diagnosis Rehab in Long Island

Dual diagnosis rehab is a term that has been used to describe the process of treating an individual who suffers from both addiction and mental health issues at the same time.

Dual diagnosis rehab is a term that has been used to describe the process of treating an individual who suffers from both addiction such as substance use disorder and mental health issues. Dual diagnosis rehab is an important step in recovery for those with substance abuse problems, as it helps to ensure that they get best treatment option.

Those who have not yet begun their journey into recovery can find all the information they need on our website about what dual diagnosis is all about and how can patients benefit from it. If you or someone close to you needs help, we are here 24/7!

Having a mental illness or addiction is one of the most challenging battles a person can fight. But having both at once seems impossible to overcome, thankfully, it’s not. It’s what we call a dual diagnosis, and it’s more common than you may think. Over 1 in 4 adults who have a mental health disorder also suffer from a substance abuse problem.

Dual diagnosis is treatable but it is challenging—especially on the patient’s part. Treatment for one condition the patient has may affect the other, and a way must (and will) be found to treat both of these challenging conditions simultaneously.

Plus, each case of dual diagnosis is as unique as the individual seeking treatment. If you are looking for top-notch dual diagnosis treatment, Long Island Treatment Center is here for you. Our team consists of the best expert addiction doctors, accredited clinicians, qualified therapists, and experienced nurses to tackle all aspects of addiction. Read further to know more about dual diagnosis and its treatment options.

Dual Diagnosis

What is Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is when a patient suffering from a mental health disorder has also developed a substance abuse problem. These are also known as co-occurring disorders or a comorbidity. For example, one dual diagnosis could be social anxiety plus alcohol abuse, while another could be depression plus heroin abuse.

With endless combinations of possible co-occurring disorders, each case is unique that only a medical professional can help with. Furthermore, a treatment for one condition may worsen the other. That’s why you need doctors because they are extra careful when treating both patients’ conditions.

How Do Dual Diagnoses Develop?

Dual diagnosis usually starts as a single mental health disorder/addiction that then leads to another. For example, an alcoholic who’s ashamed of his addiction may become chronically depressed because of it. Then, the depression resorts to alcohol abuse and drug use.

Or, the individual might be chronically depressed at first and then develop a drinking problem leading to alcohol addiction. Either way, you can see how both disorders reinforce each other. This adds to the challenge of treating a dual diagnosis. That’s why treatment program from a reputable facility is a must.

Are Dual Diagnoses Common?

Yes, dual diagnoses are pretty common. 7.9 million adults  in America suffer from a dual diagnosis, and more than half of them (4.1 million) are men. The most common mental health problems are anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, co-occurring with drug addiction or alcohol abuse.

Other common mental disorders coupled with drug abuse are:

  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • ADHD

In short, medical professionals have been treating millions of dual-diagnosis cases for many years. So, although each one of these cases is still a unique challenge for doctors and medical staff, there are at least years of evidence-based data and resources in order to formulate an individualized treatment plan for a patient.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment is Personalized

There’s another plus side to having a unique condition. Because it’s unique, it requires special attention. There’s no generic textbook cure, and there’s only attentive, personalized care—the very best. Dual-diagnosis patients receive more attention and a more carefully crafted/monitored treatment plan than those with less complex problems.


Typically, a dual-diagnosis treatment program consists of several interventions to address both diagnosis. For instance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and medication for mental health conditions. A medication-assisted treatment and detox program to address alcohol abuse. Then drug rehab for those with substance abuse disorders.

Each patient’s case is unique — some may need Intensive Outpatient Program while some will benefit more with Inpatient Rehabilitation or residential treatment. That’s why Long Island Treatment Center offers different kind of treatment programs. Our treatment facility offers:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program
  • Evening Intensive Outpatient Program
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation
  • Aftercare Program
  • Addiction Therapies
  • Drug Rehab for Young Adults

Both Conditions Are Treated Together

Due to the nature of a dual diagnosis, both conditions must be treated together. The reason is that, most often, both disorders feed off of each other. We already mentioned how one’s alcoholism could contribute to depression. So, if you treat the alcoholism but not the underlying depression, the patient is more likely to return to drinking to self-medicate.

If one of the conditions goes untreated, it essentially derails any attempt to treat the other. The only solution and a proven effective treatment for dual diagnosis cases is to treat both problems at once. This integrated approach also means that patients are typically treated for both disorders under one roof.

Treating Conditions Separately Is Ineffective

Not only do the conditions of a dual diagnosis affect each other, but the treatment of each will affect the other also. Sometimes, treating one condition only can negatively affect the other. Dual-diagnosis treatment should focus on both mental health treatment and addiction recovery.

For example, a medication for a mental health disorder might be terrible for someone addicted to certain substances. This is another reason the doctor must treat both problems—the whole problem—and not only part of the problem. Of course, the treatment provider can treat both conditions if both conditions were correctly diagnosed.

Dual Diagnosis Misdiagnosis

For the above reasons, the doctor must know all the details of a patient’s co-occurring disorders to treat them. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis happens often that the doctor is in the dark about one of the patient’s disorders.


The biggest reason is that the patient is reluctant to disclose the information, and it is, after all, very personal. While the patient may be comfortable telling the doctor about his social anxiety, he may not speak about his heroin addiction.

Then, the doctor will provide ineffective treatment, not knowing it should be adjusted for a co-occurring disorder. Other times, the patient is unaware of the second condition. They may realize they have a drinking problem. But they may not realize that they have depression. Dual diagnosis is vital for the full recovery process.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Works Like a Mediator

As you can see, an essential part of dual diagnosis treatment is for the healthcare team to see the whole picture and crafts a treatment plan that’s appropriate for both conditions and how they affect each other. Also, part of the treatment is educating the patient on how dual diagnosis treatment works.

If the patient can learn how these two conditions feed off of each other, it can help them stop the cycle. Then, they can fight both disorders more effectively. This takes education and training with a therapist. What can you expect in a dual-diagnosis disorder treatment plan? Here are several techniques utilized for substance abuse treatment, alcohol dependency,

  • Psychotherapy
  • Joining support groups
  • Family Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Detox program
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Addressing behavioral health issues

Patients Are Legally Allowed Time Off For Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to give employees time off for medical/family issues. Both mental health disorders and addiction treatment are included in this act.

Individuals are entitled to 12 work weeks of medical leave (unpaid) for every 12 months. You cannot be fired for seeking dual-diagnosis treatment, and the FMLA also covers family intervention for a loved one receiving dual-diagnosis treatment as well.

Do You Need Dual Diagnosis Rehab in Long Island?

Do you or a loved one need dual diagnosis treatment? Get help as soon as possible by contacting a rehab center. Long Island Treatment Center is here to help you or a loved one if you think you’ve been dealing with a dual diagnosis. Contact us now! Specialists are waiting for your call, message, or live chat right now.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center