Treatment Type: Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis describes a condition where one or more psychiatric illness exists simultaneously with a substance abuse disorder. Even though the terms “dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorder” are often used interchangeably, a co-occurring disorder is one or more psychiatric condition that may or may not include a chemical dependency or addiction.

Read a Dual Diagnosis Case Study

The level of impairment resulting from psychiatric illness varies widely in intensity and severity. The treatment of dual diagnosis disorders is even more difficult and complex because of the way alcohol and drug use can intensify many psychiatric illnesses. Some individuals may use a single type of drug while others might use a combination of drugs. The dose and quality of drugs vary widely as well.

Common Issues Associated with Dual Diagnosis Disorders:


  • School, Employment, Social and or Family problems
  • Legal problems and or incarceration
  • DUI
  • High-risk behavior
  • Multiple admissions for psychiatric care due to re-occurrence of psychiatric symptoms
  • Multiple drug rehab admissions for chemical dependency due to relapse
  • More frequent emergency room admissions
  • Increased need for acute health care services


Most individuals with dual diagnosis “self-medicate,” using drugs or alcohol to manage undesirable moods and painful feelings.  However these substances only make their symptoms worse over time.  By combining their prescription medications with illegal “street” drugs, opiate painkillers, and alcohol this creates a fierce downward spiral that results in debilitating addiction and increased pain as symptoms become even more severe, fueling more intense cravings and increased substance abuse.   The end results are all too familiar: hospitalization, job loss, divorce, jail, homelessness, overdose and untimely death.

When the diverse types of psychiatric illnesses and different patterns of alcohol and drug use are all taken into account, it becomes evident that there are many different forms of dual diagnosis.  However, in terms of dual diagnosis recovery, they all have one thing in common: both illnesses need to be addressed within a comprehensive Utah drug rehab program to achieve a complete recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Statistics

Over the last decade, scientists, psychologists and mental health research has found that dual disorders occur with regular frequency.   A recent study from The National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH), found that dual diagnoses affect more than 10 million Americans each year.

In addition the NIMH has compiled some revealing statistics about dual disorders.

  • 56% of people with bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness) abuse substances
  • 47% of people with a schizophrenic disorder abuse substances
  • 32% of people with a mood disorder other than bipolar abuse substances
  • 27% of people with an anxiety disorder abuse substances

Research indicates that as many as 60 to 80 percent of clients receiving drug treatment also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder (Mueser, Drake, Turner, & McGovern 2006)


Dual Diagnosis at Cold Creek Behavioral Health Drug Rehab Program – A Comprehensive Treatment Approach


Receiving simultaneous drug treatment, in one setting – comprehensive treatment– has been shown to improve substance use outcomes, including abstinence or harm reduction from substance abuse. Clients who receive integrated treatment experience improvements in independent living, symptom management, competitive employment, and non-substance-using social contacts; these clients also expressed improved quality of life (Drake, McHugo, Xie, Packard, & Helmsletter, 2006).

The drug rehab treatment program at the Cold Creek Behavioral Health specializes in treatment for dual diagnosis clients. We approach each condition separately but treat them simultaneously. Neglecting to examine both of these areas leaves the client at risk for ongoing imbalance.

After a thorough evaluation and assessment, our Utah drug rehab clinical team develops a complete understanding of how any psychological issues are impacting the same areas of an individual’s life as their addiction. Because drug use intensifies existing psychological issues and in some instances creates substance induced acute symptoms, it is important to choose a facility offering dual diagnosis treatment.  Differentiating between the two requires careful evaluation and specialized training.

At Cold Creek Behavioral Health we are committed to treating dual diagnosis in Utah so that you or a loved one can make a complete recovery.

If you have any questions about dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders, do not hesitate to contact us, your Utah drug rehab center.  Our admissions counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-315-6144.