Dual Diagnosis in Erie

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, a person with a dual diagnosis suffers from both a mental health issue or disorder and a problem with mind-altering substances. A dual diagnosis typically develops in one of two ways. First, a person abuses or becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol and then develops a mental health disorder, resulting in a dual diagnosis. Second, a person with an untreated mental health problem turns to mind-altering substances as a means of self-medication.

Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

With alarming frequency, individuals who have mental health disorders do not have access to much needed professional treatment, for one reason or another. Rather than appropriately address the underlying mental health condition, a self-medicating only works to worsen the disorder.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

The National Institutes of Mental Health has identified four primary categories of mental health disorders that commonly are included as part of a dual diagnosis. These are depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and an array of personality disorders. In many cases, a patient is afflicted with more than one mental health disorder.

Why is it so Prevalent?

According to the Mayo Clinic, statistics reveal that more than 50 percent of individuals who abuse or are addicted to drugs are afflicted with at least one mental health disorder. Over 35 percent of individuals with an alcohol problem or addiction suffer from at least one mental health problem.

Nearly nine million people in the United States are estimated to be suffering from co-existing disorders each year. Only seven percent of these individuals obtain appropriate treatment, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.


Specific courses of treatment for co-occurring disorders depend on the unique needs of an individual seeking this type of professional assistance. With that noted, dual disorder treatments typically involve a combination of behavioral management, psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.

Successful treatment for dual diagnosis necessitates effectively addressing both the addiction or substance abuse issues, as well as the associated mental health disorder. Because these conditions are interrelated, merely addressing one disorder does not afford a true solution to the problem. Many drug treatment centers in Erie, use the support of certified medical professionals who are dedicated to making sure that every patient receives the correct diagnosis and treatment for their condition.

Drug Treatment Centers

Historically, treatment for mental health disorders and treatment for substance abuse or addiction issues occurred at different facilities or through different programs. Ultimately, mental health and addiction treatment professionals recognized the prevalence of dual diagnosis among patients in both types of treatment programs. As a result, specialized treatment programs developed. The dual designed to address the unique and challenging needs of individuals suffering from co-existing disorders.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Services

Aftercare and relapse prevention services are vital to a comprehensive dual diagnosis management program. A major component of drug treatment programs offered by drug rehabs in Erie, is the development of a meaningful and thorough aftercare and relapse prevention plan. These services are designed and developed on a case-by-case basis, recognizing the unique needs and requirements of every patient.

Typical aftercare and relapse prevention services include ongoing one-on-one counseling or psychotherapy, group counseling, psychopharmacology and participation in support groups (such as a 12-step program). In most cases, a post-treatment plan involves an integration of different types of services.

If you, or a loved one, is struggling with substance abuse and a mental disorder, now is the time to call for help. We can assist in your research for the best treatment facility and program. Call now at 814-651-9437.

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