Treatment for Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders

Our approach incorporates evidenced-based interventions including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, 12-Step Programming, Family Therapy, Yoga, Nutritional Guidance, and Physical Activity.

Dual-Diagnosis Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Ohio and Texas

According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 45% of Americans who seek treatment for a substance use disorder are also diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder.  This translates to approximately 7.9 million adults in the United States. Often, individuals turn to substance abuse to manage the unwanted feelings associated with trauma, depression, and anxiety.

At Hickory Recovery Network and Hickory Treatment Centers, we recognize the importance of an integrated approach to treatment that requires collaboration across multiple disciplines.

Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders

In addiction or mental health recovery, some cases are considered to be more complex than others. We’ve found that often, the reason may be because there’s more going on than meets the eye.

In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), also suffers from a substance abuse disorder (SUD).

When patients suffer from two or more disorders at once, it’s called a “co-occurring disorder” — also known as “dual diagnosis” — and it makes treatment more complex. Too often, tandem mental and behavioral health conditions are treated as individual cases when treatment that considers them both at once may be the most effective approach.

At Hickory Behavioral Hospital, we understand the needs of patients who fit into this category and take pride in offering a personalized level of care that helps meet them where they are and provides them with the support they need for a sustainable recovery.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment describes therapies offered in a setting where both mental health conditions and issues related to substance abuse are treated as part of the same profile, rather than completely discrete disorders.

This is important because co-occurring disorders are often directly linked with each other. They each can make the other harder to treat effectively, and in some cases, may play off of each other to worsen each condition. Most experts agree that the most effective approach requires that mental health issues are treated with the substance abuse disorder in mind and vice versa.

What Are Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders?

We know that, on average, 1 in 4 adults experiencing a mental illness is also suffering from a different condition related to substance abuse. But which disorders are they most likely to experience simultaneously? Many of the most common paths that a dual diagnosis case takes to set in stem from the patient dealing with a mental health condition and using substances to self-medicate — which then leads to worsening mental health in a cyclical pattern. Here are a few examples:


Depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are extremely common, so people who suffer from these conditions feel like it’s “normal”, so they need to find ways to handle them other than seeking treatment.

Alcohol is one of the more common methods of self-medicating, which leads people struggling with these conditions to be at risk of developing a dependence on alcohol that can turn into an addiction.

Bipolar Disorder

People with unmedicated bipolar disorder can experience severe swings between manic (high-energy) and depressive (low-energy) episodes. This may lead them to seek substances that cause the opposite feeling to try and ease the effects of their condition.

This may lead people who struggle with manic episodes more to develop issues controlling their use of alcohol or opioids, while those attempting to control their depressive swings may turn to prescription ADHD medications or amphetamines for relief.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a lasting outcome of different types of trauma, and as a result, it can manifest in many ways. For example, people with PTSD may try to use drugs and alcohol to compensate for their struggles in key areas of their lives, which is the reason for the high rate of alcoholism in populations of people who have been exposed to trauma in their past.

Anxiety Treatment

Depression Treatment

Trauma Treatment

It is very common for people with a substance use disorder such as drug addiction or alcoholism to also suffer from a range of psychiatric or mood disorders, including:

These mental health issues in people with addiction are referred to as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven effective in the treatment of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders.  Through CBT our clients become aware of inaccurate and negative thinking patterns and learn strategies to change them. Through structured interventions with our Masters level clinicians, clients learn to adapt to challenging situations with new, more effective coping skills.  These new skills are learned and practiced throughout the recovery process.

What Are the Types of Co-Occurring Disorders We Treat?

In our Dual Diagnosis Unit, Hickory Behavioral Hospital treats co-occurring disorders that involve a range of mental health conditions, including the following:

  • aggression and anger issues
  • anxiety disorder
  • bipolar disorder
  • depressive disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • schizophrenia and other psychosis
  • conditions marked by self-harm and suicidal ideation

The Hickory Behavioral Health Approach to Dual Diagnosis

Because co-occurring disorders can vary based on the disorders involved and the ways they link with each other, we offer a range of treatment methods that allow us to personalize our care to the needs of each unique patient in our Dual Diagnosis Unit.

We provide inpatient treatment because it gives patients a comfortable setting to relax and commit themselves to their recovery. We also offer Medical Detox for patients who need to cleanse their system from the influence of drugs and alcohol. This allows start fresh and focus on recovery in a way that’s as safe and comfortable as possible.

We build personalized treatment plans using evidence-based therapies to help patients explore the ways in which their mental and physical conditions tie together, including:

  • cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • motivational interviewing
  • trauma-focused cognitive
    behavioral therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a proven intervention for treating co-occurring disorders.  The focus of this treatment modality involves mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.

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Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Treatment at Hickory Recovery Network

Are you looking for an effective dual-diagnosis treatment program in Ohio or Texas? Contact Hickory Recovery today to find a location near you. We would love to become part of your sobriety success story!