Dual Diagnosis Treatment In NJ

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis is when you have a substance use disorder at the same time as another mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment is a specialized treatment plan that includes therapies, medications, and activities to address co-occurring disorders.

It’s not uncommon for a mental illness to co-exist with substance use disorder. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and personality disorders can even lead to substance use disorder. The goal of dual diagnosis treatment is to help patients achieve long-term recovery from both substance use disorder and the symptoms of mental illness.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment

What are Common Risk Factors for Dual Diagnosis?

Substance use disorder may co-occur with a mental health disorder due to a variety of factors. However, there are some common risk factors that increase the likelihood of dual diagnosis. Genetics play a role and if you have a family history of either substance abuse or mental health conditions, you may be more likely to develop co-occurring disorders. Environmental factors are also high-risk. If you live in poverty, experience chronic stress, or are exposed to violence, this may increase the risk of developing two disorders.

Similar to environmental factors, trauma contributes to co-occurring disorders. This may be physical or sexual abuse, experiencing a natural disaster, or surviving a tragedy such as a school shooting. It’s also been noticed that individuals who use drugs or alcohol at a young age are more at risk of developing a mental health disorder also.

While not everybody who has one or more of these risk factors develops a dual diagnosis, it’s useful to be aware of some causes that lead to co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders

Symptoms of mental health disorders vary by person and condition, but there are common signs that you may notice in yourself or others.

Symptoms may include:

Mood changes


Chronic fatigue


Changes in behavior


Having irrational thoughts


Disrupted sleeping patterns


Experiencing delusions or hallucinations


Difficulty concentrating


Using drugs or alcohol


If you’re concerned about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, it could be beneficial to talk to a mental health professional.

Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder

Recognizing a substance use disorder early can benefit you during recovery and lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Common symptoms of substance use include:

  • Urges to drink or use drugs
  • Difficulty controlling the amount or frequency of substance use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Lying about or hiding substance use
  • Physical pain when you stop using a drug or alcohol

Substance abuse causes serious mental and physical health problems, so it’s important to seek help as quickly as possible when you notice these signs. If you suspect a friend or family member may be abusing substances, you can intervene by offering to get help.

Dual Diagnostic Treatment

What To Expect from Dual Diagnosis Treatment in NJ

Dual diagnosis treatment recognizes that substance use disorder and mental health disorders are connected and integrates treatments. From dual diagnosis treatment, you can expect a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your mental health. At Pathways, we will then create a treatment plan custom to you and your needs.
Treatment typically includes a combination of therapies and medication.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is talk therapy that helps you understand your thought and behavior patterns. This is a useful way to treat co-occurring disorders because it helps you and a therapist identify the root causes of your mental health and substance use problems and resolve the issues. CBT provides you with techniques and tools to manage the symptoms of mental health disorders.

This type of therapy is also useful for relapse prevention. Treating your mental health reduces the risk of abusing substances again.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that emphasizes mindfulness. DBT helps you become more self-aware and teaches you to manage your emotions, stress, and close relationships.

DBT includes both individual and group therapy sessions. During these sessions, you may identify negative behaviors or thoughts that may lead to substance use and develop coping mechanisms to refuse your cravings.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is psychotherapy that focuses on an individual’s resistance to change. This is successful in addiction treatment because MI helps you find intrinsic motivation to recover.

This type of therapy relies on the belief that people are more likely to change their behavior when they feel that making a change aligns with their values and goals.

Medication Management

Medication management or medically-assisted therapy helps you manage symptoms of either withdrawal or a co-occurring disorder. In a dual diagnosis program, you may be prescribed an antidepressant, mood stabilizer, anti-anxiety medication, or medication to manage your substance cravings. These medications reduce symptoms and the risk of relapse.

Medication management is typically offered with other therapies and treatments. While medicines can help treat mental health disorders, cognitive therapy is more effective in treating substance use disorders.

Support Groups

Joining a support group may be a part of your dual diagnosis treatment. There are support groups in New Jersey for those who struggle with either their mental health or substance abuse. It’s beneficial to attend meetings with these groups so you can maintain your sobriety.

Support groups provide understanding and encouragement. It’s also important to have a support system while in recovery. Spending time with other individuals who are just as committed to living sober can hold you accountable too.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment At Pathways Treatment Center

At Pathways Treatment Center, we can offer you treatment and help you achieve healing from mental health and substance use disorders. Our dual diagnosis treatment in NJ provides flexible options so that you can receive treatment perfectly suited for you.

If you or a loved one has mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use disorder, call us today to learn how we can help. We will answer any of your questions about co-occurring disorders and treatment in our dual diagnosis program.

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