Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Dallas, TX

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to the presence of two co-occurring or comorbid disorders, such as substance addiction and a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These two conditions typically exacerbate the course and outcome of both. Approximately 7.7 million adults have co-occurring substance addictions and mental health disorders requiring specialized treatment. Only about 9% of individuals with a dual diagnosis received treatment for both conditions.1

In Texas, over 1 million people struggle with a substance use disorder and more than 800,000 people have a serious mental illness—many of these people may struggle with both.2 Dual diagnosis treatment programs in Dallas, TX provide integrated care that adequately addresses both the addiction and psychiatric illness. Without comprehensive treatment at a Dallas rehab, you may have an increased risk of relapse.

Why Do Substance Addictions and Mental Health Disorders Co-Occur?

Although substance use disorders and psychiatric conditions commonly co-occur, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one disorder caused the other one. Because of the complexity of these disorders, it’s difficult, if not impossible to determine causality.4

Studies show that three primary pathways can contribute to the comorbidity between drug and alcohol addictions and mental illness:4

  • Common risk factors can contribute to both mental illnesses and substance addictions
  • Mental illness could contribute to substance use and addiction
  • Substance use and addiction could contribute to the development of mental health issues

Common Co-Ocurring Conditions

Research shows that approximately 38% of people with substance use disorders also have a mental illness, and about 18% of individuals with a mental health disorder also have a drug or alcohol addiction.1

Some of the most common co-occurring conditions found in those with a substance addiction include:6

  • Depressive Disorders, suc has Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Personality Disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Sleep Disorders

Why is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Important for Recovery?

Dual diagnosis treatment programs in Dallas are designed to help you heal from both your mental illness and substance use disorder. They also take into consideration your unique needs to create a treatment plan that will optimize your recovery.

Your care team should address both your mental illness and your substance use disorder at the same time because these two conditions can influence and fuel one another. For example, you have bipolar disorder, your mood can be deeply affected by the substances you use, and your drug or alcohol use can exacerbate your depression or mania. Or, if you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience panic attacks that are severe enough to cause you to self-medicate with substances. Regularly using drugs or alcohol to address distressing mental health symptoms can contribute to the progression and severity of your addiction.

Conversely, if you are repeatedly engaging in drug or alcohol abuse, the side effects of the substances or the withdrawal symptoms may exacerbate your existing mental health symptoms. This can lead to increased anxiety, making you more irritable or causing you to have difficulty sleeping.7

This pattern of substance abuse and mental health symptoms creates a compulsive cycle that can be difficult to end without professional dual diagnosis treatment. If you only receive treatment for substance abuse, next time you experience unpleasant mental health symptoms, you may return to substance use. And if you only receive treatment for your psychiatric condition, then you amy continue using drugs or alcohol, which could worsen your mental health.

Finding a dual diagnosis program in Texas is crucial to your recovery process. It can provide you with the individualized and integrated treatment you need to overcome both conditions and improve your health and well-being.

What are the Features of a Dual Diagnosis Program?

A dual diagnosis program is a highly structured treatment program. There are many dual diagnosis treatment programs in Dallas, TX, and although each one may differ in amenities and rules, each one utilizes individualized treatment plans based on your:

  • Specific needs
  • Substance addiction
  • Mental health condition
  • Medical history

Remember, the goal of a dual diagnosis program is to help you address your substance abuse and your underlying mental health disorder. Your treatment team should be comprised of certified addiction specialists (psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and therapists) who have experience treating both substance use and mental illness.

Quality dual diagnosis treatment programs will include the following features:6

  • Uses a recovery perspective: The staff understands and acknowledges that recovery is a long-term process of internal change and that these changes proceed through multiple stages.
  • Adopts a multiproblem viewpoint: The staff understands that your co-occurring disorder stems from an array of problems (including mental, medical, substance use, social, and family) and that treatment needs to include both immediate and long-term needs for housing, work, a supportive network as well as health care.
  • Has a phased approach to treatment: The staff understands that your co-occurring disorder requires a staged or phased approach to treatment. Treatment should occur in three to five stages: engagement, stabilization/persuasion, active treatment, and continuing care.
  • Addresses specific real-life problems early in treatment: The staff can help patients address family and legal matters and provide specialized interventions that target crucial areas of your needs, which may include helping you find suitable living arrangements post-care and help you with finding/maintaining work.
  • Plans for your cognitive and functional impairments: The staff will work to address your cognitive and functional impairments (e.g., memory loss) and provide you with the tools you need to function more effectively in your daily life.
  • Uses support systems to maintain and extend treatment effectiveness: The staff will work to help you create and maintain a safe and supportive network that can help you better manage your life, improve your treatment retention, and prolong the effectiveness of your treatment.

How to Choose a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in Dallas

For those seeking out dual diagnosis treatment in Dallas, TX, the good news is that there are many options for quality care in both Dallas and surrounding areas. However, choosing which dual diagnosis treatment program is right for you can be a challenge.

One of the most important things to look for when choosing a dual diagnosis program in Dallas, TX, is whether the program is willing to work with you and your specific needs. While it’s true that many patients will present with similar conditions or symptoms, when it comes to co-occurring disorders, no two patients are the same.

To ensure you are getting the best possible care, you want to avoid any treatment facility that takes a generic approach to recovery. Instead, you want to choose a dual diagnosis program that will take the time to get to know your complete medical history, as well as your substance abuse and psychiatric history. Doing this will help them get a clearer picture of who you are and what you are going through and will help them design a comprehensive, individualized plan for recovery. 

If you are looking for a dual diagnosis program in Dallas, TX, then you’ll want to take your time and do your research to find the best program possible. You want to choose a treatment program that will address your immediate and long-term needs and help you get the most out of your recovery.

Here are some features you will want to consider when choosing the right program for you:

  • Location: The facility should be in an area that is convenient for your lifestyle and your treatment needs.
  • Staff: The facility should employ staff who have experience treating co-occurring disorders. Also, inquire about the staff-to-patient ratio to ensure you get proper attention and one-on-one care.
  • Accommodations: The facility should provide you with the best medical and psychiatric care, and it should provide you with an environment conducive to healing.
  • Additional Services: The facility should offer other services relevant to your needs, such as group therapy, outpatient services, recreational activities, and counseling.
  • Integration: The facility should integrate medical and psychiatric care with the treatment of substance abuse.
  • Treatment Continuity: The facility should help you maintain the progress you have made in treatment and provide you with a plan to sustain your recovery.

Not quite sure where to begin? Call our helpline today at 1-(214) 935-2287. You’ll be able to talk with a caring treatment support specialist who can help you find the right center for your needs.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, April 6). Comorbidity: Substance use and other mental disorders.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. (2020). Behavioral Health Barometer Texas, Volume 6.
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020, September). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, April 13). Why is there comorbidity between substance use disorders and mental illnesses?
  5. (2012, April). Psychiatric disease and drug abuse: Current opinion in pediatrics. 
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. (2020). Substance Use Disorder Treatment for People with Co-Occurring Disorders.
  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). Alcoholism and psychiatric disorders.
  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine │ MedlinePlus. (2021, August 10). Dual diagnosis.

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