Drug Rehab for Co-Occurring Disorders

According to statistics, more than half of all individuals who abuse drugs also suffer from a co-occurring mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, an eating disorder or anxiety disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder or social phobia. Treating the substance abuse problem without treating the co-occurring disorder will almost always lead to failure (and vice versa), which is why choosing a drug rehab for individuals with co-occurring disorders is essential to full recovery and long-term sobriety.

Types of Drug Rehab for Co-Occurring Disorders

People who suffer from mental illness and drug dependency have a unique set of problems that must be addressed simultaneously. There are two main types of drug rehab for co-occurring disorders: inpatient treatment and outpatient programs.

Inpatient treatment will provide the patient with:

* Medical detox. This can range from 3 to 7 days and is done in a medically supervised treatment center. Detox includes counseling, medications and group sessions.
* Residential treatment.  Long-term residential programs can range from a few months to a year. These residential programs are specifically designed for addicts with more severe mental illness symptoms and more than one relapse. They provide group support and counseling to prevent repeated relapse.
* Dual diagnosis treatment. This comprehensive treatment will be tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Dual diagnosis will provide therapy, medication, assertive outreach, job and housing assistance, family counseling, and money and relationship management.

Outpatient programs can include:

* Counseling. Counseling can involve individual, group, couple or family therapy and is usually used in conjunction with other types of treatment or as follow-up support. In counseling you’ll be able to identify the root cause of your drug addiction and learn how to make better decisions in your life.
* Sober living. A sober living home is a group of recovering drug addicts who live together in order to support each other and provide an environment free of alcohol and drugs. Sober living is recommended for people who have just completed residential treatment and are at risk for relapsing if they return home.
* Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOPs are scheduled around the patient’s work or school schedule and involve meeting around three days a week for 2-4 hours at a time.
* Intensive case management. This involves assigning a case manager to the patient so that frequent contact and follow-up occurs in order to make sure the patient is complying and attending doctor’s appointments, properly taking medications and fulfilling all aftercare responsibilities.

How to Choose a Drug Rehab for Individuals with Co-Occurring Disorders

A good program for dual diagnosis will provide treatment for a wide variety of issues, including: drug and alcohol use, behavioral addictions, codependency patterns, mental health, trauma issues, eating disorders, sexual addiction, family functioning, social relationships, physical health and fitness, diet and nutrition, vocational and education needs, and legal problems.

Without comprehensive treatment, a person suffering from dual diagnosis will inevitably continue the vicious cycle of self-medicating their mental illness symptoms through substance abuse. If you know someone who has dual diagnose symptoms, encourage them to seek treatment at a dual diagnosis drug rehab where they can be properly diagnosed and effectively treated.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.