“Dual-diagnosis” is a term used to describe the presence of an addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) and other co-occurring mental health conditions.
It is not unusual for patients seeking treatment for substance misuse to present with depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, eating disorders, unaddressed trauma caused by negative life experiences, and other mental health conditions. Attempts to self-medicate the symptoms of underlying mental health disorders can lead to the misuse of substances. The lifestyle and mentality of people with addiction also exacerbate mental health conditions — leading to a damaging self-reinforcing cycle.
Successfully treating SUDs requires the identification and treatment of all relevant co-occurring disorders. The diagnostic process for these interrelated conditions can be complex and may require more than an initial assessment period to identify all conditions.
Encore in the DC metro area uses a close therapeutic alliance and collaborative case management to effectively identify and treat dual-diagnosis disorders.