Home » Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

Addiction is a mental health disorder, but it doesn’t usually occur in a vacuum. It is often instigated by trauma, life experiences and other mental health disorders.
Someone with a diagnosis of mental health and substance use disorders is said to have a dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders. It’s not always necessary to identify which disorder came first. However, it is important to treat all co-occurring mental illnesses together at a dual-diagnosis treatment center.

Why Dual Diagnosis Treatment Is Important

Imagine that someone goes to the doctor with abdominal pain and digestive distress. This person also has an allergy to certain foods. The doctor may recommend a particular treatment that involves medications and lifestyle changes.

But if the allergy is ignored, the patient’s gut health won’t improve completely. The patient also needs to treat and manage the food allergy to heal fully. That’s because they have more than one health condition affecting their digestive wellness.

The same thing happens with mental health conditions. The symptoms and causes of one psychological illness often overlap with those of substance use disorder. If you have a dual diagnosis, treatment for one disorder may improve the other one. Therefore, treating both of them at a dual diagnosis treatment center results in even more positive outcomes.

What You Should Know About a Dual Diagnosis

Whether you have a dual diagnosis or suspect that you might, there are some facts about a dual diagnosis that you should know. These include the following:
  • Almost 38% of people with a substance abuse disorder have a co-occurring mental health condition.
  • A dual diagnosis doesn’t mean that you have two psychological conditions; it means that you have at least one other mental illness in addition to a substance abuse disorder.
  • More than 50% of people with a dual diagnosis don’t receive treatment for their substance use disorder or other disorders.
  • Fewer than 10% of individuals with co-occurring disorders receive mental health and substance abuse treatment.

How Do You Know if You Have a Dual Diagnosis?

If you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and you also struggle with substance use disorder, you may have a co-occurring disorder. The following signs are indicators that you or a loved one could have a dual diagnosis. If you are struggling with any of these, contact a mental health professional so that you can uncover the sources of your distress and get the best treatment for you.
You might have a dual diagnosis if you suffer from substance use disorder as well as:
Brook McKenzie, COO
Quote Icon

Burning Tree Ranch is about changing lives fundamentally and forever.

~ Brook McKenzie, LCDCI, Chief Operating Officer

Why Does a Dual Diagnosis Tend to Go Untreated?

It’s not always easy to treat a dual diagnosis because it’s not always evident that a co-occurring disorder exists. Many of the symptoms of substance use disorder are similar to symptoms of other mental health problems. Because the consequences of the addiction may be so obvious and intense, it might seem as though they’re only related to the substance abuse. However, they might be related to an underlying disorder.

Still, the immediate and powerful effects of substance abuse may trump other issues. For many, it’s evident that the first step toward healing should be to detox from substances and seek treatment for the addiction.

This often involves abstaining from drugs and alcohol, working with a mental health professional and attending support groups. There are many evidence-based approaches to substance use disorder treatment, and they take time, focus and effort. You may not feel as though you have the time or capacity to work on other areas of your life as you focus on managing your addiction.
Some other reasons that dual diagnosis often goes untreated include:

  • Treatment is not integrated, and you’d have to attend two different programs to resolve all of your conditions
  • An underlying mental health condition goes undetected
  • Inadequate screening by mental health professionals
  • Symptoms of another mental health condition are masked by the substance use
  • Denial makes people believe that they can manage their illnesses alone
  • The stigma surrounding psychological illness prevents people from seeking help

But you don’t have to spend extra time or effort managing your diagnoses if you attend a dual diagnosis treatment center. We hope to break down the barriers to mental health treatment so that you can get the help that you need.

The Benefits of Integrated Treatment

Integrated treatment means that concerns with addiction and other mental health issues are addressed together at one dual diagnosis treatment center. If you attend a dual diagnosis treatment center for addiction, you do more than concentrate on eliminating the drugs from your system; you participate in therapies that are designed to help your co-occurring disorder at the same time.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center, everyone involved with your care plan is on the same page. They communicate with each other so that they can address your needs comprehensively. When one team member knows that you struggle with bipolar disorder, for example, they can share that information with other providers so that your treatment plan can be adjusted for your unique symptoms and goals.

You can piece this type of treatment together by participating in various programs and seeing individual providers separately. However, it makes more sense to integrate your therapies at one dual diagnosis treatment center so that you’re addressing all of your mental health diagnoses within the same program or session.

From the patient’s perspective, the integrative approach at a dual diagnosis treatment center is fluid and seamless. You can’t necessarily pick apart which parts of therapy are addressing your addiction and which aspects are tailored to your co-occurring disorder. However, from the perspective of the mental health professional, each element of your treatment plan has a specific goal to help you manage and heal from the distinct concerns that each diagnosis brings about.

View statistic & research of long-term treatment in a dual diagnosis setting

What to Look for in the Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

Burning Tree Ranch is a dual diagnosis treatment center with an understanding of the challenges that you face when you struggle with addiction. We also know that your struggles may go much deeper than the addiction, and we’re committed to helping you uncover and manage all of the factors that are negatively impacting your mental health.

If you’re looking for the best dual diagnosis treatment center, seek out a facility like Burning Tree Ranch, which offers:

  • A wide variety of evidence-based, experiential and alternative therapies
  • Experience with treating a broad spectrum of mental health disorders in addition to substance abuse
  • A holistic approach to treatment
  • A comprehensive approach to aftercare so that support doesn’t stop when you leave our facility

Understanding yourself is one of the keys to recovery. At Burning Tree Ranch dual diagnosis treatment center, we aim to help you discover the sources of your distress so that you can learn to manage them and move forward with a rich, fulfilling life no matter what your dual diagnosis entails.



LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"A Message To Families"

Brook McKenzie, LCDCI, Chief Operating Officer