People diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder are often suffering from mental health or behavioral disorder at the same time. This combination is known as a dual diagnosis and requires a treatment plan that addresses both disorders. Treating both addiction and a co-occurring mental or behavioral disorder is the best way toward leading a healthy, successful life.

Mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety are common co-occurring disorders. Dealing with one of these as well as substance abuse means battling unique symptoms for each disorder, which can impact your ability to function at work, maintain relationships, cope with difficulties, or relate to others. Co-occurring disorders affect each other as well, meaning that when one disorder goes untreated, the other disorder usually worsens.


Certain mental and behavioral disorders often present themselves with addiction but are often also the underlying cause of addiction. There are several common mental health disorders that are linked to substance abuse:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD): People with ADHD often abuse substances to cope with their symptoms. Prescription stimulants are typically used to treat ADHD, but they can be habit-forming and lead to a pattern of substance abuse.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder struggle with addiction, as they use drugs and alcohol as an escape from emotional situations and manic episodes.
  • Depression: Roughly 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from depression, and turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Drugs and alcohol are downers, which typically worsen depression, especially by the crash after the buzz or high.
  • Eating Disorders: It’s not uncommon for those diagnosed with eating disorders to use appetite-suppressing drugs.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder are likely to abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with their other symptoms. Many people self-medicate with addictive prescription medications used for treating anxiety disorders, such as benzodiazepines.
  • Schizophrenia: It’s difficult to diagnose schizophrenia along with an addiction, because both conditions share the same effects, such as hallucinations and delusional thinking.

Why co-occurring disorders are treated differently.

Those diagnosed with a mental health condition are nearly 50 percent more likely than the general population to suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Those with a tendency to abuse drugs or alcohol are likely to develop a co-occurring disorder.

When this happens, it’s important to seek an addiction treatment specialist who can help you discover and treat the underlying causes of your disorders, and not just the symptoms. CAST Centers is a premier Beverly Hills Area rehab that offers patients several inclusive and multi-dimensional substance abuse treatment strategies which nourish patients following a detox, on the way to healthier lives.

Patients can opt for residential or outpatient treatment options, as well as participate in holistic therapies such as chiropractic treatment and physical therapy, or individual therapy with psychiatrists and therapists. The specialists at the Beverly Hills rehab are committed to helping you find workable solutions for your dual-diagnosis and guide you toward a healthier, happier life.


Treating a Dual-Diagnosis

The best treatment option for dual-diagnosis is an integrated approach that treats both substance abuse and mental or behavioral disorders simultaneously. It doesn’t matter which disorder came first, so long as both are treated together by the same specialist. Substance abuse treatment usually includes detox, managing withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapy, and sobriety support. Mental health treatment usually includes prescription medication, working with a therapist, lifestyle changes, and peer support.

Medication prices can be costly without health insurance, or even unaffordable for some recovering patients. America’s Pharmacy provides coupons and discounts on prescription drugs at thousands of pharmacies across the U.S. including pharmacy chains such as Walmart and Walgreens. All you need to apply for a discount card is sign up with your email address, download the mobile app, and search local pharmacies in your zip code.

Show your coupon and prescription to your pharmacist and they will find the best discounts on prescription prices or generic drugs. Prescription discount cards are designed to help save on medication prices if prescriptions aren’t covered by health insurance or have a high deductible. It’s important for patients to keep up with prescription medication following treatment. Prescription discount programs are a smart way to keep pharmacy costs in check and ensure that patients can afford to maintain their medication schedule.

The sooner that a dual-diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin. It doesn’t matter if substance abuse or mental health disorder presents first, what matters is that the underlying causes of dual-diagnosis are treated simultaneously.