Does Addiction Treatment Treat Other Illnesses, Too? - PAX Riverbend

Will Addiction Rehab Treat Other Illnesses As Well?

sick woman at an addiction rehab

Recovering from addiction alone can be enough of a challenge, but when you also struggle with other illnesses, the recovery process can be even more of a strain. One of the most common questions that many people have about addiction treatment is whether addiction rehab will also treat other illnesses. The answer to this question is yes. Addiction treatment centers do address other illnesses in addition to addiction. This process is known as dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis refers to the process of treating other illnesses in conjunction with addiction treatment. In most cases, this involves the treatment of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Many individuals struggling with addiction will find that the roots of their addiction may actually be found in their mental illness. In other cases, addiction may actually lead to anxiety or depression. Regardless of what your specific situation might be, if you suffer from a disorder or condition along with addiction, it’s imperative that you find a rehab facility that also treats other disorders.

Treating Other Illnesses in Addiction Rehab

Individuals struggling to overcome addiction may find it even more difficult to do so due to the presence of mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, or other forms of mental illness. In some cases, substance abuse may actually result in symptoms commonly associated with mental disorders. For this reason, it is imperative that the treatment facility you choose for yourself or your loved one have experience in dual diagnosis.

The first step when entering an addiction treatment facility is to provide the client with a comprehensive assessment. This assessment will not only evaluate the medical history of the client but also determine the severity of his or her addiction. This information can then be used to determine the best treatment approach for the client while also determining whether the client may also be suffering from mental health disorders.

Individual Treatment Programs Focused on Dual Diagnosis

If it is determined that a client is struggling with other illnesses, a treatment program will be designed to address the specific needs of that client. This treatment program will not only include treatment strategies to address addiction but also the other specific illness or illnesses the client may need help with.

A comprehensive treatment program will work toward integrating both addictions as well as the other illnesses in the recovery process instead of having the client work on each issue separately. Addressing both disorders simultaneously recognizing the incredible effect that addiction and mental illness can have on the life of the client. Such effects may include:• Self-medication-Individuals suffering from mental illness may turn to substance abuse in an attempt to treat their illness on their own.

This is particularly common with individuals who suffer from depression and who may self-medicate by abusing drugs that produce euphoric effects.• Increased Drug Usage Exposure-Certain types of mental health disorders may increase the likelihood that an individual may be exposed to substance abuse. A common example of this includes children and teens who suffer from conduct disorder.• Lower Drug Experimentation Barriers-Persons struggling with mental illness may also be more likely to experiment with a variety of substances. This can be commonly found in persons who have problems with impulse control.

Types of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Among the most common types of treatments used in a dual diagnosis treatment program is cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy identifies the unhealthy and often destructive beliefs or thought patterns that lead to addiction and could contribute to relapse in the future. Once these thoughts and behaviors have been identified, the client is then able to establish healthier behaviors and views.

Motivational enhancement therapy may also be used in a dual diagnosis treatment program. This form of therapy is often a good choice for clients who need to understand why they struggle with addiction. By establishing motivations, the client will have a greater opportunity for getting sober and maintaining that sobriety even after leaving treatment.

When you or someone close to you is struggling with getting sober and may also face mental health disorders, a dual diagnosis treatment program can provide the support you need to find the path to recovery. At our Southwest Florida treatment program, we not only treat addiction but also other illnesses, including mental illness. We are available 24/7 to discuss your concerns with you and find the right treatment approach. When you are ready to take the next step toward recovery, call us at 866-300-6707.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.