Dual Diagnosis in Addiction

Dual diagnosis is the term given to a patient who is suffering from a mental health condition at the same time as an addiction to substances such as alcohol or drugs. Dual addiction is a complex condition and, as such, many rehabilitation clinics do not treat patients with the condition. However, here at Liberty House Clinic, we have experienced staff with the necessary skills to help patients overcome their problems.

Dual diagnosis patients commonly deal with a destructive addiction while also suffering from a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety disorder. Addiction recovery experts know that it is necessary to treat both conditions for a patient to have the best chance of a long-term, successful recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Defined

As explained above, dual diagnosis is the name given to the condition in which a patient is suffering from both a substance addiction and a mental health problem simultaneously. In many instances, one condition can develop as a direct result of the other. For example, many patients with an addiction to cannabis will go on to develop mental health disorders such as psychosis or schizophrenia. Similarly, those with depression or anxiety disorder may turn to alcohol or drugs in a bid to self-medicate. Unfortunately, mental health issues and addiction often go hand-in-hand.

Dual diagnosis is still relatively new in the field of addiction recovery. In the past, addictions and mental health disorders were treated separately. Those who presented with a mental health condition and an addiction were often sent away and told to return once they were sober. Nevertheless, the fact that the two conditions are so obviously interlinked meant that many patients never received the treatment they needed.

These days, dual diagnosis is a recognised condition, and residential clinics such as Liberty House Clinic can help patients to effectively overcome both conditions.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

Some of the symptoms of mental health disorders are similar to those of addiction, so it can be tricky for people to tell if a loved one has a mental health problem or an addiction. Below are a few examples:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school or home
  • Severe mood swings
  • Change in appetite and weight
  • Being paranoid or self-conscious
  • Having a negative perception of life
  • Lacking motivation
  • Irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sleeping problems
  • Aggression or anger
  • Hallucinations
  • Shaking or sweating
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Relationship problems
  • Becoming secretive
  • Underperforming at school or work

The above symptoms could be displayed by someone with an addiction or a mental health disorder; it can be impossible for loved ones to tell the difference. This is why Liberty House Clinic urges you to get in touch with us to make sure your loved one gets the correct diagnosis.

Importance of a Correct Diagnosis

The reality is that many people with dual diagnosis still do not get the help they need to overcome their problems. Mental health disorders and addictions are closely linked, with around half of those who suffer from mental health issues also abusing drugs or alcohol.

It is vital that those with dual diagnosis are correctly diagnosed as having the condition as otherwise they will not receive the correct treatment. With the two conditions being linked, both must be treated concurrently in order for the person to overcome his or her problems.

The condition is difficult to identify because of the similarity of the symptoms of both addiction and mental health disorders. Only those with experience of dual diagnosis can tell whether the symptoms are being caused by the mental health problem or the addiction. At Liberty House Clinic, we have a team of professional staff that specialise in diagnosing and treating dual diagnosis patients.


Dual diagnosis is a complex condition that requires intensive treatment. Treatment at Liberty House Clinic for those with dual diagnosis is designed around their emotional, social, physical, and mental health needs. We use a variety of approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy as well as holistic therapies and counselling.

We know that every patient with dual diagnosis is different and requires different treatment; for that reason, we will create a bespoke plan of care that will heal the individual as a whole. Our treatments are person-centred and are designed to heal the mind, body and spirit.

If you or a loved one is suffering from both mental health issues and addiction, we urge you to contact us today. Your illness is a progressive one that will continue to get worse unless you get the treatment you need. It is difficult for those with addiction to think clearly, but when the patient is also suffering from a mental health condition, this impairment can be even more pronounced.

Dual diagnosis is a serious illness that requires immediate treatment. Failure to get treatment could result in further damage to health and relationships. Call Liberty House Clinic now for advice and support.

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