Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Understand what dual diagnosis is and how to find the right dual diagnosis treatment in Washington. Reach out to We Level Up Washington and start your journey to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilled life. We are there to support you!


What does dual diagnosis mean in mental health? People are still struggling to understand this, and there is a good reason for it. It is challenging to explain the dual diagnosis meaning as it entails a variety of co-occurring states and conditions. As the addiction treatment community realizes that addiction is a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated. These conditions are still treated separately, or worse – not treated or diagnosed at all. 

We Level Up dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida, California, Texas, New Jersey, and Washington are facilities with professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. Our Washington dual diagnosis treatment facility is among the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State and it aims to provide a comprehensive, integrated, and holistic approach to treating dual diagnoses.

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If you are looking for dual diagnosis centers near me, reach out to We Level Up Washington. Let us help you understand what to look for and what to expect from dual diagnosis treatment Washington State.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

The dual diagnosis definition is simple: dual diagnosis is the identification of two distinct disorders that are present in the same person. A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and a secondary, co-occurring alcohol or drug problem. The co-occurrence of diagnoses is quite frequent. About half of people who have a mental disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, and vice versa

Co-occurring diagnoses can exist at the same time or happen one after the other. Though the disorders can exist separately, when they coexist in the same person, they usually amplify the symptoms of both disorders. It is common for a person with co-occurring disorders to have more severe symptoms than a person with only one of the disorders.

Although co-occurring, this does not mean that one disorder caused the other, even if one appeared first. In fact, it can be hard to figure out which came first. Researchers think that there are three possibilities why they co-occur:

  1. Common risk factors may contribute to both mental disorders and substance use disorders. These factors include genetics, stress, and trauma.
  2. Mental disorders can contribute to drug use and substance use disorders. For example, people with mental disorders may use drugs or alcohol to try to feel better temporarily. This is known as self-medication. Also, mental disorders may change the brain, making it more likely that you will become addicted.
  3. Substance use and addiction can contribute to the development of a mental disorder. Substance use may change the brain in ways that make you more likely to develop a mental disorder.

Signs, Symptoms, and Examples of Dual Diagnosis

Speaking of signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis is not easy, as many combinations of dual diagnosis can occur, and symptoms vary widely. Mental health clinics are starting to use alcohol and drug screening tools to identify people at risk. Symptoms of substance use disorder may include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Developing high tolerance and withdrawal symptoms
  • Feeling like you need a drug to be able to function

The symptoms of a mental health condition can also vary greatly, and the warning signs that may be reasons to seek help include:

  • Extreme mood changes
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Thoughts of suicide

Each disorder has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental disorders in adults can include the following:

  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior, or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, and vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits, such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
A man holding a bottle of alcohol
A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem.

Some dual diagnosis examples are co-occurrence of depression and alcohol abuse, anxiety and alcohol abuse, prescription drug addiction and anxiety, alcoholism and ADHD, etc. Among all these examples of dual diagnosis, probably the most frequent one is the co-occurrence of depression and alcohol use disorder. Earlier estimates in the US reported that 2.7 million adults aged 18 or older had these co-occurring conditions, with over 40% of them not receiving treatment for either of the conditions. 

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What Is the Most Common Dual Diagnosis?

A variety of mental health disorders can co-occur with substance use disorders. Understanding each of these conditions is the first step in recognizing and treating it properly. 

There are several different kinds of mental health disorders that commonly co-occur with substance use disorders. The most common co-occurring disorders with substance abuse fall into five categories:

  1. Mood disorders
  2. Anxiety disorders
  3. Psychotic disorders
  4. Personality disorders
  5. Eating disorders

While there are differences among them, many of them have similar attributes as to how they are diagnosed, what causes them to co-occur, and how the two disorders affect one another.

A troubled man lying in bed.
Dual diagnosis treatment in Spokane WA can treat a variety of mental health disorders co-occurring with substance abuse.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are characterized by disruptions in mood that affect a person’s life, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. It is unclear which disorder is more commonly diagnosed first in patients who have both, but it is clear that one affects the other.

It is common to try to treat a substance use disorder first and then address the mood disorder. However, studies have shown that treating both conditions simultaneously improves patient outcomes.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety and substance abuse are among the most common co-occurring disorders.

It is less common for anxiety disorders to be substance-induced than mood disorders. People with anxiety disorders may use substances to self-medicate and relieve their anxiety symptoms, which can lead to substance abuse. For this reason, it is crucial for those struggling to receive comprehensive anxiety treatment along with substance abuse treatment.

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders involve changes in the way a person thinks and perceives themselves, others, and their environment. Examples of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. A common symptom among psychotic disorders is psychosis, which is a temporary state where a person experiences hallucinations or delusions.

Psychotic disorders and substance abuse disorders can be hard to co-diagnose because psychosis can sometimes be a symptom of substance abuse. Drug-induced psychosis occurs when a person taking a substance experiences temporary hallucinations or delusions. Withdrawal from certain substances can also have psychotic effects. To be co-diagnosed, psychotic symptoms must also be present in the absence of substance use.

Schizophrenia and substance abuse, in particular, are commonly co-diagnosed. Substance use can make schizophrenia symptoms significantly worse. The underlying genetic conditions that increase a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia can also make a person vulnerable to a substance use disorder. Because of genetic predisposition, substance use may start early in life, causing the person to be more at risk for developing a substance use disorder. All that deems getting schizophrenia treatment necessary as soon as the first symptoms occur.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders cause people to have unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that affect their everyday lives and relationships. Common personality disorders that co-occur with substance use disorders include borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder, with the most common being borderline and antisocial personality disorders.

Personality disorders and substance abuse disorders are more commonly co-diagnosed in people with drug use disorders than alcohol use disorders. The high prevalence of co-diagnosis is usually a result of a personality disorder being followed by a substance use disorder.

Eating Disorders

Dysfunctional eating habits characterize eating disorders. Examples of eating disorders include binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa with binge eating and purging habits tend to be at a higher risk of substance use than individuals with other types of eating disorders.

In general, eating disorders and substance abuse are commonly co-diagnosed. Studies have suggested that a genetic link could be the cause. Genetic factors that make a person more liable to eating disorders are also found among those that make a person liable to substance use disorders.

A girl with an eating disorder.
Dual diagnosis treatment facility should offer comprehensive and holistic dual diagnosis treatment.

Substance Use Disorders in Dual Diagnosis Cases

As a country, we have a serious substance misuse problem — the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and/or prescribed medications in ways that produce harm to ourselves and those around us. These harms are significant financially, with total costs of more than $420 billion annually and more than $120 billion in healthcare. But these problems are not simply financial burdens; they deteriorate the quality of our health, educational, and social systems, and they are debilitating and killing us, particularly our youth, through alcohol-related car crashes, drug-related violence, and medication overdoses.

Genetic, brain imaging, and neurobiological science suggest that “addiction” is qualitatively different from substance use and is now best understood as an acquired chronic illness, similar in many respects to type 2 diabetes—illnesses that can be managed but not yet cured.

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A “substance” is defined as any psychoactive compound with the potential to cause health and social problems, including addiction. These substances may be legal (e.g., alcohol and tobacco); illegal (e.g., heroin and cocaine); or controlled for use by licensed prescribers for medical purposes such as hydrocodone or oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Lortab). These substances can be grouped into seven classes based on their pharmacological and behavioral effects. They are:

  1. Nicotine: cigarettes, vapor cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff
  2. Alcohol (including all forms of beer, wine, and distilled liquors)
  3. Cannabinoids: Marijuana, hashish, hash oil, and edible cannabinoids
  4. Opioids: Heroin, methadone, buprenorphine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Lortab
  5. Depressants: Benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium, Librium, and Xanax) and Barbiturates (e.g., Seconal)
  6. Stimulants: Cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin), and atomoxetine (e.g., Strattera)
  7. Hallucinogens: LSD, mescaline, and MDMA (e.g., Ecstasy)

The Role of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in Washington State

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State need to be able to properly diagnose and treat both conditions without treating one as the sole cause of the other. Addiction is a complicated disorder, and the same can be said about mental health conditions. Many biological and environmental factors impact them, and when co-occurring, they are intertwined, affecting overall symptoms and treatment. Good dual diagnosis treatment centers need to have the capacity to recognize each of the disorders and treat them as a whole rather than as separate problems. Our dual diagnosis treatment in Spokane WA ensures assessment and tailored solutions for co-occurring mental states.

Dual Diagnosis Assessment

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State have the difficult task of establishing dual diagnosis without having a specific tool. The American Psychological Association (APA) has provided a definition of dual diagnosis, but instructions usually available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for evaluation of different disorders are lacking. It´s on the professional´s expertise to recognize both co-occurring mental states, and We Level Up Washington dual diagnosis treatment facility has its own approach to setting a dual diagnosis assessment.

Our dual diagnosis treatment in Spokane WA ensures adequate assessment with a multilevel approach. Since dual diagnosis implies the existence of two mental states, all combinations of dual diagnosis symptoms are almost impossible to define. Instead of using a list of signs as criteria, our We Level Up WA dual diagnosis treatment facility employs multiple screenings. 

A therapist working with a patient during dual diagnosis treatment in Washington State
A good dual diagnosis treatment program should offer multiple payment options and accept most insurance policies.

Our staff takes into account your physical and mental health history in chronological order. We collect information about the history of substance use, previous substance abuse treatments, periods of abstinence, and relapses. If you are experiencing any skill deficits or limitations, you should be sharing this information as well. We also collect information about any signs and symptoms of mental health disorders and might be asking about your family history as well. 

Establishing dual diagnosis is not simple, but having all this data provides us with a solid start. Some of it will be acquired during a pre-assessment stage of our admission process, but typically, dual-diagnosis cases are identified during inpatient mental health treatment in Spokane WA

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State providing a dual diagnosis assessment,
Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State need to develop a proper assessment system for the dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

How can you treat dual diagnosis? This is an important question to answer. A proper drug treatment program will offer several therapy levels and multiple treatment options. This allows our rehabilitation facility to meet the individual needs of each of our patients. Moreover, tailoring a specific therapy program for each person ensures treatment of both addiction and co-occurring mental health problems. 

For the best possible chance of full recovery, your dual diagnosis treatment facility should include:

  • Psychotherapy: The most reliable and widely used approach is therapy, which includes different types, such as CBT and DBT.
  • Family program: In the treatment process, all household members, including partners, spouses, children, and any other household members, should be involved regardless of whether they receive individual treatment or take part in family meetings.
  • Substance abuse treatment: Substance abuse and mental health treatment specialists work together to meet your mental health and substance abuse needs.
  • Medications: Psychotherapy is key in treating co-occurring disorders, but prescription medication may also be required. As for what medication is used for dual diagnosis, the answer depends on the co-occurring states. Medication can be introduced in the detoxification phase of addressing substance abuse, but also as a part of psychological disorder treatment, for instance, schizophrenia or anxiety treatment.

You can count on We Level Up Washington to rely on all these aspects when providing dual diagnosis mental health services in Spokane Washington. We understand that the only right way to treat a dual diagnosis is to take an integrated and holistic approach to mental health.

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Program Structure of Our Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Spokane WA

For those looking for dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State or exploring dual diagnosis centers near me, it´s important to understand how comprehensive a dual diagnosis treatment must be before choosing a dual diagnosis treatment facility to put your trust in. 

Dual diagnosis treatment in Spokane WA has a well-established structure and process to treat dual diagnoses. This is what you can expect the structure to look like:

  • Detox: Most programs begin with a detox process to remove physical dependence on any substances. For the treatment to be effective, you need to stop using alcohol or drugs. It should be done in the form of a residency program in mental health center in Washington as it allows our staff to administer medications when necessary and eases the process of withdrawing from the substance. This program can last as long as two months and is designed to provide intensive, focused therapy in a controlled environment to help you overcome the first hurdle and give you the tools necessary to face the cravings and temptations of everyday life.
  • Therapy: While in the residency program, you should expect behavioral therapies. Also, support groups can give you emotional and social support. They are also a place where people can share tips about how to deal with day-to-day challenges.
  • Outpatient program: The next step is an intensive outpatient drug treatment program that provides drug addiction therapy by meeting at the site several times a week for intensive therapy that can help you deal with what occurs in your daily life. Finally, a standard outpatient therapy program provides the support necessary to maintain sobriety. The We Level Up Washington Treatment Center provides inpatient services, and outpatient services may be available for qualified patients through our affiliate dual diagnosis treatment centers that are a part of the We Level Up Network, located outside of Washington.
People in group psychotherapy.
Individual and group therapies are part of the dual diagnosis treatment Washington State.

Admissions Process to Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Spokane WA

If you have already explored dual diagnosis treatment centers near you and decided to put your trust in our dual diagnosis treatment facility, you are one call away from changing your life for the better. Aiming to be among the most accessible dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State, We Level Up WA has established a simple and effective admission process consisting of only a few steps:

  1. Pre-admission assessment: We pay close attention to the assessment of your state to provide you with a tailored solution for your mental health issues. Part of the evaluation takes place over the phone when we gather basic information about your current state and your medical, mental, and family history.
  2. Insurance check: We can quickly verify your insurance plan to determine how much of your stay and treatment in our dual diagnosis treatment facility would be covered by your insurance.
  3. Exploring payment options: If your insurance plan does not cover our services, we can explore other payment options together.
  4. Dedicated treatment consultant: We will assign you a dedicated treatment consultant in charge of your dual diagnosis treatment in Spokane WA. This person will coordinate all communication between you and our facility and ensure a smooth treatment process. 
  5. Arrival and transportation: Although we are located in Washington and primarily serve our local community, our doors are open to anyone willing to travel to join us. If needed, we can assist you with transportation. The date and time of your arrival will also be agreed upon. 
  6. Start of your recovery: On the day of your arrival, our staff will welcome you. You will be introduced to our dual diagnosis treatment facility, and you will receive your schedule and plan. Your dual diagnosis treatment can finally start. 
A black and white photo of a man holding his head and suffering
We Level Up Washington makes the admission process to our dual diagnosis facility in Washington simple.

Remember that the path to change starts with a simple call. Your calls to We Level Up Washington are non-binding and confidential. We are happy to provide you with additional information, explain dual diagnosis treatments, and what the risks of dual diagnosis are. Our goal is for you to make an informed decision

Insurance and Financial Information for Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Washington State

Cost is a significant part of the accessibility of our dual diagnosis treatment in Washington State. We have partnered up with a few leading insurance companies that can support your recovery with different insurance plans. 

We have had successful collaborations with companies like Cigna, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you have their insurance policy, your costs will be partially or fully covered. Speak to your insurance agent to better understand your insurance plan, or call any of the We Level Up Network dual diagnosis treatment centers for a quick insurance check.

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Call any of the We Level Up dual diagnosis treatment centers to get more information and start your recovery process.

Get the Help You Need at We Level Up Washington

The We Level Up Washington primary mental health center stands ready to help. We offer secondary treatment programs for underlying conditions of addiction that frequently fuel harmful behaviors. Taking that first step to get the professional support you need can be life-transforming.

We know how mental health disorders and secondary co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses directly affect one another. The We Level Up Washington treatment center provides recovery programs through science-based mental health treatments that can help you feel better. Call us now for a free mental health evaluation! Let us show you why we are among the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington State. 

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at affiliated facilities at other We Level Up Treatment Centers locations beyond the Washington treatment facility.

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Sources

Hryb, Kathyrn, et al. “A Call for Standardized Definition of Dual Diagnosis.” Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), vol. 4, no. 9, 2007, pp. 15–6, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2880934. Accessed 22 May 2024.

MedlinePlus. “Dual Diagnosis.” Medlineplus.gov, National Library of Medicine, 2019, medlineplus.gov/dualdiagnosis.html.

“APA Dictionary of Psychology.” Dictionary.apa.org, dictionary.apa.org/dual-diagnosis.

McLellan, A Thomas. “Substance Misuse and Substance Use Disorders: Why Do They Matter in Healthcare?” Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, vol. 128, 2017, pp. 112–130, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525418.