A person with dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions occur together frequently. In particular, alcohol and drug problems tend to occur with
Sometimes the mental problem occurs first. This can lead people to use alcohol or drugs that make them feel better temporarily. Sometimes the substance abuse occurs first. Over time, that can lead to emotional and mental problems.
Someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. For the treatment to be effective, the person needs to stop using alcohol or drugs. Treatments may include behavioral therapy, medicines, and support groups.
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Alcohol and Other Psychiatric Disorders (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
- Co-Occurring Disorders (Mental Health America)
- Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism: Are They Related? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- American Psychiatric Association
- Mental Health Treatment Program Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)