Dual Diagnosis treatment is a relatively new innovation in the field of addiction recovery. Until the 1990s, people who were experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder — anxiety attacks, depressive episodes, delusional behavior or mood swings — were treated separately from those who sought help for drug or alcohol abuse.
When these conditions overlapped, clients were often denied treatment for a mental illness until they got clean and sober. Unfortunately, because substance abuse is often driven by an underlying psychiatric disorder, this meant that many people with a Dual Diagnosis of addiction and a mental disorder never got the help they needed.
In the 21st century, Dual Diagnosis recovery blends the most successful aspects of mental health care and substance abuse treatment.
Instead of drawing a hard line between psychiatric health and addiction, these areas are treated as part of a continuum. Clinicians who work in addiction treatment can now receive training and credentials in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders. Dedicated rehab facilities offer recovery services that are personalized for clients with a Dual Diagnosis.