How To Find The Right Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

If you’re diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, it’s advisable to seek help from a dual diagnosis treatment center. In most cases, substance abuse disorder and mental illness go hand in hand. As a result, one may suffer multiple mental-related diseases, such as depression and anxiety, while struggling with addiction. Unlike a rehab for a specific treatment, a dual diagnosis treatment center handles both illnesses simultaneously.

What’s A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center?

A dual diagnosis treatment center is a facility that treats Substance Abuse and Mental Illness simultaneously, otherwise known as co-occurring disorders. The truth is that these conditions are more severe than people think. According to research, you can alter brain chemistry if you overindulge in drug abuse for a prolonged period. So, apart from the addiction problem, you’ll also grapple with mental illnesses.     

You’ll typically have to undergo an assessment before being sent to a center. After the results, the health practitioner will give details of the proposed treatment procedure based on the clinical evaluation. After the diagnosis, you must receive special treatment. All these are standard procedures and will help create a more suitable treatment for you. 

Treating both your co-occurring disorders is crucial. If one is left untreated, it may hinder your recovery. Some telltale signs of dual disorders include:  

  • Acute withdrawal syndrome
  • Extreme aggression behavior
  • Mental health illness (depression, anxiety, personality disorder, etc.)

Once you’ve been diagnosed with the conditions, finding a treatment program is best to start your recovery journey. Here are factors you need to consider that can help you find the right dual diagnosis treatment center:

1. Treatment Programs

Since you’re suffering from two conditions, it’s advisable to consider an effective treatment program. First and foremost, you should know that there are several types of treatment programs. A treatment facility opts for a specific program depending on the results envisioned for your unique condition. Before enrolling, you can talk to professionals in the field to advise you on the right program. Since they’re conversant with the programs, their insights might help you get the best dual diagnosis treatment center. Some of the common types of treatment programs include:

  • Medical-assisted detox therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • The 12-step program
  • Dialectical therapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy

Moreover, you have to consider the length and duration of the program. Co-occurring disorders are complex, and you might relapse if you rush through them. Note that the 30 days programs are the least effective, while 60-90 days offer better results. It’s not easy to let go of a habit. Thus, you require ample time to get over it completely. The lengthy programs are excellent for dual diagnosis disorders.  

While at it, enquire about outpatient versus inpatient options. The inpatient option is best since the environment you stay in during treatment dictates how fast your behavior changes. Additionally, the highest care level consists of 24/7 support and professional attendance. Under such care, you can successfully overcome your addiction problem. On the flip side, with the outpatient option, you’re limited to the hours you interact with the caregivers, which could adversely influence the program results. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to enroll in an inpatient program to reap maximum benefits from the facility during your stay.    

2. Quality And Diversity Of Services 

By all means, the treatment center should offer exceptional quality standards. Some key things to include in your selection criteria list should be professional consultation and the admission process. These are vital considerations when evaluating the quality of services in the treatment center. You can rank the process depending on the experience you derive. It should be seamless, enjoyable, and without avoidable hurdles. Getting admitted to the treatment facility shouldn’t feel like a struggle. 

Also, since there might be several dual diagnosis treatment centers around your neighborhood, you’re better off with one that offers diversified services. For instance, a treatment center that provides support groups and therapy sessions to the patients during their treatment is an added advantage. Others can also hook you up with volunteer jobs so you can exercise the skills you learn during the program. As such, the quality of services significantly affects your recovery journey. 

Likewise, the facility should implement an integrated treatment approach that combines mental disorder treatment and addiction treatment. Such therapy works on the patient’s emotional, psychological, social, and physical well-being. A facility that uses a holistic approach when handling dual diagnosis will likely be the best for your condition. Note that mental health and addiction disorders are intertwined. If they’re addressed concurrently, you’re sure of recovery.

3. Trained Personnel

Another vital factor to consider when choosing a treatment center is the expertise of the personnel handling you. In your condition, you’re not just like any other regular patient. You require extra care and attention. To add to that, the success of the treatment depends on how it’s going to be administered. As such, facilities need to hire highly skilled and qualified personnel. You’d likely feel much better when professionals handle you. 

During the intake process, observe how the medical personnel handle other patients, how they talk to you, their policies on suggestions, and how they handle complaints. You can strike the facility off your list if you notice rude behavior toward a patient. 

It’s essential to maintain a patient-doctor rapport. Such a relationship can have profound positive effects on the treatment procedure. The doctors should consult with you on how you feel about a particular process or the program in general. You should also be involved in significant decisions that affect your health.  

You can even take a step further and request to see their academic and professional certificates. They shouldn’t hesitate to provide such documents. If they dodge the requests, it might be a red flag regarding their qualifications.  

4. Program License And Accreditation

All your efforts to find a facility can be doomed if you enroll in a facility that’s not legally qualified to offer the services. Remember, you spend time and money on the treatment. If you register in a facility with no license to perform the dual diagnosis treatment, you risk not getting the necessary help or subjecting yourself to substandard procedures. Also, the facility can be closed at any time. If the government catches up with the center and terminates your program mid-way, you’ll be left on your own. Thus, a licensed facility is the best way to go about it.  

You must ensure that the programs offered are accredited as proof of effectiveness. It’s also essential to investigate if several centers are offering them. Such evidence proves that the program can effectively control your disorders.  

Additionally, you should enquire if a program has been certified as an evidence-based treatment. These kinds of treatments have a greater probability of being effective.

5. State Of Amenity

For most dual diagnosis patients, the recovery center becomes your second home. On this account, comfort and luxury are paramount. You’d want it to be a home far from home. It helps you manage the treatment better than when in a dilapidated facility. Remember, the environment plays a significant role in your recovery process. Comfort settles your mind, freeing it of unnecessary thoughts and stresses that might hinder your recovery. Therefore, you should pay attention to the amenities in a facility before enrolling. 

One major trend with most dual diagnosis centers is offering luxurious amenities such as:

  • A swimming pool
  • Fitness and training facility
  • A music room
  • Virtual Coaching
  • Mobile applications
  • Maintaining high levels of cleanliness

In a nutshell, the state of amenities contributes significantly to the program’s success. You would need a comfortable and quiet place for guaranteed recovery.  

6. Location 

An online search is one way of finding an appropriate dual diagnosis treatment center. It’ll suggest several centers. However, you can narrow the search by including your area of residence or a town near you. This way, you get results with centers near your home. The closer the center is to your home, the better since you can commute quickly to and from your residence. This aspect is crucial if you opt for inpatient treatment, as it reduces your commute distance and travel expenses. Also, a treatment center near your home makes it easy for friends and family to visit you.

7. Affordability

All factors considered, your pockets determine the facility you can get treated at. No doubt, dual diagnosis treatments are expensive. There’s also a relationship between the quality of services and the price you pay. In most cases, the best services are more costly than standard ones. If you can afford them, go for it. However, you don’t have to break the bank for extremely high-end facilities if you can’t foot the bill. Go for the ones you can afford. If you go for the most expensive ones when you can’t afford them, you’ll be forced to drop out sooner or later. That would affect your recovery journey, and you may not overcome your addiction completely. 

It also pays to look into the payment options. Some treatment centers accept payment through insurance, and that’s a plus. Most insurance providers have high standard requirements that the facility should meet. Thus, a dual diagnosis treatment center that partners with insurance providers are better than one that doesn’t partner with any insurance firm.  

If you already have health insurance, you can pay for the services if the facility accepts the coverage. Hence, it’s necessary to go through the payment options and ensure the center accepts payments from your insurance provider. This way, you’ll have an easy time while undergoing your treatment.   

8. Aftercare Treatment Plan

Treatment doesn’t end with the program. Aftercare is essential in avoiding a relapse. It refers to the services associated with helping a patient adapt to everyday community life after rehabilitation. A good facility should offer an aftercare treatment plan. It shows their level of investment in your health matters. As such, it’s best to enquire about any aftercare treatment plan from the facility. 

Some facilities organize home visits for their patients once they’re out of the facility. During their visits, they monitor the environment you’re exposed to and offer helpful advice on how to make the environment friendlier. If you’re in a toxic environment, it’s easier to return to your old habits. Thus, it’s necessary to consider making the environment a better place for your recovery. 

Other aftercare services include:

  • Peer group meetings
  • Survivor support groups
  • Virtual support groups
  • Recovery housing
  • Medicine management
  • Follow-up therapy
  • Mobile apps programs

Given each patient’s unique recovery path, an aftercare treatment plan is essential. It doesn’t mean that the treatment failed. It’s simply a way to reinforce the treatment and guarantee long-lasting results.

9. Visits

Most dual diagnosis treatment centers allow visitors under specific guidelines. The regulations vary from center to center. Some common factors that influence when you can get visitors are the level of care in progress or your therapist’s suggestion. Since you’ll be separated from your family as an inpatient for a long time, the visits come in handy. However, you must have completed some residential phases of treatment. You can get visitors during the lower levels of care if your therapist allows it. 

It’s also necessary for your loved ones and family members to know how your treatment is progressing. After all, they spend a lot of time with you and could have fallen victim to certain behaviors. Letting them know you’re correcting the behavior is essential. They can also learn a thing or two about how to handle you after the treatment. 

As such, you can ask if you’ll be allowed to have visitors during your treatment before enrolling. The facility can give you more details concerning their policies on visitors, such as the time of visits and the maximum number of visitors you can have while undergoing treatment.  


Choosing the right dual diagnosis treatment center sets you on the right path to recovery. Although they have distinct variations, there’s one that can suit your unique needs. Do in-depth research based on the factors outlined above. Don’t forget to pay more attention to the treatment program. The whole process revolves around it. The treatment procedure should be personalized to cater to your level and intensity of addiction and mental disorders. Fully cooperate with healthcare providers to fast-track your journey to recovery. Also, practice what you learn while undergoing treatment. That’s the only way to beat the disorders.  

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