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Dual diagnosis is extremely important to treat in alcohol rehab.

It is actually a very common complication of alcoholism as well.

When you have a severe mental condition, you are considered to have a mental health condition.

Although a dual diagnosis is possible with any mental health condition, it is most commonly including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Dual diagnosis is extremely common, but with alcoholism, you may be more likely to suffer from a mental health condition than other people.

Who Is At Risk For Alcohol Rehab?

Alcoholics are much more likely to suffer from a mental health condition than someone who is not an alcoholic. Additionally, someone with a mental health condition is twice as likely to develop alcoholism as compared to an individual without a mental health disorder.

There are almost 8 million Americans that are considered to have a dual diagnosis and need alcohol rehab. Out of all the different people with a dual diagnosis, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance overall.

The Link Between Alcohol and Mental Health

The link between alcohol and mental health is very close. When you have a mental health disorder, you may turn to alcohol to escape. If you are struggling with an alcohol use disorder, then you may plunge yourself into a mental health hole. This makes it difficult to stop drinking.

Because of the risk for alcoholism with mental health disorders, alcohol rehab is necessary even for individuals who struggle with binge drinking. Alcohol makes mental health symptoms worse, and can even bring them on for a longer period of time.

Mental Health Was Not Always Treated in Alcohol Rehab

For many years alcoholism and mental health were not treated together, meaning they were not treated in rehab. It was always common for mental health professionals to require their patients to stop drinking before treatment. Because of this, the only way that alcoholism can be treated at the same time as mental health conditions. Now it is common practice, therefore mental health is able to be treated while alcohol is still being used, but also while in alcohol rehab.

Effects of Dual Diagnosis Leading to Alcohol Rehab

Every mental illness has different symptoms, but they are typically exacerbated when mixed with alcohol. Additionally, there are symptoms that often occur in dual diagnosis. Common signs of a dual diagnosis include:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced eating
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble completing tasks
  • Decreasing performance at work
  • Irritability, mood swings, and anxiety
  • Making excuses for alcohol use or other odd behaviors

Common Dual Diagnosis


Alcohol and depression is one of the most common mental health combinations that exist. If you have depression it is very common for it to turn into alcohol abuse. This is because alcohol can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression such as:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Loneliness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Unfortunately, the long-term result of depression and alcoholism actually ends up making the depression symptoms worse.


Almost 20% of all Americans suffer from some point of anxiety in their lives. Alcohol is extremely attractive to anxiety sufferers because it can take away the feelings of anxiety for a small amount of time. Very common reasons to use alcohol are for social anxiety. This is because it helps you to feel confident in social situations. Despite it working in the short term, it will actually make it much worse over time. Especially because alcohol might put you in a bad situation which will result in more anxiety after the fact.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder and alcohol abuse occur together often. Bipolar disorder is known to be a genetic condition, but despite this, alcohol is known to bring it on more intensely. Out of all bipolar patients, 61% of Bipolar I patients, and 48% of Bipolar II patients suffer from an alcohol use disorder.

Bipolar patients are typically interested in using alcohol because at some points in the bipolar cycle, alcohol can soothe symptoms. In manic phases, alcohol is especially dangerous because it fuels reckless behavior, and makes mania much worse.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Approximately 25% of those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder also deal with alcohol abuse that results in alcohol rehab. More commonly known as OCD, sufferers from this disease typically enjoy using alcohol for many reasons. The first reason is that it takes the focus away from their symptoms. Unfortunately, OCD becomes much worse when it comes to drinking alcohol. The more you drink to escape the symptoms of OCD, the worse the symptoms get.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment and Dual Diagnosis

Any time there is a dual diagnosis, it makes treating alcohol use disorders more difficult. On top of that, any presence of alcoholism, in general, makes alcohol rehab treatment more difficult. There are different reasons for this.

  1. Symptoms of alcohol abuse and mental health conditions can be extremely similar: This means unless you are smelling alcohol, you might diagnose for only a mental health condition, rather than a dual diagnosis. It can also be the opposite. You may know of the alcohol use disorder but not of the mental health condition. This can be difficult to diagnose the mental illness until alcohol use has stopped.
  2. Treatment can be more complicated: Because you want to have success, you will need to treat both your alcohol use disorder as well as your mental illness. They must be treated at the same time in order to obtain sobriety. If you do this, you will reduce the symptoms of both your mental condition and addiction.
  3. The less you drink, the less severe your symptoms will be: Although this should be somewhat obvious, sometimes you might think that drinking will help your mental health disorder. If you drink less, you may feel your symptoms less, and then in turn feel less of a need to drink to escape them.
  4. Specialized treatment is necessary: You will need to be treated by both mental health and addiction experts. Although many mental health experts did not always have experience with handling addiction, this has changed over the last twenty years. Most rehab facilities have the experience to handle mental health conditions along with addiction.

It Is Possible To Get Help

Dual diagnosis can make recovery harder, but it will not prevent you from getting help. If you have been dealing with a mental health condition, then you know how important it is to get help. Some conditions also might make you struggle to make good decisions. Despite this, therapy and treatment can help.

Getting Help For at Alcohol Rehab

Dual diagnosis is very serious and important to take into consideration when it comes to alcohol rehab.

Suffering from alcoholism and mental illness can not only impact your life, but also the people around you.

Alcoholism can destroy relationships, jobs, finances, but also your health.

If you or a loved one are suffering from alcoholism, it is time to get help.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health there are dedicated treatment providers that are here to help and waiting to help you overcome your addiction.

Contact us today to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment, and get started on the road to recovery.