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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Our dual-diagnosis treatment center in Orange County, California is here to help you change your life. Through our effective and affordable treatment options, you can learn to thrive in recovery!

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Dual-Diagnosis Treatment is Important.

Today, there are over 18.5 million Americans with a substance use disorder. That’s some 5% of the total population. Of the 328 million Americans included in an annual census, 1 in 5, or 21%, have a mental illness. 1 in 20, or some 5% of the full population has a serious mental illness. Most Americans are aware that factors like mental illness increase risks of substance use disorders. But, few of us are prepared for the fact that more than 45% of persons with a substance use disorder also have a mental health disorder.


At Compassion Recovery, we know that dual diagnosis occurs, and it occurs a lot. Yet, it also gets in the way of traditional treatment. You can’t treat a mental health disorder through addiction and withdrawal. But, you can’t wait to treat it until after you’ve treated the substance use disorder, because chances of relapse are high. You need a comprehensive dual-diagnosis program, tailored to your specific needs, and updated throughout your treatment to ensure you get the help you need.

What Exactly is Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual Diagnosis, which you might know as “co-occurring disorder”, or “comorbid disorder”, is the fact of having two diagnoses, in this case: a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.


– Any mental health disorder – A mental health disorder, of any severity, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, borderline, etc.


– A substance use disorder – Any substance use disorder, as characterized by reliance and seeking behavior on a substance.

Dual diagnosis is also more common than most of us think. We know that mental illnesses increase the risks of substance use disorder. We also know that the factors resulting in increased risks to substance use disorders increase risks for mental illnesses. But, almost half of all persons with a substance use disorder have a dual diagnosis.


According to the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, 3.8% of the total U.S. population has a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. In fact, that’s 9.5 million Americans with a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness and 9.7 million people with a substance use disorder and no mental illness.

While, the more serious the mental illness, the worse the risks, any mental illness exacerbates risks of substance use disorder. 1.5 million people with a substance use disorder and a mental illness had a severe mental illness in 2020. The other 2 million fall under classifications of “AMI”.

Our Treatment Services in Orange County, California

Explore our in-person and virtual mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Orange County at Compassion Recovery Centers. We offer a truly individualized experience for each client who enters our innovative Orange County treatment center. Discover how Compassion Recovery can help you on your journey to long-term, sustainable recovery.

A free, thorough assessment is provided for each prospective client. Request a callback today.

Why Do So Many People Have Dual-Diagnosis?

Substance use disorders have always been strongly linked to mental health disorders. That makes sense when you consider that both often cause impulsivity, isolation, social ostracism, feelings of self-loathing, depression, and reckless behavior. If someone is raised in an environment where they feel low self-worth or with a mental illness that makes them more prone to reckless decision-making, they are significantly more likely to become addicted.


Some of the most common mental illnesses that overlap with substance use disorder include:

These are all characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inability to enjoy anything, panic, distress, constant worry, elevated stress, and intense mood swings.


However, this is just one tiny facet of a very complicated thing. Substance use disorders are impacted by dozens of causes ranging from genetics to epigenetics, exposure, nurture and upbringing, mental health, stress levels, and much more. Mental health is impacted by many of the same things. So, you also have the concept that substance use disorders and mental health disorders share many of the same triggers. For example, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study tracked over 90,000 people to assess vulnerability to addiction, mental illness, and physical illness and found that experiencing traumatic events as a child increases your risks of all three.

Why is Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Needed?

Anyone with a mental health disorder has a significantly increased risk of substance use disorder. This increase in vulnerability doesn’t mean it’s certain you will become addicted, but it means it’s more likely. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that 16.6% of all adults are likely to abuse substances in some fashion. That goes up to 38.8 person for person with any mental illness and 49.4% for those with a severe mental illness. Of course, mental health problems increase risks of substance abuse in many ways.

Two of the primary risk categories within this group are self-medication and the fact that substance abuse worsens existing mental health symptoms.


Everything starts with the evaluation. During the evaluation, our team will work with you to determine which course of treatment is the best option and make recommendations for the level of care that will prove most successful for your situation.


For example: If unsteady family dynamics or bad communication led to an unsupportive environment for mental health conditions, or our medical team suspects that genetic factors might be a play for existing mental health problems, finding the proper mixture of family therapy, individual therapy, and medication can help you manage ongoing mental health illnesses while also overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

Worsening Existing Symptoms

Substance abuse is bad for your physical and mental health. Most of us know what it’s like to feel a hangover. But, when you abuse a substance every day, you get that result every day. People who rely on substances feel bad. That means lethargy, fatigue, headache, sore muscles, aching joints, and slow thought processes. Substance abuse also often gets in the way of getting enough sleep. Drug abuse also exacerbates issues like emotional blunting, psychosis, paranoia, and personality disorders. In fact, substance use disorders also cause issues that mimic many mental heatlh disorders by deregulating and changing how serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters are produced in the brain. That’s why a mental illness diagnosis requires that the symptoms appeared before the substance use disorder – because substance use disorders often mimic those symptoms.

Why Do So Many People Have Dual-Diagnosis?

A mental illness vastly complicates traditional rehab. Instead, both conflict with each other and with treatment. Mental illness often leaves individuals demotivated, unwilling to seek treatment, and unable to change. Taking the steps to treat a dual diagnosis means assessing the individual and building a program that starts with the most pressing problems and moves forward from there. That normally looks a bit like this:

Treating Symptoms​


Treating symptoms causing a danger to health or life. E.g., trauma therapy for persons with suicidal ideation and detox for persons at risk of an overdose.

Managing Cravings​


Treating cravings and delivering behavioral therapy that aims to lower relapse rates and increase overall effectiveness.

Building Life Skills


Building important life skills and behaviors to ensure success in the real world once you leave treatment.

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Find Healing at Our Orange County Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center

From our licensed staff, dedication to personalized treatment, and years of expertise in treating alcohol use disorders to our beautiful rehab center in Laguna Beach, Compassion Recovery Centers strives to offer the best possible recovery experience. That means good support, evidence-backed treatment, compassionate staff, medical expertise, family support, and plenty of activities to keep you engaged, relaxed, and happy. Recovery should be about improving yourself, and we are committed to making that enjoyable and sustainable.


Compassion Recovery is here to help you take the steps to recovery. Whether you’re ready to start detox or are ready to move right into therapy, we can help with a comprehensive and fully customized plan designed around your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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