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Medically Reviewed

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment Like in Charlotte, North Carolina?

- 9 sections

Medically Verified: August 8, 2022

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Co-occurring disorders occur when an individual suffers from a mental health condition and a substance use disorder at the same time. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration research, “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.”[1]

When someone struggles with co-occurring disorders, they must simultaneously receive treatment for both conditions because the symptoms of the untreated disorder could cause a relapse in the other. The best way to receive treatment for mental health and addiction at the same time is to do so at a dual diagnosis rehab facility.

Dual diagnosis treatment in Charlotte, North Carolina combines traditional addiction treatment methods with mental health recovery tools to create a comprehensive program.

What are the Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis?

The symptoms of dual diagnosis vary from person to person, as each mental health condition and substance use disorder can cause different effects. For example, people with depression may suffer from feelings of intense sadness and worthlessness, while someone with anxiety may struggle with constant feelings of fear and worry.

However, there are some general signs of addiction and mental health issues that can signify that someone may be suffering from co-occurring disorders, such as behavioral changes and mood swings.

Warning Signs of Mental Health Conditions

Mental health conditions can cause an individual to have a hard time functioning in their daily life. As their mental health disorder goes untreated, the symptoms of their condition can become more severe over time.

The warning signs of mental illness include:

  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Prolonged feelings of depression or sadness
  • Confused thinking
  • Issues with concentration
  • Social isolation from friends and family
  • A decline in personal hygiene
  • Erratic behavior
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Someone with a dual diagnosis will also display the signs of substance abuse on top of the symptoms of their mental health condition. People who struggle with addiction will begin to prioritize the use of substances over everything else in their life. This can cause them to have a difficult time fulfilling daily responsibilities.

The symptoms of substance abuse and addiction include:

  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Experiencing sudden behavioral changes
  • Developing a tolerance to substances
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drugs and alcohol are not available
  • Feeling the need to use the substance to feel normal
  • Using substances in dangerous situations such as while driving or at work

How Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Work?

When someone suffers from both a mental health condition and addiction, the symptoms of each condition feed off of one another. This can make their co-occurring disorders more severe over time, but dual diagnosis addiction treatment centers in Charlotte, NC use a comprehensive approach that combines addiction treatment and mental health recovery services.


When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their body becomes dependent on the substance. This means that quitting the substance cold turkey could cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, depending on the drug the individual was abusing. As a result, detox is the first step of treatment. Medical detox services help patients cope with symptoms of withdrawal in a safe and comfortable setting.

Medications are often used to soothe the symptoms of withdrawal and limit drug cravings from occurring.


Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy are a large part of the recovery process from co-occurring disorders. For addiction, therapy helps patients learn coping mechanisms and tools that allow them to manage triggers without turning to drugs or alcohol. When it comes to mental health, therapy helps people learn how to manage the symptoms of their psychiatric disorder.

A wide range of therapies is used in dual diagnosis treatment, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Traditional talk therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • Family behavior therapy


Medications are often a part of the recovery process for co-occurring disorders. People may require medications to help them manage the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent cravings related to their substance use disorder.

On the other hand, non-narcotic psychiatric meds may be given to people who suffer from severe symptoms of their mental health condition. For example, antidepressant medications may be prescribed to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety and people who struggle with conditions like bipolar disorder may be provided with antipsychotic medications or mood stabilizers to manage the emotional ups and downs they experience.

Support Groups

Within a dual diagnosis treatment program, patients will attend support groups or group counseling sessions. This is where patients have the opportunity to connect with their peers about the similar issues they face. Support groups provide individuals with the chance to gain experience, strength, and hope from others who are in a similar situation as them.

Finding Help for Co-Occurring Disorders in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you or a loved one suffer from a co-occurring disorder, it’s time to consider professional treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment in North Carolina can help you overcome the symptoms of your addiction and teach you to manage the effects of your mental health condition.

Contact Charlotte Detox Center today to get started.