What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

Are you experiencing a mental illness? Do you suffer from substance use? Do you experience both of these at the same time? It is possible for people to experience both of these problems at the same time. Dual diagnosis occurs when individual experiences both of these problems at one time. Either of these problems can begin first, as long as the other one follows and both are experienced simultaneously. Often, people that suffer from a mental illness turn towards a form of substance abuse, whether it be alcohol or illegal substances, to help prevent experiencing the feelings of the mental illness. This serves almost as a type of self-medication, thinking that it can actually improve your health. In reality, the combination of drugs and alcohol can worsen the feelings or symptoms you feel that are associated with your mental illness.

Is Dual Diagnosis Common?

Dual diagnosis can be a common diagnosis seen among Americans. It can be easy to look to another substance or “self-treatment” when seeking help for your problems. It is important to instead turn to a professional when coping. Dual diagnosis treatment in Minneapolis can help you escape your substance dependency.


There are various combinations of dual diagnosis that you could experience. There can be warning signals that you may be experiencing a mental health problem. You could feel suicidal, confused, or closed off. The different combinations that can occur cause symptoms to vary. The wide variety of symptoms have encouraged clinics that work with individuals experiencing mental health problems to use screening tools in order to determine if people are at risk for alcohol or drug abuse. Some symptoms of disorders involving substances are as follows:

Withdrawal from loved ones

Abrupt behavior changes

Substance use under unsafe conditions

Engagement in hazardous behaviors

Feeling the control of substances over individual control

Development of tolerance against symptoms associated with withdrawal

If you want to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment in Minneapolis, River Ridge may be able to help. Visit www.riverridgemn.com for more information.

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