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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Substance Use Disorders


The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center and Through the Archway provide a renowned, powerful spiritual immersion program developed by Peter and Marion Marinelli. The curriculum ensures that each patient receives a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the spiritual principles of 12-step recovery. These powerful ideas have saved countless lives and transformed them for the better.

Incorporating Through the Archway into our treatment program was a natural fit. It is the perfect spiritual recovery complement to our robust clinical psychiatric care, resulting in a powerful wellness program that leaves no stone unturned. Learn more about:

Addiction falls under the umbrella of mental illness

  • It requires adding an especially pronounced spiritual element to one’s “wellness package.”
  • It is often accompanied by anxiety and depression and correlated with trauma and obsessive-compulsive thinking.
  • Addicts and alcoholics must drastically shift their outlooks and attitudes by developing a spiritual connection that combats the separateness, loneliness, and victimhood inherent in any addict’s mindset.
  • Particularly in early sobriety, addicts and alcoholics still need the clinical, psychiatric, medical, and physical elements to help them get on track initially – with spirituality being the tailwind that will carry them into long-term, sustained recovery.

Understand drug abuse and treatment

What Is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual diagnosis treatment is a form of mental health care that addresses both chemical dependency and co-occurring conditions at the same time.

Substance abuse by itself is an incredibly challenging mental health disorder to live with. When addiction is combined with a co-occurring condition like depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, it has a compound effect.

This is one of the reasons why finding a proper dual-diagnosis treatment option is so important. Complete recovery is only possible if any co-occurring conditions are appropriately diagnosed in concert with the drug addiction being treated.

At least 45% of patients admitted for substance use treatment have a dual diagnosis, per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). However, this does not mean all these patients get the needed treatment.

>What Is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

What Are Co-occurring Conditions?

Some of the co-occurring conditions most often seen in dual diagnosis patients include:

The most commonly abused substances in dual diagnosis include:

Dual Diagnosis Isn’t Just a Catchphrase

Far too many drug and alcohol treatment facilities pay only lip service to co-occurring conditions in our assessment because most rehab centers focus almost entirely on substance use disorders.

Perhaps these treatment providers will include a psychiatrist for 10 minutes or so who makes a hasty diagnosis and writes a prescription for an antidepressant. Then onto the next patient. That is not how The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center operates.

We are responsible for providing the best care possible to every patient in our dual-diagnosis treatment program. One of SBMHC’s key differentiators is right in our name. First and foremost, we are a Mental Health Center, which means we treat many mental health disorders, not just addiction. No one disorder is less important than another. Our attention to detail and focus on mental health are why we can provide more accurate and thoughtful dual diagnosis care.

The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center Difference

This is just part of what puts SBMHC leagues ahead of a standard alcohol and drug rehab. We are a comprehensive mental health treatment program, yet we are as equipped as anyone to tackle the obsession and compulsion associated with addiction. For us, dual diagnosis treatment is an integral and fundamental part of our program, not just a bullet point or a box to check. Dual diagnosis treatment appropriately done, in our opinion, includes thorough diagnosis early on in treatment by a qualified and skilled clinician.

But that’s just the beginning. It’s not enough to identify the disorder and apply a label. Our patients are carefully and continually assessed throughout their treatment at SBMHC. We monitor their symptoms and their response to different forms of treatment. We’re also looking for signs of any tertiary conditions or aspects of the original diagnosis which weren’t apparent at first glance.

>The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center Difference

A good dual diagnosis program identifies the disorder correctly and offers many levels of care. This can include:

A tremendous dual diagnosis program will also:

  • Monitor the efficacy of treatment as time goes on
  • Reevaluates the patient looking for signs they may have missed
  • Listens to the patient’s observations
  • Provides a multi-modal solution that may include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy
  • Empowers the patient with guidance and tools to ensure continued progress after treatment

Proper Dual Diagnosis Care Helps Prevent Relapse

Dual diagnosis treatment is essential not only to ensure healthy and complete recovery but because misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or untreated co-occurring disorders are one of the leading causes of relapse. It is no surprise to many that substance use often arises as a coping mechanism or an attempt to “self-medicate” among people with undiagnosed or untreated mental health disorders.

Someone with PTSD might turn to alcohol or benzodiazepines to quell anxiety or battle insomnia, for example. However, patients are left vulnerable to relapse when a co-occurring disorder is not identified and treated effectively. They can receive excellent care for their substance use disorder. Still, when the symptoms of an unresolved secondary disorder return, they will find the temptation to seek relief in their drug of preference hard to resist. Not only does excellent dual diagnosis care improve quality of life, but it also markedly improves outcomes and the odds of maintaining sobriety.

Mental Health Treatment You Can Trust

Finding the proper treatment for mental health can be a challenge. The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is an accredited mental health care provider because we specialize in mental health treatment and bring some of the best providers nationally under one roof.

Unlike substance abuse programs that treat mental illness as an afterthought, we provide careful, thorough evidence-based assessment and continuous evaluation.

We believe this is necessary for accurate diagnosis and truly effective treatment. Substance abuse is a mental health disorder, but it is only one of many, and we believe all must be treated effectively for complete recovery.

We Can Help

If you believe you or someone you love could benefit from top-tier dual-diagnosis addiction treatment or have questions about dual-diagnosis care, contact us.


Alcohol abuse destroys physical health, relationships, families, careers, and academic potential. But alcoholism is a disease with proven interventions that allow a person with an alcohol use disorder to live a healthy, successful life. All it takes is the proper dual diagnosis treatment for alcohol addiction and some willingness.

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We deliver accurate dual diagnosis treatment for drug abuse with co-occurring conditions. Drug abuse is a complex behavior, and the illness of addiction is still being studied. While we don’t completely understand how addiction works in the brain, we know more now than ever.

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Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 92,000 people died of an overdose in 2020, most of which were opioid-related. Proper dual-diagnosis treatment and a recovery lifestyle are the keys to overcoming opioid abuse.

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Heroin use has never been safe; however, today’s heroin is more potent than ever. With fentanyl regularly appearing in street heroin, incidences of fatal overdose have skyrocketed. We deliver the thorough dual diagnosis treatment needed to break the cycle of heroin abuse.

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Prescription drug abuse can happen in several ways. One of the most common occurs when someone has been prescribed an opioid analgesic for chronic pain, an injury, or following surgery. Doctors are a lot savvier about the risk of prescription drug abuse now than in the past, but it’s still an issue.

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