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We Help Clients Suffering with a Dual Diagnosis

Sometimes people suffer from a mental illness, such as depression or PTSD. Sometimes people struggle with addiction issues. And sometimes people struggle with both. It is not uncommon for individuals to use drugs or alcohol to cope with the symptoms of their mental illness. It is also possible for drugs and alcohol to reveal an underlying mental illness or worsen existing symptoms. Dealing with just one of these conditions can be challenging – let alone both at the same time.

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

When someone is struggling with both a mental illness and an addiction issue they are experiencing what is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Dual diagnoses are more common than people realize. According to the National Institute of Health 7.7 million Americans suffer from a dual diagnosis.

Research has shown prolonged drug use, and even intermittent drug use, can alter the chemistry in the brain. Neurotransmitters, our brains' chemical messengers, such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are notably impacted:

  • Dopamine helps to regulate mood, plays a role in how we feel and seek out pleasure, and is associated with motivation and focus
  • Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood stability and emotional regulation
  • Norepinephrine is like adrenaline and helps to speed up the central nervous system in response to fight or flight stressors
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts as a natural tranquilizer, helping to lower anxiety and stress in the body by slowing down the heart rate and lowering blood pressure

Altering chemical messengers in the body can have a significant impact on someone’s mood and mental health.

On the flip side, it is not uncommon for people with existing mental health issues to turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to self-medicate. While individuals may find temporary relief, it is often fleeting and leads to much larger problems.

In cases where someone is experiencing co-occurring disorders, both conditions must be treated to help the person fully recover. Fortunately, Jackson House has the tools and expertise to help our clients address their mental health and substance use disorders head on.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

At Jackson House, we believe in treating substance use disorders and mental health conditions side by side. To truly help someone we believe you must address their complex needs head on. We do not believe in putting one condition aside to address the other. We take the time to get to know our clients and develop treatment plans that allow us to heal their mental health needs and their dependence on drugs or alcohol.

We are fortunate to have two highly specialized programs within the Jackson House family. Jackson House Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers helps people manage their addiction issues, while Jackson House was intentionally designed to give our clients a safe place to address their mental health needs. When clients are experiencing a dual diagnosis, we work with them to identify which program would be the best fit. Regardless of where they end up, our team provides the necessary treatment to address the conditions equally, and our experience allows us to optimize treatment as our clients’ needs change. Focusing on someone’s addiction and mental health issues at the same time gives our clients the best chance at recovery.

A dual diagnosis is manageable with the right treatment and support.

While every treatment plan is unique and customized to meet our clients’ needs, certain therapies have proven to be very successful in addressing dual diagnosis.


Do you Suffer From a Dual Diagnosis?

Take our short quiz to see if you or someone you care about has any signs of a dual diagnosis. Remember, there is hope. Jackson House is here to help.

Question 1

Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness?

Question 2

Does drinking or drug use impact your relationships or work performance?

Question 3

Do you use drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings?

Question 4

Do you feel better when you use drugs or alcohol?

Question 5

Do you need to consume more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same level of high that you did in the past?

Question 6

Do you struggle with substance abuse and your mental health?

Question 7

Have you tried to stop using drugs or alcohol and been unable to quit?

Question 8

Have you noticed changes in your behavior since you first started using drugs or alcohol?

Question 9

Have you experimented with different drugs to try to stabilize your mood?

Question 10

Do you find yourself consuming alcohol or using drugs more when you are faced with a stressful situation?

This quiz is for information purposes only and not to be considered a diagnosis for a co-occurring disorder. Please consult a mental health professional.

This quiz is for information purposes only and not to be considered a diagnosis for a co-occurring disorder. Please consult a mental health professional.

When to see a Doctor

If you are experiencing the signs of mental illness and struggling with addiction, remember there is help. You do not have to manage these illnesses on your own. The team at Jackson House is here to help provide you with the support and help you need to recover from a dual diagnosis and live the life you desire.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.