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Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders Near Phoenix, AZ

Substance use disorders are on the rise. Although many people might not realize it, those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction are often dealing with mental health challenges as well, from anxiety and depression to bipolar disorder. When substance use and mental health concerns appear together, they are known as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses.

Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to treat, but recovery is possible with the right help and support. They require targeted and comprehensive care that addresses both conditions together. Keep reading to learn more about Emerald Isle Health & Recovery’s dual diagnosis treatment program and how it can help you or a loved one achieve a sober, fulfilling life.



Dual diagnosis conditions often appear together. Studies have shown that 50% of people who struggle with addiction during their lives will also have a mental health concern, and vice versa. The rates are even higher for severe mental health problems like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, at least 21.5 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.

It can be difficult to tell which came first — the addiction or the mental health concern. However, in many cases, behavioral or mood disorders are the underlying cause of substance use, leading individuals to relieve their symptoms by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Addressing both conditions simultaneously is essential to helping individuals achieve lasting recovery, so it’s important to undergo mental health screening before beginning treatment.

Substance use can appear alongside any mental health disorder, but some of the most common conditions associated with drug and alcohol addiction include:


Nearly half of people with bipolar disorder also have a substance abuse problem. As with any other mental illness, it can be tempting to use drugs to mask the symptoms. However, drugs only provide temporary relief and can make mood swings more severe.


People with ADHD may be more motivated to abuse drugs to help cope with their symptoms, especially if the condition is left untreated. Many people with ADHD are drawn to substances that help them feel calm, such as alcohol, marijuana and benzodiazepines.


BPD is a mental health condition characterized by emotional instability, impulsive behavior and an unstable sense of self. More than half of people with BPD have used drugs at some point in their lives to help them cope with their symptoms.


Eating disorders are mainly linked to intense feelings of inferiority. People with such disorders are more likely to use drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine to suppress their appetite. Alcohol may also be used as a compensatory behavior to avoid eating.


Many people suffering from depression self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs to improve their mood. However, substance use tends to worsen the problem because the “crash” from a high is usually devastating for people with a pre-existing depressive condition.


People battling schizophrenia often experience delusional thinking and hallucinations. Schizophrenia and substance use disorders have overlapping effects that can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose these mental health disorders. When a person with schizophrenia uses drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, they are putting their health at risk.


The effects of trauma and PTSD can be difficult to deal with, so many people seek relief by using drugs or alcohol. Research shows that those with PTSD are up to 14 times more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those without the condition.


This disorder causes unnecessary obsessions and compulsions, such as an exaggerated fear of germs and the constant need to clean. There are different ways that OCD manifests itself, and OCD-afflicted people often suffer from depression and anxiety resulting from involuntary behavior. As a coping mechanism, they may end up turning to drugs or alcohol.



As with all behavioral and mental health concerns, co-occurring disorders can be triggered by a combination of internal and environmental influences. However, certain risk factors can increase the risk of both mental health conditions and substance use, such as:

  • Genetics: Genetics plays a crucial role in shaping a person’s susceptibility to both mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Family History: Those with a family history of mental health or substance use disorders are more likely to experience these challenges themselves.
  • Trauma: Individuals who are exposed to trauma, especially at an early age, are more likely to struggle with their mental health and use drugs or alcohol.
  • Personality: A propensity for novelty-seeking behavior is one of the personality traits linked to drug or alcohol addiction and substance use.

Other risk factors include:

  • Early exposure to drugs
  • High levels of stress
  • Low self-esteem

In addressing a dual diagnosis, it’s crucial to consider these risk factors comprehensively, recognizing the unique interplay between genetics, personal predispositions and environmental influences. This holistic understanding can guide more effective treatment strategies, ultimately fostering better long-term outcomes for those affected.


Self-medication involves using alcohol or drugs to manage the symptoms of mental illness. However, this approach can induce a substance use disorder and even worsen your mental health symptoms. Here are common scenarios of how some people self-medicate:

  • Drinking alcohol to ease anxiety in social situations
  • Taking opioids to gain relief from grief or trauma
  • Using stimulants to boost your energy or motivation to complete specific tasks

Over time, and with continuous use, the brain becomes used to how it feels under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As dependency develops, the symptoms that arise will often meet the diagnostic requirements for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder — and these symptoms can persist even after achieving sobriety.

In other cases, a mental health concern already exists, and people use drugs or alcohol to cope. Self-medicating may provide temporary relief, but it can interfere with other healthier coping strategies and lead to significantly worse mental and physical health outcomes.

Dual Diagnosis - A father and son enjoy a laugh over coffee. Genetics play a role in mental health and addiction also know as a dual diagnosis.


In Arizona, the statistics tell a compelling story about co-occurring disorders. According to a 2020 report published by SAMHSA, nearly 22% of adults and 2% of children are navigating both mental health and substance use challenges, highlighting the critical need for integrated treatment options that address both issues simultaneously for the best long-term outcomes.

At Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we are adept at meeting these complex needs, offering evidence-based solutions for those struggling with a dual diagnosis. Our programs are designed to respond to the unique landscape of co-occurring disorders in Arizona, making a significant impact on individuals seeking a pathway to recovery. With a clear understanding of the state’s specific challenges, our goal is to provide effective, holistic care that aligns with the community’s needs and fosters lasting wellness.


At Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we’ve adopted a holistic, integrative approach to treatment. We look at the whole person and evaluate everything that is contributing to your substance use and mental health challenges. We want to know about your past, your present, your goals, overall health and strengths and weaknesses. By getting a sense of the bigger picture, we can develop a recovery plan that works for you and fits seamlessly into your life. This lets us provide practical methods for achieving sustainable and long-term sobriety.

We understand that no two patients are the same, so our dual diagnosis programs differ depending on each individual’s needs and concerns. However, there are common aspects of dual diagnosis care that patients may encounter during their time with us, such as:

  • Inpatient Treatment: A person addicted to drugs or alcohol and experiencing mental health issues will often benefit from inpatient services. An inpatient treatment center offers 24/7 monitoring, medication and support to treat substance use and the underlying mental or emotional health issues.
  • Medication Management: Certain medications are effective in mental health treatment. We provide medication management to help patients find the right psychiatric drug (or combination of drugs) for managing their mental health symptoms and ensuring that they are used safely and effectively.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): We also offer MAT for patients struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction. MAT helps ease withdrawal symptoms and provides a sense of stability so individuals can begin working toward lasting recovery.
  • Psychotherapy: Individual therapy is a significant part of an effective treatment plan. We use proven psychotherapies to help patients with dual diagnoses learn how to change ineffective thinking patterns that can increase the risk of substance use.
  • Support Groups: Connecting with others in support groups has been shown to aid in the recovery process by giving people a platform for sharing their struggles, celebrating achievements and finding community resources for staying sober.
  • Transitional Care: Going home after treatment can feel abrupt and jarring. Transitional care services like outpatient treatment provide patients with ongoing support as they learn to navigate the real world using their new coping skills.

Our treatment programs include specialized therapies for patients with a dual diagnosis, provided by an experienced clinical team with years of experience in the behavioral and mental health field. Our goal is to provide the highest quality care possible and become a source of hope and healing for those struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

Dual Diagnosis - A man in a camouflaged shirt talks with his therapist. PTSD and addiction are 2 of the more common dual diagnosis issues people face.


Imagine a person who lives with undiagnosed anxiety. After struggling with their symptoms for some time, they turned to alcohol to help them feel more relaxed and carefree. This developed into an addiction, so they decided to seek help at a rehab facility. However, the treatment center failed to address the underlying causes of their substance use, instead focusing on detox and abstinence as a solution. They were able to get sober while in rehab, but when they went home, their anxiety flared up again, which led them back to drinking.

When someone is grappling with both substance use and mental health concerns, addressing only one condition can lead to a half-solved problem, resulting in incomplete recovery. As untreated mental health symptoms return, it often triggers a relapse. This is why integrated dual diagnosis care, which tackles both issues simultaneously, is essential.

Dual diagnosis care isn’t just about treating two conditions in parallel — it’s about recognizing how these conditions interact and affect one another. Mental health issues can often fuel substance use, and conversely, substance abuse can exacerbate mental health problems, creating a cycle that’s hard to break without a holistic approach. Effective dual diagnosis programs are designed to break this cycle by providing comprehensive treatment that addresses the individual’s overall well-being, not just the symptoms of their disorders.


Individuals with a dual diagnosis are often treated for just one of their ailments all too often. Most treatment centers offer inpatient or intensive outpatient programs. Others have partial hospitalization programs with unique offerings like family therapy and equine therapy.

It is essential to select a rehab center with therapeutic modalities that cater to your unique needs, and at Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we take that into account by offering highly personalized and patient-centered treatment programs that are developed just for you.

Here are some factors to look into when choosing a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment:

  • Find out if the dual diagnosis treatment facility is accredited and licensed
  • Do they have an aftercare program to help you avoid relapse?
  • What’s their experience with your specific mental health conditions?

There are different approaches the dual diagnosis program may adopt, but here are some basics that you should look for:

  • You’re involved in the decision-making process and setting treatment goals
  • You’re offered education about your mental health disorder and related issues
  • You’re equipped with healthy coping skills to minimize drug or alcohol dependency and strengthen your ability to cope with life’s challenges
  • The mental health treatment program addresses your substance use disorder and other mental health issues together



While some people become addicted to drugs before being diagnosed with a psychological disorder, others develop an addiction later. Whichever way it happened in your case, seek evidence-based help from Emerald Isle Health & Recovery. We provide personalized treatment plans for co-occurring disorders that address both concerns simultaneously.

Call our warm and welcoming admissions team today at 855-613-0620 for more information on getting started on the path to health and happiness for your whole self at Emerald Isle Health & Recovery. You can also get in touch by completing our online contact form.