Sometimes the mental problem occurs first. This can lead people to use alcohol or drugs that make them feel better temporarily. Sometimes the substance abuse occurs first. Over time, that can lead to emotional and mental problems.
Someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. For the treatment to be effective, the person needs to stop using alcohol or drugs. Treatments may include behavioral therapy, medicines, and support groups.
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Alcohol Abuse and Other Psychiatric Disorders (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
- Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism: Are They Related? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Co-Occurring Disorders (Mental Health America)
- Comorbidity (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (NAMI) Also in Spanish
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Substance Use and Mental Health (National Institute of Mental Health)