Menu icon - click here to toggle the menu

5 Obstacles of Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment Patients

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

Some Insight from Our Addiction Recovery Center

Historically, mental health disorders and substance use problems have been treated separately.  Furthermore, many treatment programs require sobriety before administering mental health treatment. This model has been problematic, as many individuals with a dual diagnosis experience higher degrees of symptom severity and, consequently, have difficulty establishing abstinence without support. Dual diagnosis residential treatment seeks to overcome this insufficient treatment model by providing simultaneous services for both disorders, thereby establishing a basis for abstinence within addiction recovery center programming.

Why Do Individuals With Co-occurring Disorders Struggle to Find Sufficient Treatment?

As noted above, traditional addiction recovery center treatment models have generally failed to provide comprehensive recovery programming for individuals with co-occurring disorders. Other obstacles that prevent dual diagnosis patients from receiving all-inclusive services include:

  1. Undiagnosed Symptoms.

    Substance use disorders and mental health disorders each come with their own set of symptoms. However, it is easy for an untrained eye to miss one diagnosis due to the prevalence of the other. Additionally, many people abuse substances to self-medicate their mental health disorders, disguising and intermingling the outward signs.

  2. Insurance Coverage.

    Some insurance providers offer limited mental health services and expect one physician to provide a full-range of treatment options. This preconception prevents many individuals from receiving a wide-range of treatment. Additionally, many insurance providers fail to cover long-term mental health services. This can include residential treatment for dual diagnosis, which may require a longer period of coverage due to symptom severity.

  3. Differentiated Treatment Systems.

    Whereas many physicians treat mental illness directly, various health care professionals are assigned with the task of treating substance use disorders. Most health care providers have only one area of expertise and can only offer one type of treatment. Consequently, individuals who present symptoms of two co-occurring disorders often receive treatment for only one disorder at a time.

  4. Pharmacological Opposition.

    Due to the inherent nature of many substance use disorders, some treatment centers remain biased against pharmacological intervention. This bias is detrimental to those also struggling with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, which can largely benefit from medicine-based approaches. Furthermore, some treatment centers do not staff licensed professionals who can prescribe necessary medications.

  5. Environmental Factors.

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 45% of state and local offenders suffer from co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Prison settings lack adequate treatment for both, leaving many in the criminal justice system in a state of perpetual disadvantage.

How Is Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment Beneficial?

Residential treatment for co-occurring disorders can be immensely beneficial to those affected, because it offers comprehensive pharmacological and behavioral health treatment together rather than separately. Additionally, dual diagnosis inpatient treatment involves 24/7 monitoring to help those in need establish abstinence in a safe environment.

Bracebridge Hall, a Recovery Centers of America Company, offers well-rounded, individualized addiction recovery center treatment plans for those in need of dual diagnosis residential treatment. Contact us today by dialing 1-800-RECOVERY to find out more about services available near you.

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


Treatment Advisor
Standing By, 24/7