Arizona Dual Diagnosis Treatment


When seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction, you might not expect to hear the unexpected news that not one, but two battles lie ahead. You may be wondering if this is normal and how it will impact your recovery. However, a dual diagnosis of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders is surprisingly common, and it can even help you better understand your past behavior.

Beneath the surface, many people who struggle with addiction are also dealing with mental health concerns and using drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. While co-occurring disorders can complicate the treatment process, recovery is possible with integrated care that addresses mental, physical and emotional aspects of your substance use.

Pathfinders Recovery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment that addresses both mental health and substance use disorders simultaneously, giving individuals the best chance at achieving lasting recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with co-occurring disorders, call us today at 877-224-0761 or complete our online contact form to learn how our dual diagnosis program can help.


What Is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to individuals who have co-occurring mental health and substance use concerns that occur at the same time. Addiction and mental health are closely related, so co-occurring disorders are relatively common. Sometimes, people use drugs or alcohol to cope with symptoms like depression or anxiety, while other times, mental health problems can develop due to the changes in the brain caused by prolonged substance abuse.

Co-occurring disorders can make treatment more challenging, but addressing both concerns simultaneously provides the best chance at lasting recovery. Addiction and mental health interact in complex ways and no two dual diagnoses are the same, so it’s important to treat an individual’s mental, emotional and physical needs with comprehensive and holistic care.


Research has shown that 50% of those who experience a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder, and vice versa. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 9 million adults in the U.S. have a dual diagnosis. Individuals with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and personality disorders are most at risk of developing co-occurring disorders.


Typically, co-occurring disorders develop one after the other, follow-the-leader style. For example, a person who has a drinking problem may suffer guilt and shame over their self-destructive behavior. This can lead them into a chronic depression that exists alongside their alcohol use disorder. However, the mental health concern may come first. Someone who struggles with anxiety may begin self-medicating to find relief from their symptoms.

Co-occurring disorders come in every shape and size, and it isn’t always clear which developed first. However it happens, one thing is clear to see: integrated dual-diagnosis care is essential for long-lasting recovery. Because each disorder feeds off of and sustains the other, experts agree you can’t successfully treat one without addressing the other.



Mental health and substance use disorders can manifest in almost any combination imaginable. Each individual is unique, and the challenges faced by those with a dual diagnosis can vary greatly. Some people may have symptoms of anxiety or depression that contribute to their drug or alcohol use, while others self-medicate to numb the negative feelings associated with past trauma. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, some of the most common mental health concerns that we see alongside substance use include:

  • Mood disorders
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Each condition presents its own challenges, compounded by the effects of addiction. Our caring team of clinicians works closely with individuals and their families, crafting personalized treatment plans to manage symptoms and support a lasting sober lifestyle.


Co-occurring disorders are often misdiagnosed due to several factors. The complex overlap of symptoms between mental health concerns and substance use can mask the full picture and lead to confusion in distinguishing one from the other. Additionally, individuals may face challenges in accurately reporting their symptoms due to stigma and impaired judgment. Lack of integrated screening, inadequate training and time constraints in healthcare settings also plays a role in contributing to the misdiagnosis of co-occurring disorders.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, comprehensive mental health screening is an important part of our intake process, allowing us to accurately identify each individual’s needs. This helps us gain a more thorough understanding of their challenges and aids in the development of a personalized treatment plan that effectively addresses their specific concerns.



Those with co-occurring disorders require more specialized, attentive care. Each dual diagnosis is unique, and treating the root cause of substance use and mental health concerns is important to end the harmful cycle of addiction. Research shows that when only one disorder is addressed, neither will get better, because the symptoms are too closely linked.

That’s why integrated dual diagnosis treatment is key to a successful recovery. It provides each client with the comprehensive care they need to address the interconnected web of their mental, emotional and behavioral concerns. Dual diagnosis care enables individuals to not only manage their co-occurring disorders but to thrive and lead fulfilling lives beyond them.


Dual diagnosis care provides an integrated approach to treatment that acts as a powerful lens for perceiving the reality of co-occurring disorders for what they are: two distinct problems entwined together. At Pathfinders, addressing both disorders concurrently also offers invaluable insights that help us see how each condition manifests, allowing us to better monitor an individual’s recovery process and tailor interventions accordingly.

The patient’s perspective also shifts positively in response to integrated treatment. Instead of grappling with a confusing mix of issues that seems impossible to conquer, the distinction between the two disorders becomes more evident. This brings clarity and hope to the recovery journey, replacing vague and intimidating uncertainties with a sense of direction.


An integrated approach to treatment disrupts the symbiotic relationship that exists between substance use and mental health disorders. Each condition sustains the other, so when only one is treated, the other is free to cause havoc and hinders effective treatment.

By embracing dual diagnosis treatment, our therapists and addiction professionals are able to stop substance use and mental health disorders from feeding off each other, stopping the feedback loop. Developing an awareness of co-occurring disorders as two separate conditions also allows for targeted yet complementary interventions and helps patients develop new coping skills and strategies for managing their symptoms.


Co-occurring disorders can present a tangled web of challenges, as the effects of each condition intertwine and amplify one another. Therefore, a well-rounded, personalized and holistic approach is necessary to help individuals find stability and lasting recovery.

Dual diagnosis treatment is as varied as the combination of co-occurring disorders themselves. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our high-quality and integrated solutions may include the following care methods, depending on each person’s unique needs.


Those with less severe mental health and addiction issues may be deemed safe to return home, where they’ll continue their therapeutic journey in an outpatient program while maintaining their daily routines.

Individuals with more severe substance use or mental health concerns that pose a risk to themselves or others, or with a history of relapse, will be enrolled in residential care. This provides a more intensive and immersive approach to recovery with round-the-clock care. As patients make progress, they may transition into a more flexible level of care.

The choice between residential or outpatient treatment is based on an individual’s needs and circumstances. Some people benefit from the added support and supervision provided in a residential setting, while others may thrive with the flexibility and autonomy of an outpatient program. No matter which level of care is selected, our team is dedicated to providing a personalized and holistic experience. Each patient’s progress is closely monitored, and treatment plans are adjusted accordingly to address their evolving needs.


Therapy plays a pivotal role in equipping individuals with the coping skills and strategies they need to navigate their co-occurring disorders and manage their symptoms more effectively. We utilize a variety of holistic and evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, group therapy, life skills development and more to empower our patients to make positive changes that support a healthier, sober lifestyle.


Support groups provide patients with a welcoming, encouraging environment where they can connect with others who can relate to the challenges they face. Within this empathetic setting, individuals can freely express all facets of their recovery journey, finding solace and strength through shared experiences. For many people, approaching difficult issues in a group empowers them with the collective resilience and support they need to heal.


When appropriate, patients may receive medication to address their mental health condition. Our team also provides medication management for an individual’s existing treatment.


A dual diagnosis is not hopeless. If you or a loved one is struggling with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, we can help. Our integrated, comprehensive treatment programs provide the support and guidance you need to achieve lasting recovery. Call us today at 877-224-0761 or complete our online form to learn more. We’re ready to help you take the first step toward renewed mental wellness and a healthy, sober life.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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