The co-existence of mental illness and substance abuse is referred to as Dual Diagnosis (also known as co-occurring disorders), and Tucker Pavilion treats this condition. This condition can occur when alcohol and/or drugs are used to self-medicate symptoms of psychiatric disorders or as a coping mechanism to alleviate symptoms.

More than 50% of those with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem.

More than 50% of those with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem. Often the use of alcohol or drugs goes undetected by families and is misdiagnosed by treating professionals. Partly, this is due to similarities in symptoms for both conditions. There may also be a 'dual denial' of both the psychiatric disorder and the addiction. Viewed from the other side, studies show as many as 40% of individuals with substance abuse have an undetected or under treated co-existing psychiatric illness; often depression or an anxiety disorder.

Indicators of Substance Abuse:

  • Inability to control or limit substance use
  • Preoccupation with substance use
  • Failure to fulfill obligations at home, school or work
  • Continued use despite persistent social or medical problems
  • Need for increased amounts of substance
  • Recurrent use in situations that are physically hazardous (e.g., DUI)
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Psychiatric Illnesses Common in Dual Diagnosis:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Conduct disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mania
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia

Family involvement is crucial in the treatment of any illness, but especially in the treatment of someone who is dually diagnosed. Families are always affected when a loved one has a co-occurring disorder. They need educational information and guidance about how to help their loved ones recover. There are many self-help and support groups for friends and relatives of people with co-occurring disorders. Learning to understand and cope with a dual diagnosis is not to be done alone.

If you think you or a loved one may have a psychiatric illness and is using substances, Tucker Pavilion can help.

Call us at (804) 483-0050.