Dual Diagnosis in Women

Dual diagnosis treatment centers are the best way for women to address substance abuse and mental health disorders. Dual diagnoses are very common; in fact our experience demonstrates that almost 100% of women suffer from not one, but two disorders at the same time - often substance abuse and anxiety or depression.

Generally these disorders are considered co-dependent so both conditions must be treated together for success. As women, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do the right thing, to take full responsibility for our lives and those we care about.

Taking full responsibility, can put an immense amount of emotional and psychological stress on our bodies. Commonly this manifests itself in abuse and addiction disorders. We may feel the need to find something to help us get through the stress. Prescriptions, alcohol and other types of substance abuse are commonly rooted in an underlying psychological disorder.

Commonly women who suffer from substance abuse and mental illness are in denial. They may not even realize themselves that their feelings have manifested in an addiction or they may resist treatment. It’s important that family members and friends create an open and supportive environment for women seeking out dual diagnosis treatment.

Women’s Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Mental health centers are often not well prepared to handle substance abuse and vice versa. Therefore it’s important to seek out a drug and alcohol rehab that has specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs available.

Choosing a treatment center is an important step on the road to recovery. When it’s time to seek out dual diagnosis treatment, it’s important that a woman feels comfortable in the rehabilitative environment, with her peers, and the clinical team.

A women’s center can be supportive in a way that a mixed gender or male oriented program cannot. Often it may be difficult to explain the anxiety or depression a woman may feel in mixed company.

Substance abuse and mental health research have shown that the most effective way to treat dual diagnosis mental health disorders is to treat them both simultaneously. However, not every treatment facility can offer dual diagnosis treatment programs in addition to traditional substance abuse, drug rehab and mental health programs.

Traditional substance abuse programs, which typically treat only the abuse, may not be enough to treat the substance abuse but also the underlying issues of anxiety or depression. Without comprehensive treatment, a repeat substance abuse pattern may develop.

Creating a Support Group

It can be hard for a woman to overcome both addiction problems and mental health issues. Family and community support along with socialization and clinical professionals can help a woman on the road to sobriety and recovery.

It’s important that families become a part of the treatment, reinforcing treatment at home. Patients with a dual diagnosis have to proceed at their own pace and recovery may take much longer than with traditional substance abuse by itself.

Destination Hope: The Women’s Program provides care specifically for women that are in need of addiction or dual diagnosis treatment. We have a multi-disciplinary clinical team of doctors, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, mental health therapists, certified addiction professionals, and trauma specialists that can provide you with the tools to overcome your addiction or mental health issues.

By getting the right help, a woman who is suffering from even the most severe addictions or mental health disorders can be given the chance to heal and regain control of their lives. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety and substance abuse, please call our counselors at

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