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Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders are common among people with substance use disorders. Fortunately, there exist dedicated dual diagnosis treatment centers to address dual diagnosis in New Orleans. Imagine Recovery helps people get sober and manage their mental health symptoms at the same time.

Woman at dual diagnosis treatment in New Orleans

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the medical term used when a person has been diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. According to MedlinePlus, about half of all people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health issue. Dual diagnosis also goes by “dual disorder,” “co-occurring disorders,” or “comorbidity.”

People with dual diagnoses in New Orleans can be difficult to treat because one disorder can mask or heighten the symptoms of the other disorder. Also, it can be difficult to determine which disorder came first. It has been estimated that more than half of those diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, are also living with a substance use disorder like alcoholism or opioid addiction.

Despite the fact that dual diagnosis in New Orleans is common, identifying a dual diagnosis can be difficult. Some common co-occurring mental health disorders that occur with substance use disorders include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders

Signs and Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis in New Orleans

The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis depend on the co-occurring disorders themselves. In other words, the signs and symptoms of co-occurring disorders are those often found in a specific mental health disorder plus those found in a substance use disorder. However, modern-day drug and alcohol screening tools have made it easier for mental health professionals to identify possible co-occurring substance abuse issues.

The following physical symptoms could suggest a person is a candidate for dual diagnosis treatment in New Orleans:

  • Insomnia (trouble falling asleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
  • Malnutrition
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Poor hygiene

The following behavioral health symptoms could suggest a person is a candidate for dual diagnosis:

  • Turning to alcohol or other drugs to deal with anger, stress, or sadness
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • No longer participating in activities that were once found enjoyable
  • Intense bursts of energy
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • More intense mental health symptoms when not using drugs or alcohol

How Dual Diagnosis is Treated in New Orleans

The first step in treating dual diagnosis in New Orleans is to have the patient enter a detox program for their alcohol or drug use. Medication-assisted treatment, also known as MAT, uses prescription drugs to treat a person’s drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms during detox.

Once detox is completed, treatment for both the substance use disorder and the mental health disorder can begin. If the mental illness goes untreated, the patient is far more likely to relapse.

Treatment for dual diagnosis in New Orleans consists of different types of therapies, including like individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Individual or “talk” therapy can help a person understand their addiction and mental health issues.

Many healthcare facilities use holistic therapy to round out a person’s dual diagnosis treatment. Holistic therapy includes activities like yoga, acupuncture, and art therapy to encourage a sense of peace and focus. This approach has proven helpful in helping people to engage more deeply in their recovery and avoid relapse.

MAT may continue to be used in these later phases of addiction and mental health treatment. Such medications have proven helpful in managing certain mental health disorders.

Advantages of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in New Orleans offer many advantages to those in recovery. First, dual diagnosis treatment centers see better outcomes. Because addiction and mental health often influence one another, receiving treatment for both disorders stands as the best way back to health. Other advantages of dual diagnosis treatment centers in New Orleans can include:

  • Full clinical assessment for a better understanding of each disorder
  • Working through trauma
  • Imparting skills to change thought processes and cope with symptoms
  • Counseling to help with emotional regulation and relationship-building
  • Peer support to remind the person they are not alone in their challenges

Woman benefiting from dual diagnosis New Orleans treatment center

What Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment in New Orleans Look Like?

Imagine Recovery combines physical, social, and mental therapies to ensure success in recovery in dual diagnosis treatment.

When a person begins dual diagnosis treatment at Imagine Recovery, they are clinically assessed for dual diagnosis. If they have a dual diagnosis, our staff creates an individualized treatment plan to address the person’s unique needs.

Our programs include the following to address dual diagnosis:

  • Clinical Assessments and Psychiatry
  • Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Program
  • Transitional Living
  • Outpatient Program
  • Family Support

Our approach combines mental health therapies to address and treat co-occurring disorders in New Orleans. Combined with family support, our dual diagnosis program enables people to achieve recovery from their disorders.

Begin Dual Diagnosis Treatment in New Orleans, LA

Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are common among those with either disorder. For this reason, Imagine Recovery provides dual diagnosis treatment in New Orleans, Louisiana. Visit our admissions page today to start your recovery.


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Contact Imagine Recovery today to start treatment or ask about our programs. We’re here to guide you to the help that you or your loved one needs. Visit our admissions page for more!

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  • I will NEVER forget you and Chris taking my hand and walking me through the hardest time in my life. Your words gave me hope when I needed it the most. I make 6 months this week!!”

    Catilin S.


    I can’t say enough how much Imagine has impacted my life. Being in a new city, I felt lucky and grateful that a place like Imagine was a familiarity and sort-of home base in my life for the first couple months – and I know it will always be there for me moving forward. It has not only helped me build a strong community and confidence as I start this new chapter of my life, but it also has given me tools to continue to succeed in whatever life throws at me.


  • Felicia & Chris,

    We are beyond grateful for what you have done for our son and our family. You caught a soul before he fell too far and redirected the course of his life. What we are learning about epigenetics is that you have not only impacted our son, but also his future children and their children. You are deeply impacting this world. You are both such inspirations to all those that are fortunate enough to know you.

    Parents of an Imagine alumni

    Hi everybody,
    To everyone in the Imagine Family, I wanted to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. This truly was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. I promise to come back every now and again because I don’t want to lose touch with the people that changed my life for the better.
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you and with love,

    Anonymous male graduate, 24

  • I was sitting outside, enjoying the breeze, watching the trees sway and admiring the beautiful colors. For me, that is a stillness I was once uncomfortable being in. I must admit, I did not think I needed IOP at Imagine after completing a 30-day inpatient program. In fact, I felt I knew all the cliché sayings, read the material, had it thrown at me from every direction, and I would not gain anything from attending IOP post-inpatient treatment. Oh how wrong I was! While attending group meetings and one-on-ones, I gained so much insight, compassion and confidence. I learned to fully forgive, both myself and others. I am more patient when I used to be reactionary. The shell of a person I once considered myself is now humbly strong. And guess what – I like me. I could not have made these leaps without the guidance and suggestions I received at Imagine. I am beyond grateful to have y’all as part of my journey. Thank you so much for everything you do and everything you’ve allowed me to gain through your program. 

    Much Love Ladies 🙂

  • To the wonderful people of Imagine,

    Someone wise once told me that we should live our lives in a way that, when we pass, the most important words spoken about you will be “They made a difference.

    In the game of addiction, hope is hard to come by, the pain swallows people whole and the wounds can turn into an unimaginable cancer. If one can muster up enough strength and conviction, recovery is possible. But still, the process has to include the contrasting element to addiction, connection.

    At Imagine, Felicia, you’ve devoted your life to be a healer. You have provided the pace for connection – that is a crucial element in having a chance at conquering addiction. The wonderful staff are all as equally important as you are. Thank you all for your compassion. It is a breath of fresh air!

    I know I speak on behalf of many people when I say… Imagine is making a difference in this world!

    Thank you.

    TL 🙂
  • When I came through the doors of Imagine last year, I looked and felt like the “before” photo in a pet adoption advertisement: Sick, scared, confused, and probably not smelling all that great. I didn’t know exactly what I needed, only that I wanted a better life, a healthier, happier one. Soon after, I became Imagine Client #1. No pressure, right? After ten weeks of IOP and eight weeks of outpatient treatment, I felt as though I’d been born again. It’s not hard to see why Imagine has chosen a phoenix as its spirit animal and logo, a legendary mythical creature that is continuously born anew from its own ashes. And that’s precisely how I feel today, rebuilt from the charred remains of an unhealthy and fearful life, a new and better man, husband, brother, son, and (at least I hope) member of the human race. For the first time in a long time, I have peace, health, and hope, which are no small things. I am, and will always be, eternally grateful for those gifts.

    Scott G.






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