Dual Diagnosis

December 13, 2021

A dual diagnosis is when someone has both an addiction and a mental health condition. Sometimes, the addiction part is addressed while the mental health condition goes without treatment. Dr. Ashish Bhatt explains the importance of accurately diagnosing and treating patients with a dual diagnosis.


Hi, this is Dr. Bhatt with Straight Talk With The Doc. I want to take a few moments today to speak a little bit about people who are suffering with dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis, or comorbid disorders is when somebody is suffering with a substance use disorder with a primary psychiatric mental health condition. Often times, this is going on hand in hand. But what’s really happening? Who’s really getting treated, and are people adequately getting treated?

The point is, when we are getting evaluated at the time of entry in any treatment center or any treatment setting, that we are honest and open about the symptoms we are having. It’s important to distinguish that when somebody’s having symptoms that exclusively occur during a substance use problem, that once the substances are washed out and somebody has achieved early sobriety, that they really get re-evaluated again.

They get appropriately checked and ensured that the underlying psychiatric conditions that might be risk factors for their continuing substance use is addressed. And this is where aftercare comes into importance.

Often times, many times, people do go to substance abuse treatment settings, outpatient rehabilitations, inpatient rehabilitations, and once they think that the substances have been removed, they go back and they try to enter life and they think that they can enter life in the way that they did previously.

Unfortunately, any unaddressed anxiety, traumas, depression that might exist can be a huge risk factor for developing that substance abuse again.