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Medically Reviewed

Medically reviewed by Erika Dalton, LMSW

Written by Tampa Bay Recovery staff
Updated on August 13, 2023


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At our dual diagnosis treatment in Tampa, we believe that dual diagnosis should be the standard for addiction treatment, not the exception.

Often, substance abuse and addiction precede the onset of a mental illness. However, no matter which disorder occurs first, addiction and mental illness can feed off each other. The pain of the mental health concern can lead to increased drug use. The increased drug use can exacerbate the mental health symptoms, which can push the person deeper into the downward spiral of addiction. Without professional care, this devastating cycle may be impossible to escape.

Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a Joint Commission accredited facility, providing lasting outcomes for all of our clients. We believe that dual diagnosis treatment should be the standard for addiction treatment, not the exception.

If you believe you have a dual diagnosis disorder, call us now at (813) 733-8774.

Why Are Dual Diagnosis Disorders So Common?

Mind-altering substances, including drugs and alcohol, impact your brain’s normal functioning, inducing feelings of intoxication or euphoria. They manipulate the release of certain chemicals within your brain and body, influencing mood, energy, and perception.

With regular use, the brain adapts to these altered states, making sobriety feel abnormal and discomforting. The dependency that develops from consistent substance use often manifests symptoms aligning with various mental health disorders. In addition, these mental dependencies can persist even after one attains physical sobriety. In many instances, mental health disorders precede substance abuse, escalating due to self-medication with substances.

Living with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD can make life feel burdensome. Under these circumstances, drugs and alcohol might appear as convenient escapes, providing temporary relief, joy, or emotional numbness. 

What to Expect at our Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Tampa

Once you’ve completed drug and alcohol detox, you’ll step into our Partial Hospitalization or Intensive Outpatient Programs. During this time our team will develop your individualized care plan to address both co-occurring disorders during your stay. This means that no two people will the exact same experience at our dual diagnosis program. Our team continues to monitor and reassess your care during weekly sessions with your therapist, case manager and doctor.

In addition, everyone who receives care from us can expect certain fundamental features and benefits, including:

  • Safe environment: Patient safety will always be our top priority. Our team works diligently to ensure that our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida remain safe and welcoming places for our patients as well as for our staff and visitors.
  • Personalized service: As noted at the beginning of this section, customized care is a hallmark of treatment at Tampa Bay Recovery Center. Our team works closely with each patient to identify the full scope of their needs so we can develop the personalized plan that’s perfect for them.
  • Dignity and respect: Many people who develop dual diagnosis disorders unfortunately also struggle with feelings of guilt and shame. Those who receive dual diagnosis care at our treatment centers in Florida can expect to receive superior care in a welcoming and respectful atmosphere.
  • Aftercare planning: The time a person spends at Tampa Bay Recovery Center will be just one part of their journey to improved health. Our aftercare planning services identify the resources that can provide continued support after a person has transitioned out of our care.

Also, every patient at Tampa Bay Recovery Center can expect to work with a team of skilled professionals. Every member of our team shares an unwavering commitment to superior service.


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Signs & Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis Disorder

The signs and symptoms of dual diagnosis disorders can vary widely depending on which disorders a person has developed. It is extremely unlikely that a person will develop a mental illness and a substance abuse problem at the exact same time. In almost every case, one of these concerns occurs first, and its effects lead to the onset of the other one.

Here are some general signs of substance use disorders and mental health disorders, both of which must be present for a person to have a dual diagnosis:

  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Losing interest in topics, activities, or events that were once of great importance
  • Significant change in personality
  • Apparent lack of attention to grooming and personal hygiene
  • Acting with uncharacteristic violence or recklessness
  • Inability to focus, concentrate, or follow a conversation
  • Frequent unexplained absences from work or school
  • Failing to pay bills, do household chores, or otherwise fulfill personal responsibilities
  • Altered sleep patterns, which may include both insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Drastic changes in energy level

While these symptoms may appear similar to someone with aa substance use disorder, those who mimic the same symptoms even after finding help for substance use is an indicator of a dual diagnosis, and they should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare provider. To receive effective care at a dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida, a person must first complete a thorough assessment and receive an accurate diagnosis.

Our Approach to Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Tampa

Dual diagnosis can be treated with various forms of therapy as well as with certain prescription medications. When an individual admits to our program, we get to know you, your individual needs, and work with you to determine which modalities would be of benefit. Depending on individual need, a person’s care for dual diagnosis may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Commonly referred to as CBT, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people replace self-defeating thought patterns with healthier ways of thinking.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy: This type of therapy, which is also called DBT, focuses on mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This dynamic form of treatment has proved to be extremely beneficial for people who are struggling with PTSD and other effects of untreated trauma.
  • Holistic Drug Rehab: A holistic approach, which can include services such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture, is designed to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, addiction, and dual diagnosis.
  • Red Light Therapy: Focused exposure to red light, a process also known as photobiomodulation, can help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and certain other mental health disorders. Red light therapy may also be incorporated into treatment for addiction.
  • Brainspotting Therapy: Brainspotting is a more granular approach to EMDR Therapy and can help clients process trauma, maladaptive behaviors and learn new coping skills. 

These are just a few of the many elements that may be included into our comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment centers in Tampa. For more detailed information about the services that may be best for you, please contact Tampa Bay Recovery Center directly.

Ready to Escape Addiction? Let's get Started

Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a premier leader in the provision of addiction treatment services. If you or someone you love is in need of professional care to address a substance use disorder, reach out to us right now at (813) 733-8774 to speak with an admissions specialist who can get you started on the road to recovery.

Most Common Dual Diagnosis Disorders

As we discussed earlier on this page, dual diagnosis means that a person has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder. It’s possible for any mental health disorder to co-occur with addiction. However, some mental health disorders are more likely than others to contribute to dual diagnosis. Here are examples of the mental health disorders that are most commonly involved in dual diagnosis:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

People who have dual diagnosis may have become addicted to a variety of substances, including:

If you or someone that you care about has developed these or other types of mental health disorders and drug addiction, please know that help is available. When you get proper treatment for dual diagnosis, your life can get much better.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Tampa Bay

Untreated dual diagnosis can be isolating, frustrating, and frightening. But when you get the help you need, you can regain control of your life. Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a trusted source of superior care for people in Florida whose lives have been disrupted by dual diagnosis. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

Our Top Rated Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs in Florida

Our Philosophy

We believe that getting help for substance use disorders is about much more than just trying to get through another day of not drinking or using drugs. Our mission is to help people reclaim their lives by teaching them how to effectively deal with the stress, trauma, and anxiety that contribute to their addictions. 

Meet Our Team

Our staff has over 60 years of combined experience in treating behavioral health disorders. Our compassionate and empathetic approach has helped hundreds.