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People sometimes use alcohol or drugs to help cover up or mask symptoms of a mood disorder. Studies show that more than half of the people with depression or bipolar disorders also use alcohol and/or drugs. But, after the temporary effects of the alcohol or drugs wear off, the person’s mood symptoms return and usually worse than before the drug/alcohol use. Mood disorders and alcohol/drug problems are both treatable illnesses.  Dual diagnosis (or co-occurring disorders) describes when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Either disorder may have developed first. A person who has a dual diagnosis has two separate illnesses, and each illness needs its own treatment plan. 


Dual diagnosis intervention is often generally integrated but at the same time customized to each person's situation regarding severity of mood swings and alcohol/drug abuse. Two major intervention tools are common to all treatment plans. All patients must go through the processes of intervention and rehabilitation. These processes may require the use of treatment centers for therapy, support and health services. Support housing like group homes or sober houses are examples of such residential treatment centers especially for the newly sober wary of relapse.

If a loved one is showing signs which you suspect to be that of a co-occurring disorder, call us for a professional evaluation. ERS's trained, certified and experienced team of professionals will diagnose and customize for the individual a treatment path that will quickly help with full recovery from both disorders.

  • Smart Recovery is a sobriety support group for people with a variety of addictions that is not based in faith.

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