A diagnosis of a mental health condition along with one of alcoholism or drug abuse is called a dual diagnosis. About nine million people in the U.S. have received such a dual diagnosis in treatment. Dual diagnoses often includes psychological disorders such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, debilitating phobias, panic disorder, antisocial personality disorders, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorders.
Dual diagnoses are misleading because they imply that having a drinking or drug problem is a disease. Although popular, the disease theory of alcoholism and addiction is unsupported. It's been tested for decades and has been discredited by medical and other scientific evidence. Alcoholism and drug addiction are not diseases. That's why medical treatment isn't effective in "curing" them.
We typically use emotional problems as excuses for heavy substance use, but they don't cause us to abuse alcohol or drugs. We also tend to use external problems as excuses. But a failed marriage, stress at work, a lost job, a bankruptcy, or the death of a loved one doesn't cause us to drink or drug. We can use any of these things as an easy excuse, but none of them causes us to misuse substances. This is another reason why dual diagnosis in treatment can be misleading.
People who need more and more of their chosen substance or substances to achieve the same effects (i.e., people who have developed tolerance) may need to detoxify, but that's not treatment for a disease. Many people don't need detox so it's important to ask a doctor or other qualified health care provider about the question.
Following any detox, if necessary, people typically enter a rehab or treatment program. Unfortunately, most rehab programs include the 12 steps developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and also used by Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Twelve step programs promote the demonstrably incorrect theory that substance abuse is a disease, that there is no cure for addiction, that a person will always be an alcoholic or addict, that they can never use alcohol or drugs in moderation, that they will need help as long as they live, and that they are always be on guard against remission. It's almost impossible for most people to live under such a dark and demanding cloud forever.
Twelve step programs have very low success rates (link to non-12-step page). For example, AA's success rate is only about five percent after one year. That is, only about one of every twenty members is sober at the end of one year. U.S. federal government research has demonstrated that using a 12 step program is usually ineffective for most people and can actually be counterproductive. That is, not attending a 12 step program can result in a greater chance of maintaining sobriety.
St. Jude Retreats provides a proven method to overcoming substance use such as Cognitive Behavioral Education that effectively helps guests achieve a gratifying life free of unwanted alcohol or drug problems.