Medically Reviewed

Can I Get Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction at the Same Time in Tennessee?

- 5 sections

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

People who struggle with addiction often have underlying mental health conditions that they deal with. When you suffer from a substance use disorder and a mental illness, that is referred to as having co-occurring disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.”[1]

Living with addiction and mental illness can be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous. Oftentimes, substance abuse causes the symptoms of your mental health condition to worsen. This can put you at risk of dangerous symptoms like psychosis, hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and life-threatening overdoses. Leaving one condition untreated can result in a relapse in the other condition or worsening symptoms, so it’s crucial to receive integrated treatment for mental health and addiction at the same time.

If you or a loved one suffer from co-occurring disorders, a dual diagnosis treatment program in Tennessee can provide you with the tools you need to make a full recovery.

Why is it Important to Treat Mental Illness and Addiction at the Same Time?

When someone has co-occurring disorders, both conditions can cause the symptoms of one another to worsen. For example, substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of mental illness, while the symptoms of psychiatric disorders can cause an increase in substance abuse. Because of the way co-occurring disorders interact, treating both conditions at the same time is necessary.

If you were to receive treatment for your addiction and leave your mental illness untreated, the symptoms could eventually cause you to return to substance abuse. Living with an untreated mental illness can result in unemployment, increased substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide. Keeping this in mind, you should always seek treatment for both or all of your co-occurring disorders.

What Programs are Available for Mental Health and Addiction?

Co-occurring disorders were first recognized in the 1980s.[2] Experts found that mental illness and addiction often occur together, causing them to coin the term “dual diagnosis.” Since then, dual diagnosis treatment centers across the country have been providing comprehensive treatment for mental health and addiction.

Dual diagnosis treatment facilities can help you overcome many mental health conditions, including:

  • Substance use disorders of any kind
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders like depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related issues
  • Conduct disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder

Dual diagnosis treatment programs in Tennessee combine traditional addiction treatment methods with evidence-based mental health services. Typically, individuals will receive medical detox to help them overcome the withdrawal phase of addiction recovery. After the detoxification process is completed, they will begin addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of treatment via behavioral therapy and other approaches.

If you are receiving treatment for mental health and addiction at the same time, your experience may involve:

  • Medical detox
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Holistic therapies like mindfulness meditation or yoga
  • Psychiatric medication if needed
  • Relapse prevention planning

What Happens if I Don’t Treat One of My Conditions?

Both your mental health condition and substance use disorder must be treated at the same time. If you leave one of your conditions untreated, the symptoms could cause a relapse in the condition you received treatment for. Receiving treatment for only one of your disorders could cause the cycle of mental illness, self-medication, and addiction to continue.

If you receive treatment for your addiction but not your mental health condition, the symptoms of your mental disorder will begin to affect you negatively over time. You may begin to crave drugs or alcohol to numb your emotions and symptoms, eventually leading to a relapse.

Leaving one of your conditions untreated will most likely exacerbate the symptoms of your treated condition. Over time, the combination of mental health symptoms and addiction could lead to an array of consequences such as homelessness, incarceration, an inability to function in your daily life, fatal overdoses, and thoughts of suicide.

When you have co-occurring disorders, the only way to guarantee recovery is by receiving treatment for both conditions at the same time and staying dedicated to improving.

How to Find a Dual Diagnosis Rehab Center in Memphis

Finding the right dual diagnosis rehab program is just as important as receiving the care itself. Every treatment facility operates differently, meaning one program may work for you while it isn’t suitable for someone else. While finding a dual diagnosis treatment center that suits your unique needs can be difficult, there are tips and tricks you should consider.

To start, you should always contact your health insurance company. Your provider can give you a list of dual diagnosis rehab centers in Memphis that accept your insurance. Treatment for mental health and addiction can be extremely expensive, but finding an in-network facility ensures that you will not have hefty out-of-pocket fees.

Once you have the list from your insurance company, you can research each facility to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. Make sure to confirm that they provide individualized treatment planning, use evidence-based therapies, and use relapse prevention planning to prepare you for sobriety in the real world.

If you do not have insurance, you can always look for a program that offers payment plans. Some rehab programs use sliding scale fees that only require you to pay what you can afford based on your income. Other facilities offer scholarships for people who need treatment but cannot pay for it.

Find Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction in Tennessee Today

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition, PAX Memphis is here to help. Our dedicated admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to assess your needs and connect you with the right treatment program for you. Start the recovery process today by calling for a risk-free, no-obligation assessment.