When it’s more than just addiction

It’s more common than you might think. Drug or alcohol addiction can easily mask mental illness, or vice-versa. It’s estimated that as many as half of those with substance addictions also suffer from mental illness or disorder. Conversely, at least a quarter of those with mental illness also suffer from addiction.


In fact, the combination of the two – commonly known as “dual diagnosis” – is so prevalent that Next Chapter built our program around it.


Upon admission to our program, each client receives a complete psychiatric assessment from our medical director/psychiatrist. This will determine if any medication is necessary, or any other health considerations exist. Thereafter, the director will meet with each client once per week, regardless of whether any medication has been prescribed.


Mental illness and substance abuse are dangerously synergetic. A mental disorder may cause an individual to seek “relief” in the form of drugs or alcohol, which, in turn, exacerbates the disorder and increases the degree of substance abuse. It is a vicious cycle, and it can confound treatment efforts if not identified properly.


It stands to reason that an individual who receives treatment for their addiction, but not the underlying mental disorder at the root of it, is likely to relapse once treatment is complete. Even those who receive a dual diagnosis but do not treat both disorder and dependency with equal focus are at risk of compromising their recovery efforts.


Next Chapter’s approach is founded upon the belief that addiction is itself the symptom of unresolved personal trauma. Our process weaves together fundamental addiction recovery techniques with intensive individual, group, and family therapies to comprehensively treat each client. In doing so, we help them establish a personalized framework in which they can better identify, understand, and manage both their dependencies and their mental disorders long-term.


Typically, the addicted person with a dual diagnosis may display one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Difficulty with intimacy
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Inability to maintain employment
  • Difficulty formulating and conveying thoughts
  • Become socially inept or solitary
  • Inability to manage finances or control spending
  • Violent tendencies or uncontrolled anger

Those who seek treatment for a dual diagnosis are taught to develop and follow a recovery plan for their mental illness that supports and complements the sober recovery plan for their addiction. It’s important to know that addicts with a dual diagnosis can realize recovery, and through treatment, will learn skills to cope with their addiction and receive therapy for their mental illness. Next Chapter will provide a dual approach to help you utilize a larger support network and start living a sober, happy and fulfilling life.


Hear what real people experience at Next Chapter, in their own words.



No matter who you are, these kinds of challenges are nearly impossible to overcome on your own. Next Chapter can help you break free from the impact of mental health, trauma, and the cycle of addiction.