A dual diagnosis is a diagnosis of more than one problem, and dual diagnosis treatment is designed to address both substance abuse and mental illness. Many people who abuse drugs or alcohol do this in an attempt to self medicate because they also suffer from a mental disorder, both in Canada and the USA. If one of the two issues is treated but one goes unresolved then a true recovery can not occur, and the individual will end up needing further treatment later on in life. Many substance abuse treatment programs are capable of treating drug or alcohol abuse but they do not have the mental health professionals needed to properly diagnose and treat mental disorders. This can cause a big gap in treatment, and the individual will end up using again if the underlying mental illness is not also treated at the same time.
There are not enough dual diagnosis treatment facilities in Canada to meet the need, and this can lead to long treatment delays. The best dual diagnosis treatment programs in Canada are ones that offer individual counseling, medical supervision, a thorough diagnosis that is accurate, and a stress free living environment. Many substance abuse rehabs are underfunded and over crowded, and each professional has very little time to spend with individual clients. A dual diagnosis indicates special treatment needs, and mental health is combined with substance abuse so that both of these issues are dealt with at the same time. If either the mental illness or the substance abuse is not effectively treated then treatment results will not be permanent and lead to a complete recovery.