What Is the Difference Between Comorbidity and Dual Diagnosis?

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(Newswire.net — October 3, 2020) — Addiction is a horrible struggle. Many people see it as a disease and many others see it as a choice. Whatever it is to you just know it’s one of the worst things you could ever go through.  Drug and alcohol addiction affects not only the Addict but everyone in the addicts life. Sometimes family members suffer even more than the addict does. We all need to realize that there is a lot of help out there for addicts. Today we will focus on the difference between comorbidity and dual diagnosis. 

Comorbidity is the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient. Dual diagnosis is the condition of suffering from a mental illness and a comorbid substance abuse problem. So someone with a dual diagnosis is sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders or comorbidity. Comorbidity also implies interactions between the illness that can worsen the course of both.

Some examples of comorbidities can include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Liver issues
  • Substance abuse


Comorbidities can tend to increase a person’s need for healthcare and the cost of care while decreasing a person’s ability to function in the world. However, they can be more or less severe.

This is why it is so important to correctly diagnose a patient and get them into the right treatment center. With the ever growing issues with drug and alcohol addiction  there are more and more rehabilitation centers offering dual diagnosis treatment. A medical evaluation can determine whether you have a co-occurring disorder or comorbidity.

Often patients go into treatment struggling with a dependency on alcohol or drugs as well as some sort of psychiatric condition.  If a person is suffering from mental illness and addiction they are diagnosed with a dual diagnosis and assigned the proper care. At times it could be so bad that they need around the clock monitoring in an inpatient treatment center.

There are few things that could cause dual diagnosis. It could be from family history of substance abuse or mental illness. From parental exposure to certain drugs, toxins or viruses. Also your gender can play a big part, as men are more likely to require treatment for dual diagnosis.

There are different types of treatment centers that specialize in specific substances, conditions and severity of the issues. This is why it is important to visit and evaluate the best treatment centers and find the one that best fits you or a loved one’s needs. Sometimes these underlying issues are not as severe and an outpatient program could be recommended. This is why it is always important to do your due diligence before deciding on one. This decision could play a big part in the outcome. 

Drug and alcohol addiction are a very big problem that should never be taken lightly. It could lead to more serious health issues and/or death. The sooner you are able to fight addiction the better, cause the longer you wait, the harder it is to fight it. With many treatment centers now available, it is easier to find the best suiting one for your situation. Make sure to ask whether or not they deal with dual diagnosis and your underlying substance issue. Wishing to all who are dealing with Drug and alcohol addiction the best. Never take this for granted. It is a very serious issue. You should know now the difference between dual diagnosis and comorbidity and how you can use this to help you find the best treatment center for your situation.