A dual diagnosis occurs when both a mental health disorder and substance abuse problem co-occur. People often self-medicate when dealing with mental health issues which then exacerbates the initial complication. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery specializes in dual diagnosis treatment. Our experienced master’s level substance abuse and mental health clinicians can help you tackle both problems simultaneously. If you only seek treatment for one issue, the other will not only not go away but also intensify. By treating both of them at the same time, we can restore you to full health faster.


Once a mental health practitioner has diagnosed a person’s mental health issues, it’s vital to address the underlying trauma that caused substance abuse head-on. Over seventeen million people found themselves afflicted with mental health problems last year. Of those, four million had a substance abuse problem brought on by their mental health struggles and require treatment from a North Carolina Substance Abuse Treatment Center. More than fifty percent of those impaired by this dual diagnosis did not receive the help they needed. If the mental health issues are not addressed, then substance abuse will most likely get worse.

At The Willows, we treat the whole person. A person’s physical and emotional state cannot be made whole again if their mental and spiritual needs are not met. This dual treatment has shown to be more effective than treating one disorder and then the other. They must receive concurrent treatment. Our specialists will evaluate the client’s emotional and mental needs and their physical and nutritional ones. With an individualized treatment plan, we’ll explore all options to assist in their recovery.


Our gender-specific treatment programs offer a unique approach to restoring the clients’ health. Women are almost always the caretakers of their families, including their spouse and children and their parents and friends. Too many women suffer from the condition commonly known as the disease to please. They try to live up to others’ expectations without taking the appropriate measures to ensure their own health does not suffer. As a result, they may struggle with conditions, such as:

Self-care often means using alcohol and both legal and illegal substances to mask their own pain.


Co-occurring issues among youth ages 12 and older affect many children in the United States. Many adolescents with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Many children suffer from a SUD (substance use disorder) and major depression.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2018:

  • Approximately 1.5% (358,000) of adolescents in 2018 had a SUD and major depression in the past year
  • About 1.2% (288,000) adolescents in 2018 had a SUD and major depression with severe impairment in the past year

Also, more than a third of adolescents dealing with major depression and substance abuse received no specialized treatment and no mental health services. Since hundreds of thousands of our nation’s youth are affected by dual diagnosis, knowing the signs of co-occurring issues is critical for families and educators. Therefore, the more awareness there is among adults, the easier it is to seek and find the right help.


Signs that an adolescent may be using illicit drugs or alcohol include:

  • A sudden or frequent change in friends
  • Skips dinner and other family routines
  • Prefers to stay in the bedroom alone
  • Ignores household chores
  • Violates curfew
  • Skips school
  • School grades worsen
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Defiant or inappropriate reactions to confrontations
  • Unprovoked reactions
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of motivation
  • Stealing money or items to pawn
  • Neglects personal hygiene
  • Mood swings
  • Depression


Commonly seen signs of co-occurring issues related to mental health in adolescents include:

  • Depression: Beyond just feeling sad sometimes, depression is a clinical issue that needs treatment. Symptoms of depression interfere with a teen’s ability to accomplish daily activities such as eating, sleeping, and handling school work and may require care from a licensed depression treatment center
  • Conduct disorder: CD is a disorder where a child displays repeated disruptive and violent behavior.
  • Oppositional defiant disorder: ODD is a disorder where a child demonstrates argumentative behavior towards authority figures
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: ADHD is a disorder where an adolescent has trouble paying attention. There is a pattern of hyperactivity and/or impulsiveness. Many children may be high energy and find it hard to sit still. But when these traits interfere with development and functioning, it may be ADHD.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful events. When these reactions cause significant distress, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Also, when stress reactions are irrational and excessive, they can be harmful to an adolescent and may require therapy for anxiety.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: Youths who have experienced a traumatizing event can develop PTSD. Feeling sad, anxious, or angry can be signs of PTSD. Other symptoms include problems concentrating and sleeping and thinking about the event continuously.


Mental health issues can trigger a need to self-medicate, but it also works the other way around. Sometimes alcohol and substance abuse can trigger a mental health crisis in men, women and even young teens can find themselves in need of a teen rehab center. Men can even find a gender specific rehab at a mens rehab center in NC.Underlying factors can include anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Many people are unaware that they can have PTSD. Traumatic events take many forms, and it is not always one single incident that people can point to as the culprit. Although these issues can co-occur, they must be treated as separate conditions.


Our serene 38-acre campus with multiple ponds and walking trails will help you connect with nature and put you in the right frame of mind to restore your health and rejuvenate your mind and body. By serving only twenty clients at a time, there is ample room to roam and find that quiet place to be by yourself and plan for your future as a sober individual. In addition, we offer a wide array of treatment options, which we will tailor to your unique challenges. For instance, our treatments include: