What is Dual Diagnosis?

We frequently talk about the importance of finding treatment programs designed to treat the whole person and this is especially true for someone who has been given a dual diagnosis. A co-occurring diagnosis or dual diagnosis disorder is categorized by an individual having a mental health disorder and substance use problem at the same time. As with trauma, it is not unusual to develop maladaptive coping mechanisms in the wake of mental health issues. For example, someone struggling with an anxiety disorder who is also struggling with alcoholism. This impulse to self-medicate is natural but makes it even more crucial to find treatment methods that treat not just the anxiety disorder or just the alcohol abuse, but the whole person through evidence-based practices.

Addictive behaviors, mental health issues, and trauma often overlap. Their causes and symptoms are tightly intertwined so the treatment plan should be just as comprehensive. There is no isolated treatment just for depression if a person also struggles with a substance abuse disorder. At Sabino, addressing underlying trauma is at the root of our treatment practices so we create our treatment plans around more than someone’s diagnosis.

Many people develop their substance abuse disorder as a coping mechanism in response to trauma, to help manage their mental health symptoms, or as a form of self-medication. If someone starts drinking to manage their anxiety disorder, this behavior can start to affect personal relationships, work, and social situations. The recovery community has grappled with how best to treat dual diagnoses. In many ways, traditional care has spent a disproportionate amount of time treating the symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction. As the recovery community learns more about the connections between addictions and mental health, our priority is the treatment of trauma, depression, anxiety disorders, and other behavioral concerns in conjunction with substance use disorders.

What does Dual Diagnosis Treatment look like at Sabino Recovery?

Sabino Recovery is one of the few inpatient dual diagnosis treatment centers designed to treat mental illness in conjunction with substance use. We don’t sideline it or only treat symptoms, treating trauma is central to everything we do. We understand that mental illness often plays a key role in developing a co-occurring substance abuse disorder and that each person’s experience may be different.

Our treatment center and programs are designed to address mental health problems like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders but also the core issues driving these behaviors. We address the root causes of early in treatment and our dedicated and experienced staff supports each resident by creating physical and emotional safety through empathetic, compassionate, and consistent treatment. We help each person develop the necessary skills to build a healthy and sober life with our carefully selected treatment services, including; psychotherapeutic modalities, psychiatric treatment and integrative, mind/body therapies. By holistically treating each person, we hope to help our residents take the first steps to true healing.

Individualized Treatment Plan

Your plan is developed around your very specific needs. There are no “treatment tracks,” which means your dual diagnosis treatment plan is developed just for you after you arrive and will include a holistic approach to you and your individual needs, not just your diagnosis and addiction. It will account for your past and present and the many overlapping and intertwining symptoms that you are experiencing. While you are here, your progress is closely monitored, and our multi-disciplinary team makes real-time adjustments based on your needs and your individual progress.

Key Program Elements


Support groups, behavioral therapies, and individual therapy work together to unravel the tangle of thoughts, emotions, and feelings that you have been experiencing.

The relationship with a therapist or mental health professional can be especially valuable to residents who may have struggled to form relationships in the past. The foundation of a therapeutic environment at Sabino Recovery is the nonjudgmental acceptance of YOU and the unwavering belief that you want something different for yourself.

Experiential and Integrative Therapies

Our program takes full advantage of the beautiful location – we include Adventure and Equine Therapy at our own ropes course and horse stables right on the property. We also offer art therapy, movement, yoga, meditation therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and EMDR. Integrative therapies combine cognitive, behavioral, and physiological systems so that the “whole person” is treated and not just your symptoms as “problems to be solved.”


Our treatment facilities have programs shaped by the latest research in neuroscience. Every therapeutic modality we employ is informed by what we know about the brain. We support your healing through leveraging therapies that boost neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural pathways. Our neurotherapist Andréa Copeland outlines further the role neurotherapy can play in recovery in the video below. 


Natural and Allopathic Medicine

Sabino Recovery utilizes both naturopathic medicine and allopathic, or Western medicine. Our medical director, Dr. Aaron Wilson, is a double board certified psychiatrist and naturopath that promotes the use of nutraceuticals. Specifically, Dr Wilson emphasizes a focus around medication management and the philosophy of precision prescribing. Using nutraceuticals and medication-assisted treatment can assist you in healing without the use of pharmaceutical drugs but we will continue to work with the medications that work well for you. 

We are always focused on you as an individual. We approach your medical care and treatment options with a wide variety of treatment modalities so we can help you treat the myriad co-occurring physical manifestations of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and substance abuse to continue moving you toward sobriety and health.