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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Fort Smith

3 Minute Read | Published Nov 30 2023 | Updated Dec 01 2023

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, refers to the presence of both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. It is a complex and challenging issue that affects many individuals in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Dual diagnosis can have a significant impact on one's physical, emotional, and social well-being, making it crucial to address and treat effectively.

Prevalence of Addiction and Mental Health Disorders in Fort Smith:

In Fort Smith, Arkansas, the prevalence of addiction and mental health disorders is high. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 17% of the population in Arkansas suffers from some form of mental illness. Additionally, a report by the Arkansas Department of Health shows that about 1 in 9 adults in the state have a substance use disorder.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also reported that the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Arkansas increased from 109 in 2001 to 414 in 2017, a 280% increase. This alarming statistic highlights the severity of addiction-related issues in the state. In Fort Smith, specifically, the Department of Health reports that alcohol abuse, methamphetamine, and prescription drug abuse are the most common types of substance use disorders.

Impact of Dual Diagnosis in Fort Smith:

Individuals with dual diagnosis in Fort Smith often face numerous challenges in their daily lives. Apart from the effects of substance abuse, they also struggle with mental health disorders, which can disrupt their relationships, employment, and overall quality of life. Dual diagnosis is also associated with a higher risk of homelessness, incarceration, and suicide.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis in Fort Smith:

Fortunately, dual diagnosis is treatable, and individuals in Fort Smith have access to numerous resources for help. The Fort Smith Behavioral Health Center offers comprehensive services for individuals with co-occurring disorders, including medication management, counseling, and peer support groups. Additionally, the Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center provides a variety of evidence-based treatment programs for substance use and mental health disorders.

The state of Arkansas has also implemented a Co-Occurring State Incentive Grant (COSIG) program to improve integrated treatment services for individuals with dual diagnosis. Under this program, certified training and support are provided to professionals in the mental health and substance abuse fields to enhance their knowledge and skills in treating co-occurring disorders.

Innovative Approaches to Dual Diagnosis Treatment:

In Fort Smith, there is an increasing demand for innovative and holistic approaches to treating dual diagnosis. Alternative therapies, such as music therapy, art therapy, and mindfulness, have shown promising results in helping individuals with co-occurring disorders manage their symptoms and maintain long-term recovery.

Moreover, the community in Fort Smith is actively involved in addressing addiction and mental health disorders. The Recovery Cafe in Fort Smith offers a safe and welcoming space for individuals in recovery from dual diagnosis to gather and support each other.


Dual diagnosis is a prevalent issue in Fort Smith and the state of Arkansas. However, with the availability of resources and support, individuals can successfully manage their co-occurring disorders and lead fulfilling lives. It is essential to recognize that addiction is a treatable disease and there is hope for recovery. By raising awareness and promoting access to comprehensive treatment, we can help individuals with dual diagnosis in Fort Smith live healthier and happier lives.
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