Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders


Addiction and mental health issues are very common health issues in today’s day and age. They affect millions of people around the world. When these issues co-occur, it can cause both to increase in severity.

When a person is diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, they are said to have co-occurring disorders. These disorders can occur separately, but when they co-exist they usually cause the symptoms of each disorder to amplify. That is because both disorders affect very similar parts of the brain.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders are defined by the dual diagnosis of a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. This can involve one mental health disorder and one substance use disorder, or it can involve multiple psychiatric and addictive conditions at once. An example would be someone battling both depression and an alcohol use disorder and cocaine addiction, or someone with PTSD may have depression and an addiction issue.

1000 Hills Treatment Center Offers Dual Diagnosis Programs

Any combination of substance abuse and mental illness is considered to be a dual diagnosis or co-occurring mental health disorder.          Here is an example of some common co-occurring disorders:

  • Alcoholism and depression
  • Anxiety and addiction
  • Eating disorder and cocaine addiction
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and heroin addiction
  • Anxiety and prescription drug addiction
  • ADHD and marijuana addiction

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders are common, recurrent, and often very serious conditions. However, they are treatable and many people do recover with the proper diagnosis and treatment.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders affect nearly 8.5 million people in the United States. They can affect people from all walks of life and age. A person diagnosed with a mental health disorder is 2 times more likely to suffer from a substance use disorder and vice versa.

Symptoms of Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Knowing some of the symptoms of a co-occurring disorder can help one recognize when they may need to seek help. These symptoms include:

  • Sudden changes in behavior 
  • Retreating from relationships with friends or family
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Difficulty managing tasks
  • Neglecting hygiene and Health
  • Using drugs under unsafe conditions
  • Losing control over drug use
  • Developing a high tolerance to a drug or experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Feeling the need to use a substance to feel or function normally

Symptoms of co-occurring disorders are very similar to the symptoms of both substance use disorders and mental health disorders, but they occur in the same person.

Treating Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders take a huge toll on the brain. The effects can be devastating and if left untreated can lead to suicide, hospitalization, violence, social isolation, victimization, drug overdose, or incarceration.

These disorders are very treatable, but must be treated together by the same treatment team. This is often called integrated dual diagnosis treatment.

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At 1000 Hills Recovery And Treatment Center, Our Mission Is To Provide A Safe, Supportive, Environment For Those In Early Recovery. We Are Very Passionate About Healing And Believe That Living In A Sober Community Gives Everyone The Opportunity To Develop Long Lasting Friendships With Others That Have Been In The Same Situation While Making A Better Path For Themselves.

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