What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are what it is called when someone has both a mental illness and an alcohol or drug addiction. In most cases of co-occurring disorders, either the mental illness or the addiction led to the other disorder, which means that to treat the addiction properly, the mental illness will need to be addressed as well.  

Is There a Difference Between a Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders?

According the the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Co-occurring disorders were previously referred to as dual diagnoses. According to [their] 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 7.9 million adults in the United States had co-occurring disorders in 2014.” That being said, in the rehab center industry the terms “dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorder” are interchangeable. The reason that the government decided on this shift to co-occurring disorders is likely to more accurately reflect that there can be more than two diagnoses happening at the same time, be it a mental illness paired with addictions to two substances, two mental illnesses tied to a single substance addiction, or multiple mental illnesses accompanying multiple substance addictions.

While the official stance is to call these types of cases a co-occurring disorder, most patients and rehab centers are more likely to use the older term of dual diagnosis. Either way, a dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders are the exact same thing.

How is a Co-Occurring Disorder Treated?

When going into a rehab center in Pompano, the patient will go through their detox phase and then join the general population at the facility. During their time in rehab, the addiction is addressed first and foremost and the rest of their cognitive behavioral therapy sessions are spent focusing on the mental illness and how it can be dealt with to avoid relapse in the future.

If you believe a loved one has a co-occurring disorder or you think you do, please reach out to 1st Step Behavioral Health as soon as you can – the earlier rehab is entered, the more likely the patient is to avoid relapse in the future.

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