The term co-occurring disorders replaces the terms dual disorder or dual diagnosis. These latter terms, though used commonly to refer to the combination of substance use and mental disorders, are confusing in that they also refer to other combinations of disorders (such as mental disorders and mental retardation).
Common examples of co-occurring disorders include the combinations of major depression with cocaine addiction, alcohol addiction with panic disorder, alcoholism and polydrug addiction with schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder with episodic polydrug abuse. Although the focus of this is on dual disorders, some patients have more than two disorders. The principles that apply to dual disorders generally apply also to multiple disorders. Approximately 8.9 million adults have co-occurring disorders; that is they have both a mental and substance use disorder. Only 7.4 percent of individuals receive treatment for both conditions with 55.8 percent receiving no treatment at all.
Integrated treatment or treatment that addresses mental health and addiction conditions at the same time is associated with lower costs and better outcomes such as:
• Reduced substance use
• Improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning
• Decreased hospitalization
• Increased housing stability
• Fewer arrests
• Improved quality of life
With the help of a treatment team and a treatment plan, there is hope for recovery. With hard work and dedication, anything is achievable. The first step is identifying the problem. Taking the proper steps, whether it’s reaching out, or digging deep within oneself can help a person take control of their life once again. Learn more about treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders.
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Examples of co-occurring disorders include the combinations of depression and substance use disorder.