Addiction A-Z

Co-occurring disorders

Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis refers to the presence of mental disorders or behavioral conditions co-existing with substance use disorder. These co-occurring conditions may include depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder and/or personality disorders, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Identifying and treating co-occurring disorders simultaneously is critical in creating a sustainable recovery. The National Alliance on Mental Illness cites these statistics about co-occurring disorders that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):

  • About 50% of persons with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse
  • 53% of substance abusers and 37%of alcohol abusers have at least one serious mental illness
  • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29% abuse either alcohol or drugs
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