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Co-Occurring Disorders 101

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Co-Occurring Disorders 101 Addiction Treatment

It is estimated that more than half of all patients living with drug or alcohol addictions are also living with a co-occurring psychological disorder.

Research shows that ignoring one disorder in favor of treating another only means that neither issue will be addressed effectively. It’s important for those who have co-occurring disorders to make sure that they choose a Dual Diagnosis treatment program that can handle both problems effectively.

Would you like to learn more about co-occurring disorders or Dual Diagnosis treatment?

Contact us today at the phone number listed above for more information about both topics and for assistance locating a treatment program that will work for you.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

The term “co-occurring disorders” describes the condition of living with two or more diagnoses. Drug addiction, for our purposes here, is usually one of the identified disorders – though it is not always the primary disorder. The second disorder is psychological or medical in nature and can cause complications or hold up progress during drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Psychological disorders are exceedingly common among those who are living with drug and alcohol addiction.

Serious depression, anxiety issues, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia and other mental health issues can make physical withdrawal more difficult and increase cravings as well. Many living with psychological disorders begin their drug and alcohol addiction in an attempt to self-medicate. Whether the issue is social awkwardness or “feeling uncomfortable in one’s own skin,” drugs and alcohol can help them find a sense of equilibrium briefly – before the addiction spins them out of control.

Medical disorders can also cause problems that require medical assistance during drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Chronic issues are especially common in those who have been abusing drugs and alcohol for a long time. Unfortunately, many of these ailments may be undiagnosed as many who are living with addiction don’t make it to the doctor as often as they should. Symptoms of disorders like liver and kidney dysfunction, respiratory ailments, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses may be ignored during active addiction but flare up when the patient attempts to undergo detox and addiction treatment.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Rehab?

Dual Diagnosis rehab programs help patients who are living with co-occurring disorders to get the treatment they need for both problems. A full treatment plan is developed for both the addiction issue and the co-occurring psychological or medical disorder. Medical disorders may require treatment at separate facilities and, once managed, may need nothing more than check-ins and supervision as you continue focusing on drug addiction recovery. Psychological disorders, however, will likely require an intensive treatment plan that may take advantage of pharmacological assistance as well as different types of psychotherapy. The drug addiction treatment plan can overlap during psychotherapy but may or may not require and medications, especially in the long term.

Dual Diagnosis drug rehab should be different for each individual in treatment.

Because everyone’s co-occurring disorder is different and their experience with drug and alcohol addiction is different, distinct types of therapy and alternative treatments will be appropriate and various treatment modalities may be more or less effective depending upon the situation.

What Are the Benefits?

There are a number of benefits that those with co-occurring disorders will experience when they opt for a Dual Diagnosis rehab. These include:

  • An individualized treatment plan. Personalized treatment means that not only are the patient’s individual needs addressed during rehab but the pace of progress is set according to those needs. No one is ever herded along or held to any standard of recovering. There’s no failing when an individualized treatment plan is in place.
  • High-end treatment services. Dual Diagnosis rehab programs are equipped to address a wide range of psychological disorders and successfully handle the effects of drug addiction on those disorders and vice versa. Well-educated specialists in psychological issues and substance abuse are employed and provide patients with the best care possible.
  • The ability to adjust treatment goals. Patients play a large part in the development of their treatment plan as they make progress in treatment. Gaining a portion of control over recovery can give patients the opportunity to get control over their lives.

Is It Necessary?

Once a co-occurring disorder is diagnosed, it is important that patients find a Dual Diagnosis rehab that can address both issues. The benefits are tremendous and opting instead for a less intensive treatment can mean that neither issue is effectively addressed.

Don’t waste your time and money. Call us now to find a Dual Diagnosis treatment program that can help you.


Rehab International is a service provided by Foundations Recovery Network. As part of the Foundations Recovery Network, our goal is to provide science-based treatments to individuals suffering from issues of addiction and mental illness.

When you call you will be connected to a member of the Foundations Recovery Network who will assist in providing you with any questions you may have regarding the treatment process.

The treatment directory on Rehab International is created using resources made available in the public domain. If you would like a listing removed or edited please contact us. If you are trying to reach a resource listing on one of the pages, please contact them directly through their website or contact information provided.

JCAHO The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the national evaluation and certifying agency for health care organization and programs in the United States. JCAHO strives to improve health care for the public. FRN is proud to be affiliated with several JCAHO accredited facilities.

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