Menu Close

Gaining a Better Understanding of Co-Occurring Disorders

Dual diagnosis treatment is a recovery approach for individuals struggling with more than just addiction. Co-occurring disorders, sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis, refer to the presence of a substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health concern. This specialized care addresses both aspects of the individual’s condition. Exploring the definition and causes of co-occurring disorders causes can help those struggling find hope and healing. 

Call 1-800-RECOVERY today to reach Recovery Centers of America and start dual diagnosis treatment with our knowledgeable, compassionate team as your guide.  

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders? 

Co-occurring disorders are complex and often misunderstood. Approximately half of individuals with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health condition. This means that the individual may have an addiction to drugs or alcohol and psychological concerns such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. 

The presence of co-occurring disorders can make treatment more challenging. An individual may be more likely to relapse, experience more severe symptoms, and have a poorer prognosis without specialized care. Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary to address both the SUD and mental health issue concurrently. 

What’s the Definition of Co-Occurring Disorder? 

The definition of co-occurring disorders is complex and varies depending on the source. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), defines a substance use disorder as a “maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.” The DSM-5 also recognizes specific mental health conditions that commonly co-occur with SUD. These include mood, anxiety, personality, and psychotic disorders. 

The definition of co-occurring disorders recognizes that substance abuse and mental health are often interconnected. Both can profoundly impact an individual’s life, and treating one without addressing the other can be ineffective. 

Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders 

The causes of co-occurring disorders are complex and multifaceted. Genetic, environmental, and psychological factors often play a significant role. For example, a person with a family history of addiction may be more likely to develop substance use disorder. Similarly, an individual who experiences trauma or stress may be more susceptible to mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. 

The use of drugs or alcohol also impacts co-occurring disorders. Substance abuse can exacerbate preexisting mental health conditions or trigger the onset of new ones. Additionally, the use of drugs or alcohol can lead to changes in brain chemistry that can increase the risk of developing a mental health issue. 

How Can RCA Help with Dual Diagnosis? 

At Recovery Centers of America, we believe that dual diagnosis treatment is essential to helping individuals with co-occurring disorders. Our treatment programs address both addiction and the mental health concerns, providing specialized care tailored to the patient’s unique needs. 

Our system of care include:  

  • Detox. 
  • Inpatient care. 
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP). 
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP). 
  • Telehealth services.  

We also offer an Alumni Association for ongoing support after treatment. 

Our therapists and medical professionals are trained in evidence-based therapies that have been proven effective in treating co-occurring disorders. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and trauma-focused therapy. We also offer medication for addiction treatment (MAT) as part of our treatment programs.  

Contact RCA Today to Begin Dual Diagnosis Treatment 

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues, RCA can help. Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing compassionate, evidence-based care that addresses both the SUD and the mental health concern.  

Contact us today at 1-800-RECOVERY or complete our convenient online form to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help.



Treatment Advisor
Standing By, 24/7