Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders

Mental health issues can run hand-in-hand with addiction, called Co-Occurring Disorders. This occurs when a person is struggling with substance abuse and a mental health issue at the same time. 

Estimates suggests that 17.5 million Americans are currently struggling with a mental health disorder. Of those people, one in four are actively abusing substances or in addiction. Sadly, only half of those with co-occurring disorders actually receive treatment. 

One study found that 34% of Co-Occurring Disorder patients who got help only received mental health treatment alone. 2% of the patients received care for an addiction alone, while only 12% actually received treatment that supported all their issues and disorders. These figures are unfortunate because only treating one half of a Dual Diagnosis creates a higher risk or relapse and mental health problems.

In a vicious cycle, substance abuse is fueled by a mental health condition, or an underlying mental health condition is exacerbated by substance abuse. 

The 4 Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders are: 

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety Disorders
  3. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 

Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders

There are many factors that can cause someone to develop a Co-Occurring Disorder. In some cases it is hereditary. Your genetics and family history, for example, can make you more vulnerable to substance abuse or mental health disorders. Brain Development is another factor. For example, using substances at a young age increases the risk for dual diagnosis later in life. Lastly, stressful or traumatic events can play a role. Experiences such as the loss of a parent or physical or sexual abuse can cause mental health disorders that make a person more prone to addiction.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Comprehensive treatment has the best outcome for patients with co-occurring disorders. Only treating one, and not the other creates a roundabout effect. A patient who receives mental health treatment but not addiction treatment continues to use, which aggravates their mental health condition. A patient who receives addiction treatment but not mental health support, struggles to remain sober and is more likely to relapse, due to the effects of their mental health condition. 

At Harmony Recovery Group, we help patients recover from addiction and co-occurring disorders through evidence-based treatment in a warm and supportive environment. If you or a loved one are struggling with Co-Occuring Disorders or addiction in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and support you. 


Family History of Psychiatric Illness Increases Risk in Offspring

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