Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders

Multiple disorders can co-occur in treating mental health and substance abuse disorders. A dual diagnosis means a person meets the criteria for various disorders simultaneously. Meaning that both a substance use disorder and one or more mental health disorders are present. In such cases, the two conditions—i.e., substance use disorder and mental health disorder—are known as “co-occurring” or “comorbid.” 

Dual diagnosis disorders are relatively common when treating mental and behavioral health. More than 50% of people with a severe mental illness also have a substance use disorder. People who may have co-occurring disorders should seek specialized treatment options. Treating substance use disorder and other conditions the person may have is essential.

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