Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Centers for Co-Occurring Disorders

Did you know that one out of five adults in the United States lives with a mental health disorder? Most people are aware of how common mental health conditions are in the U.S., but many are unfamiliar with the connection between substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Many people experience both of these conditions in the form of co-occurring disorders. Learn more about addiction and mental health treatment centers and discover how they can help people experiencing co-occurring disorders.

How Are Addiction and Mental Health Related?

If someone has an addiction, they’ll likely have a mental health disorder. This is referred to as a co-occurring disorder, and it’s estimated that over 9.2 million Americans struggle with them. It’s important to note that just because these conditions occur together often doesn’t always mean they cause each other. So, what are some of the reasons why they’re related?

First, there are the common risk factors associated with both of them. Factors like stress and trauma can be passed down from generation to generation through genes. Next, there’s the fact that mental health disorders might cause addictions. This is particularly true with conditions like anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Often people will use drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication.

Self-medication may offer temporary relief but can lead to addiction, which can have devastating effects in the long term. There are theories that some addictions can trigger changes in brain structures, which can cause mental health disorders.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance use disorder isn’t associated with just one type of mental health disorder. Substance abuse can accompany a lot of mental health disorders. Some of the more common mental health disorders related to substance abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Panic disorder

Why Do Co-Occurring Disorders Require Special Treatment?

Co-occurring disorders need to be treated holistically, which means getting to the root of addiction and mental illness. Since the issues are connected, both must be resolved for a patient to heal. Only treating addiction may lead to relapse later if the underlying mental health issues continue to impact an individual’s life. If a person doesn’t learn to cope with their mental health condition, they’re prone to numbing themselves with alcohol or drugs when an episode occurs.

Similarly, if someone doesn’t have a handle on their addiction, they will be unable to manage their mental health. The good news is that dual diagnosis treatments tackle both of these disorders. That way, it sets the person up with the best odds for staying healthy and sober.

Common Treatment Options

It’s important to treat both the addiction and the mental health condition together to have the best chance of success. The specific recovery options will ultimately depend on the person and the severity of their condition. With that being said, most co-occurring disorders are treated using several behavioral therapies. These can include

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (or DB)
  • Assertive community treatment (or ACT)

In addition to these therapies, it’s common to use medication. Medications can treat both addiction and mental health conditions. For example, people with opioid, nicotine, and alcohol addiction often require medications when they’re getting sober. The same goes for people suffering from severe depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

How to Find the Best Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Centers

You want to find addiction and mental health treatment centers that perform dual diagnoses. They should also offer tailor-made treatment plans for people with a co-occurring disorder.

Need Dual Diagnosis in Florida? Contact Comprehensive Wellness Centers

A well-rounded approach to care is necessary to achieve mental health and sobriety. We help our patients develop coping skills and support systems that will set them up for success in the long term. If you’re ready for the help, you or a loved one deserves, contact us today.

Medically Reviewed: September 20, 2022

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff

Clinical Team

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Content on this page has been reviewed by CWC Medical Staff for accuracy.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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