The terms “co-occurring disorders” and “dual-diagnosis” describe the same condition in which a person is affected by both chemical dependency and an emotional or psychiatric illness. These terms (co-occurring and dually diagnosed) are often used interchangeably with the terms “co-morbidity”, “concurrent disorders”, “co-morbid disorders”, and “dual disorder”. Individuals who experience a dual diagnosis often face a wide range of psychosocial issues and may experience more than two interacting illnesses.
The treatment program at Michael’s House is nationally recognized for integrative and evidence based methods that have produced proven results for individuals with addiction and mental health disorders. We are one of very few facilities that is prepared to deal effectively with co-occurring disorders.
What You Need to Know About Co-Occurring Disorders
The specific causes of psychiatric illness and chemical dependency are not fully understood at this time. Family history, genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors all appear to play important roles in the development of both psychiatric illness and chemical dependency.
Some common issues associated with co-occurring disorders include:
- Family and social problems
- Employment or school problems
- High-risk behavior
- Multiple admissions for chemical dependency due to relapse
- Multiple admissions for psychiatric care due to reoccurrence of psychiatric symptoms
- Increased emergency room admissions
- Increased need for acute health care services
- Legal problems and incarceration
Co-occurring Disorders Affect over 10 Million Americans Each Year
During the past ten years, researchers and mental health and chemical dependency treatment providers have found that dual disorders do occur with regular frequency. The National Institute of Mental Health sponsored two large-scale research studies. The studies provided significant information about dual disorders.
- 56% of individuals with a bipolar disorder, (Manic depressive illness) abuse substances
- 47% of individuals with a schizophrenic disorder, abuse substances
- 32% of individuals with a mood disorder other than bipolar, abuse substances
- 27% of individuals with an anxiety disorder, abuse substances
Other researchers looked at individuals who were in treatment and experienced a severe mental illness. They found that 40-60% of the patients also had a co-existing substance abuse disorder.
Investigators who looked at individuals in treatment for substance abuse found them to have co-existing mental disorders in rates of over 60%.
Clearly, there are a substantial number of men and women who experience dual disorders each year. Research and clinical findings illustrate that it is not a rare occurrence, but rather a problem that occurs with consistent frequency. Therefore, it is important that specialized programs and ongoing community based support groups be available for men and women who experience dual disorders.
Co-occurring disorders are treatable. At Michael’s House, our staff are dedicated to treatment and recovery of dual diagnoses. If you have questions about co-occurring disorders please call our call center 24 hours a day 1-877-937-8491.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494