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Treating Co-occurring Disorders Co-occurring Disorders

People who have substance use disorders as well as mental health disorders are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders, or dual disorders. This is also sometimes called a dual diagnosis.

What Are Co-occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of substance abuse can mask symptoms of mental illness, and symptoms of mental illness can be confused with symptoms of substance abuse. Learn more

How Common Are Co-occurring Disorders?

In the United States, over half of adults with a drug use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. A little over a third of adults with an alcohol use disorder also have a psychiatric disorder. Learn more

Fact Sheets

Download these PDFs for more information about the following disorders:

This fact sheet can help explain the causes of co-occurring disorders:

PTSD and Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is the "fight or flight" response to danger. It allows a person to deal with something that is perceived as a threat. It is necessary for survival. But when anxiety is triggered unnecessarily, continues beyond the immediate threat, or causes a person to restrict his or her life, it may develop into a disorder. Learn more

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders include major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. These mood disorders share some common symptoms, but they also affect people in different ways. Learn more

Severe Mental Illness

Severe mental illness is often defined by its length of duration and the disability it produces. These illnesses include disorders that produce psychotic symptoms, such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and severe forms of other disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder. Learn more


Find answers to questions about the treatment of co-occurring disorders. Learn more

Professional Development

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