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What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse, please call our partner facility today:
The PAC Program
(866) 516-8266


People who have mental health disorders in conjunction with substance addiction are often diagnosed as having a co-occurring disorder — also known as dual diagnosis. Though having a co-occurring disorder can be common for an individual in recovery, it can still present more challenges. So here’s what you should know:

While there are many different types of co-occurring disorders, the following are the most common mental health disorders that typically coincide with drug or alcohol addiction:

PTSD – (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
OCD – (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Bipolar Disorder
ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
Panic Disorder
While each co-occurring disorder case is unique, there are some common warning signs and symptoms to be aware of, and may include the following:

Socially withdrawn
Changes in appetite
Gain or loss of weight
Change in sleep patterns
Prolonged feelings of hopelessness and despair
Hallucinations and delusions
Inability to concentrate
Suffering grades
Consistently missing work or school
Mood swings
Easily irritated
Thoughts of suicide
Neglecting responsibilities
Engaging in risky behavior
Financial trouble
Neglecting self-care (grooming, bathing)
Co-occurring disorders are often treated with behavioral therapies. Some of the most common therapies used in dual diagnosis are:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – Targets behaviors that interfere with quality of life such as mood disorders, binge eating, ADHD, PTSD, substance abuse, negative thoughts, and low self-image.
Group Therapy – Sharing experiences with others can help individuals remember that they aren’t alone in experiencing depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and shame.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – During CBT, individuals discuss their thoughts, feelings, and negative behaviors with a mental health professional.
Individual Therapy -Tailored individual therapy sessions provides a safe environment to identify and treat issues that could possibly hinder recovery. Some hurdles often include co-occurring conditions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a co-occurring disorder, professional help from an Arizona drug and alcohol addiction treatment center can be paramount to overcoming their addiction and learning how to manage their mental health disorders. The PAC Program provides young men between the ages of 18 and 30 substance abuse therapies in a supportive and safe environment.