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Co-occurring Disorders

Overview

Dual diagnosis occurs when someone has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions occur together frequently. In particular, alcohol and drug problems tend to occur with

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders
Sometimes the mental problem occurs first. This can lead people to use alcohol or drugs that make them feel better temporarily. Sometimes the substance abuse occurs first. Over time, that can lead to emotional and mental problems.

To get better, someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. First, the person must go for a period of time without using alcohol or drugs. This is called detoxification. The next step is rehabilitation for the substance problem and treatment for the mental disorder. This step might include medicines, support groups and talk therapy.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Mental Health America
This website provides information about co-occurring disorders, how to recognize when a friend or family member may have them, support groups for people with a mental health disorder or a substance abuse problem, depression and substance abuse issues among youth, and more. Información en Español.

HealthyPlace.com
HealthyPlace.com provides various reports about co-occurring disorders, including one on its growing prevalence and another on the comparison of individuals diagnosed first with a mental illness then substance abuse, versus those being treated for substance abuse and then being diagnosed with a mental illness. It addresses in great detail the presence of depression and substance abuse in an individual as well as treatment for various co-occurring disorders. It offers chat rooms, forums, definitions, medication information, books, support groups and more.

Evidence-Based Practices, SAMHSA
This site, sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers information about co-occurring disorders and integrated dual disorders treatment, including resources, training, consultation and support, and selected articles. There are separate sections for consumers as well as family and supporters.

Local Resources

Connections
Mental Health Connections, a joint project of the Health District of Northern Larimer County and SummitStone Health Partners, offers information on mental health and substance abuse, as well as referrals to local counselors, treatment programs, classes, support groups and other services.

Search for a Mental Health Care Provider, HealthInfoSource.com
Search this site for a therapist or other mental health professional in greater Fort Collins.

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