Co-Occurring Diagnosis

The coexistence of both mental health and a substance use condition is referred to as co-occurring diagnosis. Many living with this diagnosis suffer in silence and do not seek treatment. This can negatively impact one’s health, career and relationships.

People with mental health conditions are more likely than people without mental health conditions to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder. While substances may temporarily numb the symptoms of the mental illness, they typically cause the condition to worsen over time.

Some of the most common combinations of co-occurring diagnoses include:

  • Depression with alcoholism
  • Anxiety disorder with Benzodiazepine addiction
  • PTSD with alcoholism, opioid or heroin addiction
  • Social anxiety with marijuana misuse
  • Bipolar disorder with alcohol addiction

Co-occurring diagnosis can be difficult to address due to the complexity of symptoms, as both may vary in severity. In many cases, people receive treatment for one condition while the other remains untreated. This may occur because both mental health and substance use conditions can have biological, psychological, and social components. However, a treatment plan that integrates targeted psychiatric support within the addiction rehabilitation program is the most effective approach.