What are co-occurring disorders?
co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis, describes the diagnosis of individuals
who simultaneously suffer from mental illness and substance abuse problems. Alcohol
and drug problems commonly co-occur with depression, anxiety disorders,
schizophrenia, and/or personality disorders.
The complicated nature of
concept of dual-diagnosis can be used broadly. In fact, many debate the
suitability of this term, because it applies to a heterogeneous group of
individuals with complex needs and a varied range of problems. For
example, all of the following combinations could be considered co-occurring
mental illness (psychosis, schizophrenia) & substance misuse disorder
mental (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder) & drug
disability & mental illness
dual diagnosis in substance abusers is difficult, as drug abuse often induces
psychiatric symptoms. It is necessary to differentiate between
substance induced and pre-existing mental illness.
Treating co-occurring disorders.
improve, individuals with co-occurring disorders must be treated for both
conditions. First, the person must go through
detoxification, the process of ridding the body of substances by abstaining from alcohol or drugs. The next
step involves rehabilitation for the substance problem and treatment for the mental
disorder. This might include medicines,
support groups and one-on-one therapy.