Co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders

A person who has alcohol or drug problems and emotional/psychiatric problems is said to have co-occurring disorders. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both problems. Co-occurring disorders are more common than you might think. According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association:

  • Thirty-seven percent of people with alcohol use disorders and 53 percent of people with substance/drug use disorders also have at least one serious mental illness.
  • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent currently misuse either alcohol or drugs and 60 percent will misuse either alcohol or other drugs some time during their lifetime.

Learn more about co-occurring disorders through the links below:

A Person-Centered Guide for Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders - from the Council on Quality Leadership

Evidence Based Practices: Shaping Mental Health Services Toward Recovery - Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders Toolkit

Co-occurring Disorders (COD) training

Co-Occurring Fact Sheet for Adults - CPS Facts

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Co-Occurring Center for Excellence

Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network

Dual Diagnosis Recovery Network

National Alliance on Mental Illness


Dual Diagnosis Website