Co-Occuring Disorders:  Substance Use & Mental Health Disorders

Someone with a co-occuring disorder has both a substance use illness along with an emotional or psychiatric disorder. Central Florida Counseling & Recovery  Centers understands the difficult rehabilitation problems that are associated with a co-occuring disorder and are professionally prepared to handle such matters.


A co-occuring disorder is actually much more prevalent than one realizes.  Recent statistics show that up to 65.5% of individuals with a substance usr disorder have at least one mental health disorder.  This research has led many medical professionals to begin accepting the problem of co-occuring disordera as being far more common than previously thought among those with substance usr issues. Common mental health conditions related to the c-occuring disorder may include depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, just to name a few.


Drugs and alcohol can be a form of self-medication. In such cases, people with mental illness may have untreated—or incompletely treated—conditions (such as anxiety or depression) that may “feel less painful” when the person is high on drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, while drugs and alcohol may feel good in the moment, abuse of these substances doesn’t treat the underlying condition and—almost without exception—makes it worse.


Drugs and alcohol can worsen underlying mental illnesses. This can happen both during acute intoxication (e.g., a person with depression becomes suicidal in the context of drinking alcohol) and during withdrawal from a substance (e.g., a person with panic attacks experiences worsening symptoms during heroin withdrawal).


It is extremely important to identify and find and treat the co-occuring disorders as well as the treating the substance use issues. If the emotional or psychological issue is not addressed during the substance use treatment, the chances of relapse are much higher.


At Central Florida Counseling & Recovery Centers, we are well versed in treating the co-occuring disorder and have qualified counselors on staff.  While many recovery centers focus on only the physical effects of substance use, we at Central Florida Counsling & Recovery Centers place emphasis on treating the mind as well as the body & spirit.

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