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Co-occurring Disorders/”Dual Diagnoses”

If someone has both addiction and a mental health disorder, they are classified as having co-occurring disorders (previously known as “dual diagnoses”). These disorders impact nearly every aspect of an individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. At Origins, we know that co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders impact one another and must be treated together.


Co-occurring Disorders Are Common – You Are Not Alone


According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), about 45% of Americans seeking addiction treatment have been diagnosed as having co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. This includes mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. These conditions must be treated simultaneously alongside the disease of addiction in order to achieve sustained recovery. After primary addiction treatment, an aftercare plan will recommend continuing care options to address such conditions.


Co-occurring conditions that often occur alongside addiction are:


  • Mood disorders: Clinical depression is debilitating to normal life function. Along with anxiety, it is the primary co-occurring diagnosis cited by people with addiction. Other types of mood disorders include bipolar disorder, dysthymia, or substance-induced mood disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders: Anxiety includes a large spectrum of emotional experiences, from stressful reactions to everyday situations to extreme anxiety such as PTSD. It requires specialized care and is frequently cited by people with substance use disorders.
  • PTSD: Both men and women suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is precipitated by traumatic experiences in one’s life. Many women in drug and alcohol treatment have been the victim of some form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. Disassociation from self and events, anger, depression, high anxiety, and insomnia are some symptoms of PTSD.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: Obsessive-compulsive disorders are common, chronic disorders in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. When combined with addiction, these disorders can severely impact a person’s life.
  • Process addictions: Shopping, gambling, disordered eating, and sex process addictions often co-occur with a substance use disorder. They may be cross-addicting behaviors that exacerbate one another.
  • Personality disorders: These include borderline personality disorders (BPD), histrionic, and narcissistic disorders, all of which are common among people with addiction. Other examples might be paranoid, schizoid, avoidant, and dependent personality disorder.


Origins has over 30 years of experience treating people with co-occurring disorders. We know that people can and do recover with the right help.


Addiction Is Complex – Integrated Treatment Is Key


Integrated treatment is comprehensive programming that offers all of the therapeutic resources necessary to help the individual heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is no one cause of addiction, though living with a mental health disorder may increase the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder — and vice versa. Everyone is different. In some cases, a mental health disorder predates the development of a drug or alcohol abuse. In other cases, mental health symptoms are not apparent until after addiction has taken hold — sometimes, these conditions are exacerbated or worsened by drug use.


A comprehensive treatment plan for people with co-occurring disorders should include:



Every patient deserves a treatment plan designed with their individual needs in mind. Origins provides carefully designed treatment plans that take every aspect of a person’s wellbeing into consideration: body, mind, and spirit.


At Origins, each of our patients takes part in thorough behavioral health assessments to ensure that all substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders are diagnosed and treated. We also offer rigorous psychological testing through Origins Center for Brain Recovery in Florida. We offer tests such as:


  • MBMD (Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic)
  • PEPQ (PsychEval Personality Questionnaire)
  • MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2)
  • ANAM (Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics)


Along with clinical interviews and sessions with their primary therapists, thorough assessment provides a backbone for customized treatment plans that meet the unique needs of every patient.


To be effective, co-occurring disorders must be treated at the same time, in the same place, by the same treatment team. Our expertly trained professionals treat co-occurring disorders through multi-disciplinary, medically intensive programming. Together, our treatment teams attend not only to the physical and mental needs of our patients but the psychological and spiritual needs, as well. Every day, our highly trained staff — from our medical professionals to our licensed therapists and psychiatrists — meets to discuss patient cases and collaborate on solutions. This specialized, integrated treatment model has been shown to improve outcomes and quality of life.


Origins Center for Brain Recovery


Co-occurring disorders can influence and exacerbate each other, which makes successful treatment more challenging. Our health psychology department, Origins Center for Brain Recovery (CBR) in Florida, is an innovative program that addresses brain health with targeted, evidence-based therapies. CBR services are specifically designed to acknowledge the connection between addiction and mental health disorders and to provide treatment that addresses both concerns at once, offering our patients a better chance at long-lasting recovery.


Learn more about Origins Center for Brain Recovery here.


Continuing Care for the Whole Family


Co-occurring disorders require lifelong support. Our team of continuing care specialists work alongside our patients and their families to develop discharge and continuing care plans that lead to long-term success. These recommendations may include:


  • Ongoing therapy
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Scheduled appointments with psychiatrists and medical doctors
  • Medication management
  • Wellness recommendations
  • Transitional living
  • 12-Step programming and fellowship
  • Origins’ alumni services


Our licensed marriage and family therapists also work with our patient’s family members to set up continuing care plans that support family healing.


Learn more about Origins’ Family Program here.


People Can and Do Recover


While there is no cure for any mental health disorder, including addiction, many go on to lead incredible lives filled with hope and courage. Numerous research-based therapies and treatment interventions have been proven to be effective in treating those who are living with co-occurring diagnoses. The key is receiving personalized treatment that is intensive and integrated. When long-term support and therapeutic interventions are applied, people with co-occurring disorders can recover.


At Origins, we know that co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders impact one another and must be treated together. Mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness is central to recovery.


Contact Origins Behavioral Healthcare

Origins Behavioral Healthcare is dedicated to helping our patients achieve lifelong, sustainable, and complete recovery. We believe that sobriety is possible for everyone, especially through an evidence-based understanding of the disease of addiction and through therapies that restore mental, physical, and spiritual health. The Origins Brain Recovery Center provides precisely the type of proven, effective, cutting-edge care that enacts real, lasting change for our patients by helping them lead healthier, more confident, and more purposeful lives.

Today is the day you break the cycle of addiction for good – start your journey to freedom and fulfillment by calling Origins Behavioral HealthCare at 844-843-8935.