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Co-Occurring Disorders

A recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report to Congress on co-occurring disorders indicates that seven to ten million individuals in the United States have at least one mental disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder. Research and first-hand experiences in both the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields have led researchers and practitioners to understand that both disorders must be addressed and treated comprehensively for people with co-occurring disorders to fully recover.

"All too often individuals are treated only for one of the two disorders - if they receive treatment at all," explains SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie. "If one of the co-occurring disorders goes untreated, both usually get worse, and additional complications arise, including the risk for other serious medical problems, suicide, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration and separation from families and friends. People with co-occurring disorders cannot separate their addiction from their mental illness, so they should not have to negotiate separate service delivery systems. Our goal is to create a system that allows any door to be the right door for the services an individual needs."

The links to the left provide basic information about the people impacted by co-occurring disorders, how to treat dual disorders, barriers to and advantages of creating integrated treatment systems, and links to trainings, publications and numerous other resources relating to co-occurring disorders.


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