Co-occuring disorders are when someone is experiencing two or more mental illnesses at the same time.
Alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction constitute major health and safety concerns in the United States, with costs running into the billions of dollars annually for health care, related injuries and loss of life, property destruction, loss of productivity and more. Treatment is proven to be effective, but very few who need it have access to and receive care. Private and public funding for treatment remains meager. Families are devastated and children are at increased risk for their own addiction and mental health problems.
For people struggling with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, physical safety and overall health risks are greater; the impairment of life skills is greater; and the chances for successful treatment are much less – all of which contribute to stigma.
SAMHSA. (2010). Getting Started with Evidence Based Practices: Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
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