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Co-Occurring Disorders

Over time, abusing drugs and/or alcohol can contribute to mental health and the development of co-occurring disorders, or substance abuse alongside depression, anxiety, mood disorders and other psychiatric issues. Paradoxically, many people who suffer with mental illness self-medicate mental anguish with drugs or alcohol, which can lead to addiction. At the same time, there are those who have a genetic predisposition to mental illness and/or addiction disorders, due to family history, lifestyle or other factors.

Co-Occurring Disorder Statistics, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): (1)

Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.

50% Affected by Substance Abuse

Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.

37% Alcohol Abusers
53% Drug Abusers

Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.

29% Abuse Alcohol of Drugs

Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.


47 percent of individuals with schizophrenia also had a substance abuse disorder (more than four times as likely as the general population).

47% with Schizophrenia

61 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder also had a substance abuse disorder (more than five times as likely as the general population).

Co-occurring disorders are relatively common, but many people are unaware of their mental illness, as it can be masked by the symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction. Others are too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help for their disorders, and continue to suffer in silence. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 8.9 million people have co-occurring disorders. Of these individuals, 44 percent received substance use treatment or mental health treatment in the past year, 13.5 percent received both mental health treatment and substance use treatment, and 37.6 percent did not receive any treatment. (2)

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

The most effective treatment for co-occurring disorders addresses both conditions simultaneously.

We at VRC realize the importance of assessing all clients for any and all co-occurring disorders or underlying issues so that we can develop a treatment plan allows for complete healing. Our therapists and mental health professionals work with individuals to not only help them live clean and sober lives, but to also treat and manage their co-occurring disorders through diagnostics, assessments, therapy, counseling and medication when necessary.

Our treatment team can help you or your loved one overcome addiction and manage/treat co-occurring disorders. Our compassionate approach to therapy allows individuals to recover in a caring, comfortable environment.

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