Drug addiction and alcoholism are serious problems in the United States. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 15 million Americans aged 12 or older suffer from alcohol use disorder.[1] Additionally, the CDC reports that 1 in 7 Americans suffer from a drug use disorder at some point in their lives.[2]

When you are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, there are usually underlying causes that contribute to your desire to abuse substances. To put it simply, you don’t normally become addicted to a substance because you are looking to have some fun. Oftentimes, addiction stems from untreated childhood trauma or underlying mental health conditions.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that 7.7 million adults suffer from co-occurring disorders.[3] Co-occurring disorders occur when you have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder at the same time.

Co-occurring disorders must be treated simultaneously, otherwise, the symptoms of the untreated condition will cause a relapse in the other. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers in Massachusetts, including Woburn Addiction Treatment, are equipped with the dual diagnosis treatment services required to help individuals overcome co-occurring disorders.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

A co-occurring disorder (also referred to as dual diagnosis) occurs when you suffer from a mental health condition and an addiction at the same time. For example, if someone has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffers from meth addiction, they have a co-occurring disorder. Similarly, someone with an anxiety condition who struggles with alcoholism also meets the criteria for co-occurring disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says the most common mental health conditions to co-occur with addiction include:[4]

Co-occurring disorders must be treated at the same time. If you were to only receive treatment for your addiction, the untreated symptoms of your mental health condition could lead to an addiction relapse. As a result, co-occurring disorders are treated in dual-diagnosis rehab programs that specialize in treating both psychiatric conditions and substance use disorders.

  • Medical detox to overcome withdrawal symptoms
  • Evaluation and diagnosis of mental health conditions
  • Evidence-based behavioral therapy to address addiction
  • Various types of individual therapy for your specific psychiatric disorder
  • Group therapy and counseling for both addiction and mental health
  • Holistic treatments that lessen the symptoms of addiction and mental illness
  • Relapse prevention planning to ensure that you can navigate triggers outside of treatment without reverting to substance abuse
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid or alcohol addiction
  • Medications to help manage the symptoms of mental health conditions that are therapy-resistant

How Do I Know If I Need Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether you need treatment for co-occurring disorders. You might be aware that you suffer from mental illness and substance abuse issues, but are unsure of whether professional treatment is necessary. On the other hand, you might not be aware that you are suffering from a specific mental health condition.

Either way, there are signs and symptoms to be aware of that can help you determine whether you require dual-diagnosis treatment. These signs include:

  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to cope with uncomfortable feelings or situations
  • Experiencing drastic changes in your personality or mood
  • Withdrawing from your friends and family
  • Behaving erratically
  • Being unable to complete daily tasks due to mental health symptoms or addiction
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Experiencing significant weight loss or weight gain that cannot be explained by exercising or eating habits
  • Periods of intense sadness or extreme energy
  • Symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, or psychosis
  • Having a hard time remembering important dates, information, or everyday things
  • Periods of emotional detachment
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you do not use a substance
  • Having to routinely increase the dosage of a substance you are abusing (developing tolerance)
  • Craving substances when you are not using them (dependency)
co-occuring disorders

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

There are several other signs you may notice if you are suffering from co-occurring disorders, but these are the most common. If you experience any changes in your mood, or personality, or develop physical symptoms of substance abuse, you should consider attending a dual-diagnosis treatment program. If you are still having a hard time determining whether you need help, you should reach out to your doctor, therapist, addiction specialist, or a trusted friend for advice.

Where Can I Get Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Massachusetts?

There are tons of options when it comes to mental health treatment in Massachusetts. Because co-occurring disorders are so common, a lot of drug and alcohol rehab programs specialize in dual diagnosis treatment. However, finding the right program for your personal needs can be difficult, especially if you’ve never been to a treatment facility before.

If you are looking for dual diagnosis treatment in Massachusetts, there are a few ways to make the process easier. First, if you have health insurance you should contact your provider to receive a list of in-network treatment facilities. This list will provide you with all of the local dual diagnosis rehab centers that accept your insurance.

If you do not have health insurance, you should look for programs that offer payment plans. Many co-occurring disorder rehab programs offer sliding scale fees or scholarships to individuals who cannot afford the care they need. If you decide to go this route, make sure to look at reviews and testimonials, become familiar with the treatment techniques they use, and consider touring the facility before committing.

Find Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Massachusetts Today

Living with untreated co-occurring disorders can be extremely difficult, and in some cases, put you at risk of life-threatening situations like overdoses or suicide attempts. With that being said, receiving professional treatment is extremely important. If you or a loved one suffer from comorbid mental health and addiction issues, Woburn Addiction Treatment is here to help. To learn more about our dual diagnosis rehab center in Massachusetts, contact Woburn Addiction Treatment today.


  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/stigma/index.html?s_cid=DOP_Stigma_Search_Paid_001&gclid=Cj0KCQjwk7ugBhDIARIsAGuvgPZwdViFwgYfh2_dd6Ofomwy4zOKRAHrstmo5RHpSf20Zadu_MPYBEkaAmFYEALw_wcB
  3. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/comorbidity-substance-use-other-mental-disorders
  4. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/co-occurring-disorders
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