What Percentage of People Have Co-Occurring Disorders?

Both addiction and mental health conditions are common among the modern population. However, it is also not uncommon for these two complex conditions to happen at the same time. When both conditions are present, the need for mental health rehab is likely even more critical.

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental issues create a complicated mental health situation that must be properly diagnosed for the individual to recover successfully. Get a closer look at co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders, co-occurring mental disorders statistics, and how to find help below.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

In medicine, the phrase "co-occurring disorders" describes a medical situation where a patient has two concurrently existing diagnosable conditions. In the mental health field, this phrase is used when there is co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

No specific combination of substance-use disorders or mental health disorders constitutes a co-occurring diagnosis. However, a few mental health conditions are most likely to occur alongside addiction in psychiatric rehabilitation assessment, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

Substance abuse and mental health disorders frequently occur together. For example, an individual with an addiction to opiates or alcohol may also struggle with depression or anxiety.

For most people who struggle with co-occurring disorders, each condition often exacerbates the symptoms of the other condition. The persistent worry associated with anxiety, for instance, may lead to higher levels of substance use to cope. Or, excessive alcohol use may intensify feelings of overwhelming dread and gloom associated with depression.

What Condition Occurs First?

In some cases, it is relatively clear which condition manifested first. For example, someone with depression may try to self-medicate, which leads to an addiction. Or, an individual with long-term substance abuse patterns may develop symptoms of bipolar personality disorder due to changes in the brain.

Nevertheless, the conditions can also be so tightly intertwined that it may not be clear which condition occurred first. Additionally, someone with co-occurring issues or the people around them may not even realize they have more than one issue. They often don't know until they enter an appropriate rehab for mental health or addiction and obtain a professional evaluation.

What Percentage of People Have Co-Occurring Disorders?

How common is it for those entering inpatient mental health treatment centers to have both conditions? Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders statistics show exactly how common it is for individuals to struggle with both disorders. Take a look at a few mental disorders statistics when it comes to co-occurring issues:

  • People who struggle with mental illness are more often impacted by addiction and vice versa.
  • In 2022, more than 13% of young adults between 18 and 25 had co-occurring addiction and mental illness.
  • Almost 1 of 3 adults experienced either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder in 2022.

Certain serious mental health conditions are more likely to occur with addiction than others. Serious mental illness is any mental disorder that interferes with life activity and causes major functional impairment. For example, research indicates that one in four people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression also struggle with substance abuse.

What Should You Do If You or a Loved One Is Struggling with a Mental Health Disorder?

When you recognize signs that you or a loved one needs help with a mental health condition, act quickly. The steps taken in the days after the recognition can make all the difference in achieving recovery. Take a look at what steps should be taken below.

1. Start a Discussion

Initiating a conversation about seeking treatment for mental health is crucial if you suspect your loved one is struggling. Begin by expressing empathy, providing a safe space, and sharing concerns without judgment. Discuss the impact on daily life, and present seeking professional help as a sign of strength.

Encourage open dialogue, offer support, and be prepared with resources. For example, if your loved one has severe depression, gather resources about local mental health rehabilitation centers for depression. Starting this conversation fosters understanding and promotes the path to mental well-being for you or your loved one.

If you are the one struggling, reach out to your support network. Talk to your closest family members or loved ones about what you are experiencing. Or, contact a mental health professional for advice about finding treatment.

2. Explore Options

Once you have decided to look for treatment for a mental health disorder or substance abuse issue, take some time to explore your options. Consider whether you or your loved one would be better with an outpatient or inpatient mental health facility for adults.

Prioritize treatment plans that align with personal preferences and goals, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored approach to mental well-being. Look for programs that are designed to handle co-occurring disorders. Additionally, be sure to explore therapy options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or psychotherapy.

3. Reach Out

With an idea of what type of treatment would be best, don't hesitate to reach out. Most mental health rehab programs offer compassion and sound advice. For example, you can contact Pathways to discuss your needs and find out more about our mental health treatment programs to get a fresh start.

Take the Next Step and Reclaim Your Life

Struggling to wade through symptoms of addiction and mental illness is scary, but there is hope. Finding the best program or residential mental health facilities for adults is the first step to recovery. Pathways is a leading mental health and substance abuse treatment provider in Utah that can help.

With a commitment to targeting the root of addiction and concurrent conditions, we take a comprehensive treatment approach. Our programs include everything from outpatient treatment to inpatient treatment in our long-term residential mental health facilities and sober living.

Ready to talk about your next step?

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