What are the Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders?

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“Addiction begins with the hope that something “out there” can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.”

According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2014), approximately 43.8 million people ages 18 and older experience some form of mental illness. Of those, approximately 7.9 million people suffer from a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder, also known as a co-occurring disorder. According to the Foundations Recovery Network, an organization that assists individuals with several addictions and mental illness, the following are the most common co-occurring disorders:

  • Alcoholism and Anti-Social Personality Disorder – people who suffer from anxiety in social situations often develop alcoholism to help them relax and cope with their symptoms, but alcohol exacerbates the symptoms of their disorder and can make things worse.
  • Cocaine addiction and Anxiety Disorders – people often use cocaine to feel euphoric and powerful; those who suffer from anxiety often take it to help them overcome those feelings
  • Opioid addiction and PTSD – many people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have trouble sleeping at night and have flashbacks, causing them to feel “jittery” and have racing thoughts. Opioids help boost pleasure and calms people, and helps relieve pain.
  • Heroin addiction and depression – people who suffer from depression may seek out heroin because of it produces intense euphoria. Because it is so addictive in nature, many people feel as though they cannot be happy without the drug.


Although co-occurring disorders are very common, there are still many treatment options available. Today, there are many integrative methods of treatment, meaning that health care facilities can work with both the mental illness and addiction together. This helps people greatly because they can ensure they are receiving quality care that aligns with their needs. If you feel that you or a loved one suffers from an addiction, mental illness, or both together, please reach out to a doctor immediately. When you speak with a doctor, they can conduct a health assessment to get you diagnosed and to figure out the next best step towards your recovery.

Taking care of your mental and physical health is vital to living a happy and well-balanced life. Making the responsible decision to see a doctor and therapist means that you could develop tools to help you overcome your problems. Recovery is possible and there are so many forms of support available to you.

Residential treatment programs give you the time you need to focus on healing. Avalon Malibu is one of California’s only certified primary mental health treatment facility providing trusted programs with trusted results.

For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-958-7511

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