5 Ways to Treat Co-Occurring Disorders to Live a Happy Life


Mental health issues and substance use disorders have become common concerns of modern society, which is marked by unemployment, family issues, growing societal problems, and fragmentation.

Unfortunately, people having mental health problems like personality disorders, depression, and anxiety are also likely to develop some kind of substance abuse disorders like drugs and alcohol, called co-occurring disorders.

In such cases, it becomes essential to treat both diseases simultaneously. If anyone of them is left untreated, then the other issue can also erupt again. The major reason is that people who have substance use disorder end up in a state of depression and anxiety. Similarly, people facing some mental health issue find escape in substance abuse. In short, both the problems go hand in hand, so they should be treated simultaneously.

Here are given the best co-occurring disorder treatments to make the life of dual disorder patients peaceful and healthy:

Psychiatrist Therapy

One method of co occurring disorders treatment is to have a session with the psychiatrist or therapist who diagnoses the actual health issue.

Besides finding out the symptoms and effects of the health, it is also essential to find out that mental health issue has caused substance abuse or substance abuse is the cause of mental health. It helps to find out the root cause of the initiation of mental health issue, and it becomes easier to find ways of its treatment.

Behavioral Therapy

COD can be addressed through behavioral therapy as well, including cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy.

Treatment of mental health issue, as well as substance abuse disorders, require behavioral modification, and behavioral therapy is the best option to modify it.

Behavioral therapists help COD patients to get self-awareness, figure out behavioral causes of COD, and how to rectify them.

Behavioral therapy also helps to bring behavioral flexibility that increases the acceptance level to embrace the changes occurring due to COD treatment.

Medication Therapy

Besides behavioral and psychiatric treatment, medication therapy is also essential to regulate the problems.

Medication therapy helps to manage psychiatric issues and internal triggers to substance abuse. Depending on the severity of the situation, and the response of the patient, the period of medication therapy can be short, long, or in severe cases, for a lifetime.

Group Therapy

For patients of mental health issues and substance abuse, nothing can be more pleasing than the presence of someone who can listen to the story of their journey. And if those listeners are people sharing the same problem, then it becomes easier to share the problem.

Group therapy is just like group study in which you study together, help each other to sort out issues, and understand things.

Similarly, in group therapy, people suffering from COD are brought together; they listen to each other’s issues, and mutually help each other to face the treatment challenges.

Family Counseling

Family of co-occurring disorders’ patients plays a great role in their treatment. They also need to undergo behavioral changes and bring environmental changes to facilitate the recovery process of patients.

Due to this reason, another step in COD treatment is family counseling and education in which family is educated about the nature of the patient’s disorder, the progress of the treatment, likely outcomes and suggested changes in the patient’s environment.


It might be difficult to treat patients who are suffering from co-occurring disorders because they are in a state of two-front-war. But through proper medication and therapies, such patients can be treated.

If you or your loved ones are suffering from COD, then there is no need to be hopeless, because COD is treatable. It just needs a ray of hope, courage, and the first step – a step towards the treatment. Simple!


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