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Mental Health
Association in NYS, Inc.

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Albany, New York 12210
Tel: 518.434.0439
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Co-Occurring Disorders
The term co-occurring disorders refers to an individual having one or more substance abuse disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders at the same time. (
'Dual diagnosis' is an older term for 'co-occurring disorders'.)

Why are these separate disorders grouped together?
It is important to know if co-occurring disorders exist because each disorder can cause symptoms of the other disorder, leading to slow recovery and a diminished quality of life.

For example, a person with an undiagnosed psychiatric disorder such as depression may abuse drugs to alleviate the symptoms of depression. If the person gets treatment for the drug addiction but not for depression, the depression still exists and the need for relief from its symptoms continues. The person will end up using drugs again to manage the depression symptoms.

Recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

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