Dual Diagnosis (Co-Occurring Disorders)

  • Dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) is a term for when an individual experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously.
  • Either disorder—substance use or mental illness—can develop first.
  • People experiencing a mental health condition may turn to alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication to alleviate their symptoms. However, research shows that alcohol and other drugs worsen the symptoms of mental illnesses.