Co-Existing Conditions during-rehab


Disorders that occur at the same time are referred to as co-occurring, dual diagnosis or dual disorder. Someone might have a problem with substance abuse along with bipolar disorder, for instance.

Just as the field of treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders has developed to become more accurate, so too has the terminology used to narrate people with both substance use and mental disorders.


The term co-occurring actually takes the place of the terms dual disorder and dual diagnosis. The terms being replaced may be misleading as they also refer to mental disorders and mental retardation occurring together in addition to their popular reference to a combination of substance abuse and mental disorders.

The terms are also misleading in that they only cover two disorders occurring at the same time which is not the case as two or more can occur at the same time. Patients with co-occurring disorders (COD) have one or more mental disorders, as well as one or more disorders that are related to the substance abuse. An identification of co-existing condition is made when there is an existence of at least one disorder of each type which is also separate from the other, not just a series of indications stemming from a particular disorder.

Dual disorder is used interchangeably in this article to refer to co-occurring disorders although the latter is the most recent development in the lingo as used in the medical field.


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For people that suffer from COD, another term is commonly used and it is MICA, which means Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers in cases where patients suffer from an extreme and constant mental disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A preferred definition is mentally ill chemically affected people since their condition is better described by the word affected and is not derogatory. Other acronyms include SAMI (Substance abuse and mental illness), MISA (mentally ill substance abusers), MISU (mentally ill substance using), CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), ICO PSD (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders) and MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent).

Borderline personality disorder with periodic polydrug abuse, alcoholism and polydrug addiction alongside schizophrenia, cocaine addiction alongside major depression are some of the most common or popular examples of co-occurring disorders. Some patients have more than two disorders even if the focus of this is on dual disorders. The fundamentals that have to do with dual disorders normally also have a bearing on multiple disorders.

Extremity, chronicity, disability and the level of impairment in functioning are some differing extents in which combinations of COD issues and mental disorders vary. For instance, each of the two disorders may be serious or mild, or one may be more serious than the other. How severe the disorders are also varies with time and is not constant. Degrees of impairment in functioning and disability might also differ.

Therefore, there isn't a specific combination of dual disorders; in reality, there's a big difference among these. Specific treatment environments are, however, set up for patients that have alike combinations of dual disorders.


More than 50 per cent of adults who suffer from a serious mental disorder are also weakened by substance use disorders (addiction or abuse connected to alcohol or other substances).


Unlike individuals who are diagnosed with mental health disorders or those with alcohol and drug dependency issues alone, those with dual disorders most of the time undergo serious and long lasting medical, emotional and social difficulties. As they suffer from two disorders, they're at risk of a co-occurring disorder relapse and their mental disorder could also worsen. What's more, an addiction relapse frequently results in psychiatric decompensation and when mental problems worsen it frequently results in addiction relapse. Therefore, preventing a relapse must be consciously devised for those who suffer from dual disorders. Unlike patients who only have one disorder, those with dual disorders would mostly need prolonged treatment, have more difficulties and have slow progress in treatment.

Personality, psychotic and mood disorders are among some of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders diagnosed in dual patient disorders.