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Co-occurring Disorders FAQ

If I have a mental health AND a substance use disorder, which gets treated first?

Neither….or both, depending on how you think about it.

For people with co-occurring disorders, treatment for mental health and substance use issues should happen at the same time. This simultaneous treatment is referred to as integrated treatment.

Truly integrated treatment involves treating both (or all) disorders as if they were different parts of one disorder, just as they are components of one person.

Integrated treatment focuses on the interaction between or among the disorders.

Co-occurring disorders are sometimes treated in either a sequential or parallel manner.

Sequential treatment means that you receive either mental health or substance use treatment first, followed by treatment for the other issue. Parallel treatment means that the mental health and substance use disorders are treated at the same time, but separately.

There are many problems with sequential and parallel treatment including mixed messages from different treatment providers. This often leaves you to figure out for yourself what to do.

CenterPointe specializes in truly integrated treatment. We treat both issues together in real-time.