What does "co-occurring disorders" mean?
The term co-occurring disorders refers to mental disorders that are independent of substance use but that occur at the same time with a substance use disorder.
A person with co-occurring disorders has at least one mental health problem and one substance use problem. Many of those with co-occurring disorders have more than one mental illness and more than one substance use issue resulting in multiple life problems.
Mental health problems can range from mild depression or anxiety, to severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Substance use problems may range from abuse of alcohol or marijuana, to dependence on intravenous drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine.