Co-Existing Conditions during-rehab


Co-Occurring Disorders Formerly was known as the dual disorder or dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders explain the existence of two or more disorders at the same time. For instance, an individual can go through substance dependency while having bipolar disorder, too.

Just like the area of treatment for drug use and psychological disorders has developed to become more exact, the terminology that is employed to describe people who suffer both from psychological disorders and drug use has also become more precise.


Terms dual diagnosis and dual disorder have thus been replaced with the term co-occurring disorders. The said terms although usually used to refer to both drug and mental disorders as accompanying conditions, it can be easily misconstrued since they may also mean the combination of other health conditions like mental ailment or mental delay.

Besides, these terms imply that only two disorders occur at the very same time when in reality there can be more than two disorders. People who have co-occurring disorders also referred to as COD, often have at least one mental disorder and at least one disorder springing from alcohol or substance abuse as well. In order to get a co-occurring diagnosis, at least one disorder of each type has to be established and traced to be independent and not just a combination of symptoms springing from one disorder but manifesting as independent.

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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The acronym MICA, which constitutes the phrase Mentally ILL Chemical Abusers, is eventually used to nominate people who have a COD and markedly serious and continued mental disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The definition of Mentally Ill Chemically Affected people is liked better as "affected" describes their state better and it isn't derogatory. Other acronyms are ICOPS (individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders), SAMI (substance abuse and mental illness), MIC'D (mentally ill chemically dependent) CAMI (chemical abuse and mental illness), MISU (mentally ill substance using), and MISA (mentally ill substance abusers).

Some common types of co-existing conditions consist of the combinations of major depression types associated with cocaine dependency, alcohol dependency along with panic disorder, extreme alcoholism along with polydrug abuse with schizophrenia and as well as borderline personality condition with sporadic polydrug misuse. Some people might have more than two disorders, even though the cornerstone of this is on dual disorders. The concept that applies to dual disorders normally applies also to multiple disorders.

Combinations of mental disorders and co-occurring problems differ across crucial aspects like seriousness, level of impairment in functioning, duration and disability. As an example, both disorders can be mild or serious or one disorder can be more serious than the other disorder. In fact the seriousness of both disorders can alter as time passes. Levels of impairment and disability in functioning may also differ.

Thus, there is no single mixture of dual disorders; in fact, there is huge variability among them. However, certain treatment settings are often encountered for patients with similar mixtures of dual disorders.


More than half of all adults with serious mental illness are further caused by substance use disorders (abuse or addiction related to alcohol or other drugs).


The differences between patients with a mental health disorder or only a co-occurring disorder problem and patients with dual disorders are that the latter frequently suffer more serious and long-lasting medical, emotional and social challenges. Since they have two disorders, they are at a risk of COD relapse and deterioration of the psychiatric ailment. Also, impairment of mental issues many times lead to dependency relapse and addiction relapse commonly leads to further mental deterioration. This is why relapse prevention should be particularly made for patients having dual disorders. Patients who battle with dual disorders frequently need longer treatment, experience more emergencies and advance more slowly in treatment than patients who battle just a single disorder.

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