Co-occurring substance use disorders refer to a situation where a person experiences both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Such co-occurring disorders can present a range of unique challenges and complications, making them particularly difficult to manage.

Impact of Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders

The impact of co-occurring substance use disorders can be devastating, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. Mental health disorders can significantly increase the risk of substance use disorders, while substance use disorders can worsen mental health disorders’ symptoms. 

Some common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use disorders include:

A process or behavioral addiction is defined as a compulsion to continually engage in behaviors despite the negative impact on one’s healthy or daily life. Substance use disorders can negatively impact a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. They can also lead to:

  • Legal and financial troubles
  • Loss of employment
  • Relationship problems

Substance use disorders can result in severe health complications such as:

  • Liver damage
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung damage

Effective Treatment Options

The most effective treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders is an integrated approach that addresses both the substance use disorder and the underlying mental health disorder. Such treatment typically involves several evidence-based therapies and medications. Examples include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the most effective treatments for co-occurring substance use disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy involves helping individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to substance use disorders. It is particularly effective in treating anxiety and depression-related disorders.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Another effective treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This treatment focuses on helping individuals regulate their emotions and improve their interpersonal relationships. DBT can be particularly effective in treating borderline personality disorder.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is another effective therapy for co-occurring substance use disorders. This therapy involves exploring the individual’s motivation to change their substance use behavior and helps them develop a plan to achieve that change.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medications can also be used to treat co-occurring substance use disorders. For example, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) can be used to treat opioid addiction. MAT involves the use of medications such as buprenorphine or methadone to help manage cravings and reduce the likelihood of relapse.


Psychoeducation can also be a vital part of treating co-occurring substance use disorders. It can help individuals and their families understand the nature of the disorders and learn coping strategies to manage symptoms.

Corner Canyon Welcomes You 

If you or a loved one are looking for a compassionate space to address mental health issues such as bipolar disorders, reach out to our Admissions team now at Corner Canyon Health Centers.

We are specifically formulated to offer personalized therapeutic interventions to adult individuals with mental health disorders.

We provide a comprehensive Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that offers clients the opportunity to attend group therapy sessions three to five times a week.

We work with most major insurance policies

We get reimbursement for 85% of our clients *We don’t take Medicaid or Medicare

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Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.