Co-occurring Disorders

The coexistence of both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety. People with mental illness are more likely to experience a substance use disorder than those not affected by a mental illness.

Overcoming co-occurring disorders can be an immense challenge, but with realistic goals, support, and the help of caring professionals, it can be accomplished. The Blanchard Institute offers a wide range of comprehensive, individualized outpatient treatment programs for substance use and mental health disorders, including Outpatient Detox, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient treatment.

Outstanding professionalism and superb family guidance! This is a caring, committed resource that provides strength and guidance to families recovering from substance use disorders and mental illness issues. A TRUE dual-diagnosis facility!!!


Possible Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

It can be hard to know whether someone has co-occurring disorders due to the overlap of symptoms and behaviors. For example, individuals diagnosed with depression often drink more than those who do not have depression; however, it could also mean they are using alcohol as an escape from their depression symptoms.

Though each individual is unique, here are some of the most common indicators individuals experience with substance use disorders:

Behavioral Changes: Severe mood swings or surges of energy, irritability, anger issues, depression, or anxiety, for example.

Physical Changes: Weight loss can often occur from extended periods of drug or alcohol abuse, or weight gain if the drug or alcohol abuse causes them to be inactive or depressed about their situation.

Sleeping Patterns: Insomnia or excessive sleep can be a telltale sign of drug use but can also be common in depression; either cause can lead to various symptoms causing irregular sleeping patterns, such as nightmares or trouble falling asleep.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs, we’re here to help.

For those searching for a true dual-diagnosis program that includes genuine individualized care and a powerful combination of evidence-based and holistic services, I would absolutely recommend treatment through The Blanchard Institute. All clients and their families receive full transparency from the staff and have an abundance of opportunities to learn and grow together as a family unit. There is a full team of support to help people through the journey of early recovery.


Dual Diagnosis Approach

It’s common for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) to result from mental health issues and vice versa, which is why we firmly believe in a dual diagnosis approach to address both issues concurrently.

When an individual is battling both substance abuse and mental illness, an understanding environment and quality treatment plan are crucial for recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient treatment programs in Charlotte and Lake Norman.


Diagnosing Co-Occurring Disorders is a delicate process. The Blanchard Institute uses a dual-diagnosis approach to diagnose and treat both the substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorder, using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), medication management, group therapy sessions, and family therapy sessions.

Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders can often be a result of genetics, stress, and/or trauma. One can also contribute to the other. For example, individuals with mental health disorders may use drugs or alcohol to feel better temporarily — this is known as self-medication.
Alternatively, substance use disorders can change the way the brain functions and contribute to mental health disorders.

It can be hard to approach a loved one struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders. By being a good listener, practicing empathy, and trying not to control the individual, you can be present and allow space for them to come to your on their own terms when they are in distress or need someone to talk to.

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