What does “an expectation not an exception” mean when applied to co-occurring disorders?

By David Joel Miller.

Are Co-occurring disorders to be expected? – Morning Question #24


Light reading

Most substance abusers also have some form of mental illness. The two are seen together so often we need to begin by assuming the client could have both and then assess as if both disorders were present. Many substance users had the mental illness before they began using drugs or alcohol. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Anxiety are all common among those with an addiction.

People who use and abuse substances are at risk of developing mental health issues as a result of the using experience.

Substances can also alter the brain, resulting in mental illnesses while under the influence, while withdrawing or after use. Mental illnesses that are the result of drug or alcohol use are called drug-induced illnesses.

Anyone who works with the mentally ill or substance abusers should expect that they will see both of these problems and others on a frequent basis.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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