Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Memphis

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Memphis

Many risk factors can raise the likelihood of developing an addiction. For example, childhood trauma, environments where substance abuse is common, and a family history of addiction can all play a role.[1] However, many people who struggle with substance use disorders have underlying mental health conditions that are not being treated.

Dealing with an untreated mental health condition can be difficult. The symptoms might cause you to begin self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Over time, this can lead to the development of an addiction on top of your mental illness.

If you have both an addiction and a mental illness, this is known as having co-occurring disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 million adults struggled with co-occurring disorders in 2022.[2]

Thankfully, there are treatment programs that can help you recover. Dual-diagnosis rehab centers offer treatment for co-occurring disorders, combining mental health and addiction treatment into one program.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What co-occurring disorders are
  • How dual diagnosis treatment works
  • What therapies are used to treat co-occurring disorders
  • How to find treatment for co-occurring disorders in Memphis

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorder is a term that is used to describe having a mental health condition and a substance use disorder at the same time. It is possible to have more than one mental health disorder and a primary substance use disorder. For example, someone with co-occurring disorders might suffer from anxiety, depression, and opioid addiction at the same time.

The most common mental health conditions to co-occur with addiction include:[1]

  • Anxiety conditions like panic disorder
  • Depressive disorders like major depression
  • Mood disorders like bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct disorders

If you have co-occurring disorders, you will need treatment for both of your conditions at the same time. If only one illness is treated, the unmanaged symptoms could lead to a relapse or a backslide in the treated condition. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs in Memphis offer integrated care that ensures you will recover from your mental illness and substance use disorder at the same time.

How Does Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Memphis Work?

Treatment centers for co-occurring disorders in Memphis focus on both mental health and addiction recovery. You will participate in traditional addiction treatment methods like medical detox, behavioral therapies, and relapse prevention planning. Additionally, you will participate in individualized mental health services like diagnosis, individual therapy, group counseling, and medication.

Medical Detox

The first step in recovering from co-occurring disorders is medical detox. Before you can focus on mental health recovery, you will need to overcome the withdrawal that is triggered by your addiction.

During medical detox, nurses and other medical staff will monitor your vital signs and overall health. In addition, you will be given medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings you experience. The type of medications and treatments used will be based on the substance you are addicted to.

Mental Health Assessment

Once you complete detox, a mental health professional will provide you with an in-depth assessment. This assessment will be used to diagnose you with a mental health condition. Even if you already have a previous diagnosis, this step is crucial to ensure you receive the right therapies and medications.

Once your assessment is completed, your mental health treatment plan can be drafted. Your treatment plan might include information like what types of therapies you should participate in, how long you need treatment, and whether medication will be necessary.

Evidence-Based Therapies

Dual diagnosis rehab centers in Memphis always use evidence-based therapies to treat the conditions you are struggling with. Depending on what conditions you suffer from, the therapy you engage in will be clinically proven as an effective treatment modality.

For addiction, evidence-based therapies include:[2]

Evidence-based therapies vary for each mental illness. That being said, cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven effective for a wide range of illnesses, including bipolar disorder and anxiety conditions.

You will participate in individual counseling and group therapy during treatment for co-occurring disorders. Depending on your history and diagnosis, you might be placed in specialized counseling groups like trauma-focused groups.

Medication Management

Depending on your specific needs, you might be given medications to manage your mental health condition. For example, illnesses like bipolar disorder require long-term medication to manage chemical imbalances in the brain. Other conditions like anxiety or depressive disorders might only require short-term medications while you work through therapy.

Because you are in recovery from addiction, the medications you are prescribed will be safe and non-habit-forming. You will only be given medication if it is necessary and you are on board as well.

Relapse Prevention Planning and Aftercare

Lastly, you will participate in relapse prevention planning for your substance use disorder. This process often involves identifying triggers for relapse and having a plan set in place to prevent one from occurring.

A huge part of relapse prevention planning is aftercare. Treatment centers for co-occurring disorders might offer the following aftercare services:

  • Continued therapy
  • Continued medication management
  • Access to an alumni support group
  • Referrals to outpatient or sober living programs
  • Recommendations on local support groups
  • Case management services with a social worker

Finding Help for Co-Occurring Mental Health and Addiction in Memphis

If you or a loved one suffers from co-occurring disorders, PAX Memphis is here to help. We offer individualized referrals to reputable dual diagnosis programs in your area.

Contact us today for more information on treatment for co-occurring disorders in Memphis.


  1. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Family, Individual, and Other Risk Factors Contributing to Risk of Substance Abuse in Young Adults: A Narrative Review
  2. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions
  3. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Evidence-based practices for substance use disorders

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.