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Co-Occurring Disorders

The term "co-occurring disorders" is used to describe a person or service recipient as having at least one mental health disorder along with a substance use disorder that is co-occurring at the same time.  

The term co-occurring is often used interchangeably with the term dual diagnosis, co-morbidity, concurrent disorders, and double trouble.  Co-occurring disorders has become the prevalent term and is the "term of choice" for The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

People or service recipients with a combined mental disorder (such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and psychotic disorder) and substance use disorder (alcohol and/or drugs) are a fast-growing segment of the population. Co-occurring disorders are the expectation rather than the exception.

Increasingly, the nation and the State of Tennessee are recognizing that existing systems of care designed to treat people with single diagnoses are less effective for people with co-occurring disorders. Proper diagnosis and treatment are critical to a person’s recovery.  Treating co-occurring disorders with a no-wrong-door approach and integratively as a best practice will cut down on relapse and enhance recovery.  So, in an effort to address this issue, TDMHSAS is active in developing strategies to better serve persons diagnosed with co-occurring disorders and their family.

COD Mission Statement:
TDMHSAS is strongly committed to: educating professionals about co-occurring disorders and the need for integrated services; informing the public about co-occurring disorders and how to access services; and developing more integrated treatment and recovery services for those diagnosed with co-occurring disorder and their families.

Where to find services:
A listing of Co-occurring Disorders (COD) treatment services providers who are funded through the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant can be found in the upper-left menu on this page.

You can also call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789.

For more information, contact:
Donathan Knowles
Program Specialist
Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Phone: (615) 770-0460
Email: Donathan.Knowles@tn.gov

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