a doctor sits with a young adult patient while looking at a tablet and explaining to her about her co-occurring disorderThe National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 45% of people with addiction issues also have a known co-occurring mental health condition. Estimates from NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are similar—that 18% of Americans have some mental health condition, and about half of those will have a substance use disorder at some point. Because co-occurring disorders are common, finding co-occurring, capable addiction treatment programs to treat both issues is essential.

Spokane Falls Recovery Center offers specialized treatment for people with co-occurring disorders. We provide individualized care that addresses both the addiction and co-existing mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, so patients can recover fully.

At Spokane Falls Recovery Center, we believe in an integrated approach to treating co-occurring disorders—one that treats all aspects of the person, not just the addiction. We recognize that for a patient to experience lasting recovery, they must receive treatment for their mental health issues and substance use disorder. To learn more about co-occurring conditions and treatment, call us today at 844.962.2775, and we can answer any of your questions.

Co-Occurring Disorders of Substance Use and Mental Health Issues

You’re not alone if you haven’t heard about these connections between substance use and mental health issues. Recognizing how common it is for addictions and mental health conditions to occur together is a new topic at the forefront of addiction science. Clinicians, scientists, and researchers are learning more about it every day.

One connection between substance use and mental health conditions may be the idea of self-medication. , a person is more likely to misuse substances when seeking relief from emotional pain or mental distress. Another connection is that certain mental health conditions may compromise willpower and decision-making, making it more likely that someone who uses substances.

At Spokane Falls Recovery Center, we understand the clinical connections between mental health conditions and substance use disorders. We screen for mental health conditions because we want the people who receive treatment with us to have as much information as possible about factors that impact their addiction. We believe that knowledge and self-awareness play an essential role in recovery, and our individual and group therapy offers insight into co-occurring disorders and co-occurring capable treatment.

Mental Health Conditions that Play a Role

Many different mental health conditions can co-occur with substance use disorders. Here are some of the most common.


Depression is a mood disorder that affects a person’s feelings and thoughts and their ability to handle daily activities like eating, sleeping, and going to work. A depressed person may feel sad, anxious, irritable, or empty and may struggle with other symptoms like fatigue, lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Depression can occur in significant episodes, or a person can feel mildly depressed over time.


Most people are familiar with the feelings of anxiety that occur in specific situations, like doing something unfamiliar or facing a deadline at work or school. An anxiety disorder is when worries or fears are excessive. Anxiety may be attached to specific triggers or phobias, or it can be generalized, not attached to specific circumstances, or across many different issues. Anxiety disorders can disrupt a person’s regular activities and cause significant problems in social interactions, school, or work.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, comes from living through very stressful or dangerous circumstances, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, experiences of abuse, or other traumatic events. People with PTSD can continue to feel frightened when they are not in danger. They may experience flashbacks or avoid certain circumstances because it reminds them of traumatic events.


Most people experience trauma at some point in their lives. Examples of traumatic events include:

  • Illness
  • An accident
  • Death of a loved one
  • Natural disaster
  • Discrimination
  • Oppression
  • Persecution

Patterns of addiction often take root in trauma and exploring past trauma can be a valuable tool during addiction treatment.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is characterized by patterns of inattention or impulsive and hyperactive behavior that make functioning difficult. People with ADHD often struggle with executive function, meaning staying focused on tasks like work, school, or personal activities is complex. ADHD has often been diagnosed in children and young adults in school and treated with certain prescription drugs that can cause issues with addiction and misuse.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Treating co-occurring disorders can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming process. Proper support makes it possible to find treatments that can lead to improved health and well-being. In co-occurring disorders, two or more mental disorders occur in the same person simultaneously. Getting individualized and evidence-based care tailored to your specific needs is important when this happens. This might include:

  • Psychological evaluations
  • Medication management
  • Individual therapy
  • Other support strategies

With careful coordination between clinicians and knowledgeable professionals who understand co-occurring disorders, it’s possible to create a therapy plan to help you understand and manage your symptoms to live an improved quality of life.

Learn More About Co-Occurring Disorders and Recovery at Spokane Falls Recovery

Do any of these mental health conditions sound like conditions that you experience? They may play a role in your experience of addiction, too. To learn more about co-occurring, capable mental health treatment, contact Spokane Falls Recovery Center at 844.962.2775.