When deciding on the right mental health treatment center for co-occurring disorders, there are several key elements you should look for. Make sure you are giving yourself the best chance for success by finding a mental health treatment center with these important elements. 

Qualified Staff Members

A co-occurring disorder occurs when an individual suffers from a mental health condition and a substance use disorder at the same time. Many drug rehab facilities have excellent reputations for providing high quality substance abuse treatment, but lack qualified staff members who are trained to treat mental health conditions.  

Before enrolling in a treatment program, ask about the qualifications and experience of the staff members you will be working with. If you already know your mental health diagnosis — such as major depressive disorder or paranoid schizophrenia, for example — inquire about the facility’s experience treating your specific disorder. Also ask about the center’s experience treating your specific addiction.  

Integrated Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has found that individuals who suffer from co-occurring disorders have greater success when they are treated with an integrated model. An integrated model combines a number of different treatment techniques so that each patient has the best opportunity to find a treatment modality that works for him or her.  

According to SAMHSA, integrated treatment programs should combine both mental health and substance abuse treatment interventions. Staff members should be trained in treatments for both conditions so each patient receives a more holistic experience. Treatment plans should include cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interventions based on the specific stage of recovery of each patient. Co-occurring disorder treatment should also integrate medication services with psychotherapy and behavioral interventions as needed.  

Before enrolling in a mental health treatment center, ask if the center uses an integrated treatment model for co-occurring disorders. 


Co-occurring disorders are known for being highly malleable. Oftentimes as a patient experiences changes in mental health symptoms, he or she will also experience changes in addiction symptoms — and vice versa. While some treatment programs follow a rigid structure that each patient is expected to follow, other programs are flexible and will help patients at whatever stage of recovery they happen to experience for each condition. Look for a program that is willing to be flexible to your needs and work with you depending on how your co-occurring conditions respond to treatment.  

It’s difficult living with co-occurring disorders, but finding the right mental health treatment center can help you find success in recovery.  


Choose a better life. Choose recovery.