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Resources: Concurrent Disorders

What are concurrent disorders?

Concurrent disorders (CD for short) generally describes a situation in which a person experiences a psychiatric disorder and either a substance use disorder and/or a gambling disorder. It is important to keep in mind that there are many different kinds of problems that are covered by these various terms (psychiatric disorder etc); as a result, CD presents itself in many different forms.

For example, someone living with schizophrenia who has problems with cannabis use has a concurrent disorder, and so does a person who has problems with alcohol use and has a clinical depression. Treatment approaches for each person would be different.

Other terms for concurrent disorders

Other terms used over the years to describe the occurrence of both problems include:  dual disorders, dual diagnosis, co-morbidity, and co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental disorders These terms will still be found in publications and on web sites. In Ontario, the term dual diagnosis applies to people with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders. In the United States and in the international literature, dual diagnosis and dual disorders are most commonly used; although recently the phrase "co-occurring disorders" has been used to refer to clients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders. 


Concurrent Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders: An Information Guide (PDF only)
This guide is for people with concurrent disorders and for their families. It is also for anyone who wants basic information about concurrent disorders, their treatment and their management.

En français: Les troubles concomitants de toxicomanie et de santé mentale : Guide d'information  (PDF seulement)

A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders 
Families need help to deal with the impact of concurrent disorders, but families are also a key to finding effective solutions. To help their relatives on the journey to recovery, families need information about substance use and mental health problems, a common language with treatment providers, strategies to cope with issues and strategies to look after themselves and reduce the impact of their relatives' problems on their own lives.

Mental Health and Addiction 101 Series

The Mental Health and Addiction 101 series are on line self-directed tutorials designed for anyone who wants to learn more about mental health and addiction topics. 


For more information, check