Substance use problems are commonly seen in mental health. Sometimes this is referred to as concurrent disorder, dual diagnosis, dual disorders, co-morbidity and co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental disorders. To encourage sensitivity to the stigmas associated to these terms, co- occurring mental health and substance abuse problems has been developed. Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems can be described as one or more mental health diagnosis along with abuse of one or more substance.
The relationship between substance use and mental health disorders are multifaceted. As explained below:
- Substance use may be causing the psychopathology (a substance- induced mental disorder).
- Some of the most common substance induced disorders are alcohol-induced depressive disorders, cocaine-induced psychotic disorders and stimulant-induced anxiety disorders.
- Substance use may be secondary to the psychopathology in various ways: Patients may use substances to self-medicate the symptoms of their mental disorder (for example, alcohol may be used to alleviate the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, such as social phobias).
Patients may use substances to enhance symptoms of the mental disorder (as in the use of stimulants by manic patients).