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Best Treatments for Co-Occurring Addictions

Clinically Reviewed by: Dr. Robin Campbell, LMFT, PHD

In contemporary healthcare, the landscape of addiction treatment is continually evolving, particularly concerning the understanding and management of co-occurring addictions. Co-occurring addictions, often referred to as dual diagnosis, represent a significant challenge in the realm of addiction recovery. This article aims to delve deeply into the intricacies of co-occurring addictions, elucidate their common manifestations, explore effective treatment modalities, and highlight the specialized approach offered at New Hope Healthcare Institute in Knoxville, TN.

What are Co-Occurring Addictions?

Co-occurring addictions, also referred to as dual diagnosis, occur when an individual experiences two or more substance use disorders or addictive behaviors simultaneously. This complexity can significantly impact the course of treatment and recovery, as each addiction may interact with the others, presenting unique challenges. Co-occurring addictions can involve a combination of substance dependencies, such as alcohol, opioids, or stimulants, along with behavioral addictions like gambling, gaming, or compulsive eating.

Do You Have a Co-Occurring Addiction?

Recognizing the presence of co-occurring addictions requires careful observation of behavioral patterns and understanding common indicators, including:

  • Increased tolerance to substances or activities.
  • Experience of withdrawal symptoms when not engaging in addictive behaviors.
  • Neglect of responsibilities and social withdrawal.
  • Failed attempts to quit or control addictive behaviors.
  • Interference with daily functioning and persistent cravings.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be struggling with co-occurring addictions, seeking professional evaluation and treatment is essential for comprehensive recovery.

Recognizing Co-Occurring Addictions

Identifying co-occurring addictions can be challenging, as the symptoms may overlap or manifest differently for each individual. However, there are some common signs and red flags that may indicate the presence of co-occurring addictions:

  • Dual Substance Use: Engaging in the misuse of multiple substances, such as alcohol and prescription drugs, or combining different types of drugs.
  • Escalating Tolerance: Needing increasing amounts of substances or engaging in addictive behaviors more frequently to achieve the desired effects.
  • Mood Swings and Cravings: Experiencing intense cravings, mood swings, or withdrawal symptoms when unable to engage in addictive behaviors.
  • Interference with Daily Functioning: Obsessive thoughts about substance use or addictive behaviors that interfere with work, school, relationships, or daily responsibilities.
  • Coexisting Mental Health Issues: Individuals with co-occurring addictions often struggle with underlying mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma.

By paying attention to these signs and seeking professional assessment and support, individuals can take the first step toward recovery.

Common Co-Occurring Addictions

Co-occurring addictions can manifest in various combinations, each presenting its own set of challenges and complexities. Some of the most common co-occurring addictions include:

  1. Alcohol and Prescription Drug Abuse: The combination of alcohol with prescription medications, such as opioids or benzodiazepines, can amplify the effects of both substances and increase the risk of overdose or dependence.
  2. Opioid and Stimulant Dependency: Individuals may concurrently misuse opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, along with stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine, leading to heightened health risks and addiction severity.
  3. Marijuana and Gaming Addiction: While cannabis use and gaming may seem less severe compared to other addictions, the combination can still result in significant impairments in daily functioning, motivation, and mental health.
  4. Cocaine and Gambling Addiction: The stimulating effects of cocaine may exacerbate impulsivity and risk-taking behavior, leading individuals to engage in excessive gambling activities to satisfy cravings and seek excitement.

Understanding the specific combinations of co-occurring addictions is essential for tailoring treatment approaches to address each individual’s unique needs and challenges.

Treatments for Co-Occurring Addictions

At New Hope Healthcare Institute, we recognize the complexity of co-occurring addictions and offer a comprehensive range of evidence-based treatments to support individuals on their journey to recovery. Our integrated approach addresses both the addictive behaviors and underlying mental health issues, fostering holistic healing and long-term wellness. Some of the key treatments we provide include:

  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Our integrated dual diagnosis program combines therapy for addiction and mental health disorders, providing clients with the tools and support they need to address underlying issues and achieve lasting recovery.
  • Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT): For individuals struggling with substance dependence, MAT may be an effective treatment option. By combining FDA-approved medications with counseling and support, MAT helps manage cravings, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and support long-term sobriety.
  • Individual Therapy: One-on-one counseling sessions with experienced therapists allow clients to explore their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. Through personalized therapy, individuals can gain insight into their addiction triggers, develop coping strategies, and work towards positive change.
  • Group Therapy: Peer support is a valuable component of the recovery process. Our group therapy sessions provide individuals with the opportunity to connect with others who are facing similar challenges, share experiences, offer encouragement, and learn from one another’s successes and setbacks.
  • Family Therapy: Addiction can impact not only the individual but also their loved ones. Our family therapy program involves family members in the recovery process, addressing communication issues, repairing relationships, and fostering a supportive home environment for continued healing and growth.

By addressing co-occurring addictions comprehensively and providing personalized, evidence-based care, we empower our clients to overcome their challenges and build a foundation for a brighter future.

Call New Hope Healthcare Institute Today!

If you or someone you know is struggling with co-occurring addictions, don’t wait to seek help. Contact New Hope Healthcare Institute today at 866-806-1027 to learn more about our treatment options and take the first step towards recovery. Check out our blog where we post weekly on Medium.


Co-occurring addictions are more prevalent than many people realize, with research indicating that a significant portion of individuals with substance use disorders also have coexisting mental health conditions.

Yes, with comprehensive treatment approaches that address both the addiction and underlying mental health issues, individuals can achieve meaningful recovery and improve their quality of life.

At New Hope Healthcare Institute, we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s specific needs and challenges. Our integrated approach combines evidence-based therapies, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic interventions to promote holistic healing and long-term wellness.

Absolutely. With dedication, support, and evidence-based treatments, individuals can overcome co-occurring addictions and lead fulfilling, productive lives in recovery.

Encourage your loved one to seek professional help, educate yourself about addiction and mental health, and provide unconditional support and understanding throughout their recovery journey.

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