Concurrent disorder describes a condition in which a person has both a mental illness and is experiencing harmful involvement with alcohol, other drugs and/or gambling.
Concurrent disorder can refer to a wide range of mental illnesses and addictions. For example, an individual with schizophrenia, who is harmfully involved with cocaine, has a concurrent disorder. So does an individual who is experiencing chronic depression and is harmfully involved with alcohol.* The road to wellness and recovery is different for each person, and treatments vary, but help is available.
How common are concurrent disorders?
A Collaborative Framework
Capital Health’s Addiction and Mental Health Program is taking major steps to improve care for individuals living with concurrent disorders. Find out more.
It is hard to know exactly how many people have a concurrent disorder. We do know, however, that people with mental illness have much higher rates of addiction than the general population. It is also true that individuals who are harmfully involved with substances and/or gambling have much higher rates of mental illness.
Help is available. If you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness - or think you might be - and you are also harmfully involved with alcohol, other drugs and/or gambling, it is important for you to seek help from a qualified professional. In Capital Health district, you can get free counselling as well as access to a variety of programs to support you.
New: Concurrent Disorders Council
The Addictions and Mental Health Program are pleased to announce the appointment of members of the Concurrent Disorders Council, a permanent body created to implement the recommendations of the report “A Collaborative Framework: Caring for Individuals Living with Concurrent Disorders” and to advance concurrent disorders initiatives and collaboration within Capital Health. Learn More
For more information on local resources:
Community Mental Health Services
Visit Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services online or call Central Information and Referral at 424-8866 / toll free 1-866-340-6700.
Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH), About Concurrent Disorders
CAMH offers comprehensive information about mental illness and addiction.
A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders
A resource that offers information, tips and activities for individuals living with concurrent disorder, and their families.
Mental Health and Addiction 101: Concurrent Disorders
A series of online tutorials with topics on substance abuse and mental health.
Concurrent Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders: An Information Guide
An online guide for anyone looking for basic information about concurrent disorders including treatment and management. Also available for downloading in .PDF format.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario, About Concurrent Disorders
Information about concurrent disorder with a list of resources.
Source: Adapted from "Concurrent Disorders." Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario.