Co-Occurring Disorders

ACS 529

Instructor: Dr. George Gonzalez, Ph.D.




A person who has an alcohol or other drug problem combined with another mental health problem is said to have a co-occurring disorder that may require a dual diagnosis. In order to provide quality treatment services, the person will require treatment methods designed to address both mental health issues. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of co-occurring disorders and their impact on the individual, the family and the community. The individual will be aware of the complexities’ of treating individuals with substance use disorder and psychiatric disorders. This course provides students with an understanding of co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders and their impact on the individual, family and community. We will focus on where the field is in regard to treating these disorders, on the assessment and screening for co-occurring disorders, integrating substance abuse treatment and mental health services, working with clients with co-occurring disorders, treatment settings, the most common mental disorders seen in substance abuse treatment, substance abuse induced mental disorders, common medications used for treating individuals with co-occurring disorders, and strategies for working with clients with co-occurring disorders. This course is designed to focus on the development of knowledge, skill, and theoretical frameworks applicable to the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring disorders. Students will gain an understanding of chemical dependency and mental health, and look at best practice models of treatment. This course will help students learn to distinguish symptoms of dependency and addiction in conjunction with signs and symptoms of other mental health and/or safety issues.