Studies show that addiction and mental health disorders often go hand-in-hand. It’s common for those struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions to use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate their symptoms. Over time, this can lead to alcohol addiction or drug abuse . The challenge then becomes how to help the person manage the addiction when the co-occurring mental health disorder can be such a strong trigger for substance use. When both addiction and a mental health disorders exist, co-occurring disorder treatment may be needed to support an individual through full recovery.

The key to treating co-occurring disorders and addiction is integrated care – treating both conditions at the same time, in a way that acknowledges the effect that each condition has on the other. Whether addiction came first, or the co-occurring disorder is an underlying factor, making sure that co-occurring disorder treatment supports the management of both disorders is necessary to achieve abstinence and recovery.

How Bluff Can Help

Bluff offers specific co-occurring disorder treatment for addiction, alcoholism and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand the critical importance of treating all aspects of addiction in the recovery process.

Our multidisciplinary team includes psychiatric providers, addiction medicine professionals, nurses and other clinicians who are experienced in assessing, diagnosing and treating both addictive and co-occurring disorders. Every patient at Bluff receives a comprehensive mental health evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. From there, we help patients manage or overcome the symptoms of any mental health problems they are facing.

Throughout their stay at Bluff’s residential treatment center, each patient’s progress is closely monitored so that we can ensure they are receiving the best addiction treatment and psychiatric care.

Goals of Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Getting the appropriate medication and dosage is an important part of treatment, but it isn’t the only way we treat co-occurring disorders. Our multidisciplinary team also offers several levels of therapy for treating co-occurring disorders including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and other forms of individual and group therapy. The goal of these therapies is to teach patients to recognize the symptoms of a mental health crisis, build a support system, reduce the isolation that can occur as a result of addiction and mental illness, and prevent future mental health crises through the development of new coping skills.

At the same time, we help patients recognize how depression, mood swings or panic attacks can actually serve as relapse triggers. This reinforces the importance of self-care and properly treating co-occurring disorders and mental health conditions to help patients avoid those triggers and sustain relapse prevention.

The Role of Holistic Therapies in Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Increasingly, clinicians have come to appreciate the important role of holistic and experiential therapies in drug and alcohol rehab and in co-occurring disorder treatment. Bluff offers a range of options, including yoga and meditation, animal-assisted therapy, and recreational therapy that includes art, gardening and exercise. These activities are known to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression in all people, not just those with mental health or substance use disorders. For people in recovery, these activities are that much more beneficial.

We believe that a combination of treatments, personalized for each individual, is necessary to treat co-occurring disorders that are as complex as addiction and mental illness. Our goal is to ensure patients have an accurate diagnosis, receive care that treats the whole person, and develop the skills to overcome addiction and mental health disorder.


Substance abuse is a chronic disease and lifelong recovery requires long-term management. Treatment programs for co-occurring disorders and addiction doesn’t end when our patients leave our campus. We promise to be there for every patient, as long as they need us.

After attending our inpatient treatment center, men and women in recovery can enter our partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs for continued support and treatment. At Bluff, we believe recovery is more than just abstaining from an addictive substance; it is also about leading a healthy, productive life. It is our goal to assist each person in their recovery, every step of the way.


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