When Substance Use and Mental Health Collide – Co-occurring Disorders in Teens and Young Adults


Getting help for a young person with a mental health disorder or a substance use problem is hard. It’s even harder when these disorders occur in the same person. According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, “Often, when a mental health disorder goes untreated, a young person will attempt to self-medicate — using substances to relax, fit in socially, numb emotional pain, or relieve anxiety….Furthermore, substance use and mental health symptoms mimic one another, confusing diagnosis for professionals without expertise in mental health and addictions.” In order to help better understand the right course of treatment, they have put together this excellent guide in conjunction with the Child Mind Institute.