Module 14: Co-Occurring Problems

Ch. 1: What Are Co-Occurring Problems?

The first reading for Module 14 provides you with an overview of what we are talking about in terms of co-occuring problems: specifically, problems that often co-occur with substance use, substance misuse, and substance use disorders. While this content emphasizes mental disorders and disability, remember that there are many other types of problems that may co-occur with substance misuse, as well. These include:

  • Incarceration, involvement with the criminal justice system, and legal problems
  • Exposure to, witnessing, or perpetrating violence and other forms of exploitation (physical, sexual, emotional, intimate partner, community violence, as well as child maltreatment)
  • Housing instability or homelessness
  • Unemployment, underemployment, and worker exploitation (including sex trafficking)
  • Physical health problems that are both acute and chronic or have long-term consequences (infectious disease exposure, infections, reduced resistance, lack of preventive health or prenatal care, malnutrition, injury, death)
  • Compromised mental health (mental disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, suicide risk)
  • Behavioral addictions (gambling, for example)

The first reading comes from a textbook about addiction; we will not be reading the entire piece, only an excerpt from: vanWormer, K., & Davis, D.R. (2013). Substance misuse with a co-occurring mental disorder or disability. In Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective, third edition (pp. 452-474). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

In this first chapter you will read about:

  • mental health conditions, stress, and other disorders (gambling, eating disorders, personality disorders, mood and thought disorders)
  • a case example related to one veteran’s experience (which relates to Chapter 3)
  • integrated treatment models, and
  • key terms used in the field of substance use disorders and addiction.

PDF links icon

Click here for a link to our Carmen course where you can locate the assigned pdf file(s) for this chapter. You will need to be logged into our Carmen course, select Module 14, and proceed to the Coursework area. Under the Readings heading you will find a box with links to the readings for relevant coursebook chapters. Don’t forget to return here in your coursebook to complete the remaining chapters and interactive activities.



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Ch. 1: What Are Co-Occurring Problems? Copyright © by Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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