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A-Z Teen Health Glossary

Teen Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Overview of Teen Co-Occurring Disorder

A teen co-occurring disorder refers to teens experiencing symptoms related to more than one mental illness or substance abuse disorder at a time.  Co-occurring disorders are extremely important to evaluate and treat because omission of these factors can often result in insufficient and/or ineffective treatment.  Studies show that more than 60% of teens that have been diagnosed with a mental illness also have a substance abuse disorder.  Many times, this can be due to teens suffering from mental illness symptoms, and in an effort to self-medicate, they become addicted to alcohol and/or other substances.


The symptoms of teen co-occurring disorders can obviously range widely, depending on what combination of illnesses a teen is wrestling with.  In fact, one of the most important aspects of successfully treating co-occurring disorder is the same symptoms can be present in multiple different illnesses.  Therefore, if therapists are not especially careful to recognize all illnesses that are present, the teens will only be getting part of the treatment they need.

Teen Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

All teen treatment should always involve thorough evaluation and diagnosis, in order to understand all mental health and substance abuse conditions that teens are dealing with.  Teen co-occurring disorder treatment includes addressing each different illness and all symptoms carefully, including symptoms that extend to the physical, mental, and relational aspects of the teens’ lives.  By taking a holistic approach toward teen co-occurring disorder treatment, and carefully addressing all connections between physical, mental, and relational symptoms present in teens’ lives, teens can be fully supported to make significant strides in their healing and recovery.

Paradigm Austin

At Paradigm Austin we pride ourselves in paying careful consideration in our diagnostic processes as well as our treatment, for the treatment of co-occurring disorders. Because we maintain such a high staff-to-teen ratio and so, teens receive individualized treatment every day, we have the benefit of being able to continually evaluate teens’ symptoms and progress, which allows us to provide very thorough, precise treatment.  At Paradigm Austin, we provide treatment to teens from Austin as well as all over the United States, and all teens are evaluated and diagnosed for potential present co-occurring disorders.