Concurrent Disorders Program in Ontario

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Co-Concurrent Disorder Treatment

A Co-Concurrent Disorder is categorized by an individual having a mental health disorder and substance abuse problem at the same time. This may be an individual who struggles with an anxiety disorder as well as a substance use disorder. For those suffering from co-occurring conditions, it is crucial to find Co-Concurrent Disorder treatment programs for the whole person through evidence-based practices.

Addictive behaviours are often tightly intertwined and overlap with mental health issues. Many people develop their substance abuse disorder as a coping mechanism to help manage their mental health symptoms through a form of self-medication. For instance, those with a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder may develop a drug and alcohol dependency as a way to help cope with anxiety attacks. For many, this may be keeping them from work or social situations. Many traditional addiction treatment programs, in reality, spend a disproportionate amount of time treating drug or alcohol addiction while those suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety disorder, and other behavioural concerns are left mostly untreated.

Co-Concurrent Disorder Treatment at Metamorphosis Centre for Change with Psychiatrists

Metamorphosis Centre for Change is one of the few residential Co-Concurrent Disorder treatment centers designed to treat mental illness in conjunction with substance use. We have two consulting psychiatrists on our team to help treat these dual issues. Co-Concurrent disorders are not on the sideline here, it is central to everything we do. We understand that mental illness often plays a key role in developing a co-occurring substance abuse disorder.

Our treatment center and programs are designed to address not only mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, but also substance use disorder, and the core issues driving those behaviours. We address the root causes early in treatment and support each resident with a dedicated and experienced staff member who can help create physical and emotional safety through empathetic, compassionate, and consistent treatment. Lastly, in combination with our carefully selected treatment services (psychotherapeutic, psychiatric treatment and integrative mindfulness therapies) we here at Metamorphosis provide the skills necessary to build a sober and healthy life. For any questions on concurrent disorder or comorbidity please contact us.

Individualized Treatment Plan

Your plan is developed around your very specific needs. There are no “treatment tracts,” which means your Co-Concurrent Disorder treatment plan is developed just for you after you arrive and will include the whole of your life, not just your diagnosis and addiction. It will account for your past and present and the many overlapping and intertwining symptoms that you are experiencing. While you are here, your progress is closely monitored and our team of professionals makes real-time adjustments based on your needs and your individual progress.

Key Program Elements


Support groups, behavioral therapies, and individual therapy work in harmony to unravel the tangle of thoughts, emotions, and feelings that you have been experiencing. The connection with our therapists becomes one of the most powerful healing relationships many have experienced.

The relationship with a therapist or mental health professional can be especially valuable to residents who may have struggled to form relationships in the past. For those whose diagnoses’ have made it difficult to form trusting relationships with family members, peers, or community-based organizations, this can be a very important part of adequate treatment. The foundation of a therapeutic environment at Metamorphosis Centre for Change is the nonjudgmental acceptance of yourself and the unwavering belief that you want something different for yourself.

Experiential Therapies

Our program takes full advantage of our beautiful location – we provide instructors for Tai Chi, Yoga and provide access to a fully functioning gym. We also offer art therapy, music and meditation therapy. These modalities are an important adjunct to our recovery community including group and individual therapies as they help create self-awareness, reduce impulsivity, improve focus and attention and develop problem-solving skills. Additionally, experiential therapies have an important effect on brain chemistry. This includes mood-enhancing benefits that can be very helpful with mental health treatment like depressive and anxiety disorders, as well as learning a healthier mode of expression. They also help to increase the motivation to be an active participant in our rehab programs, attend treatment, and at the same time enhance your life, which are necessary components for a successful recovery.


Our treatment facilities have programs shaped by the latest research in neuroscience. Every therapeutic modality we employ is informed by what we know about the brain. We support your healing through leveraging therapies that boost neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganize by forming new neural pathways. The building of new, healthy brain functions is particularly helpful to strengthen healthy self-perception, positive behaviour, social connection, and allow for true healing of both addiction and mental health challenges.

Mind/Body Integrative Therapies

Integrative therapies combine cognitive, behavioural, and physiological systems so that the “whole person,” is treated and not just your symptoms. Somatic experiencing, EMDR, equine therapy, outdoor adventure therapy, massage, and acupuncture, along with other integrative therapies are not adjunct treatments; each is a critical part of the clinical program.

We are always focused on you as an individual – by approaching your medical care and treatment options with a fluid range of approaches, we can help you attend to the myriad of co-occurring physical manifestations of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and substance abuse to continue moving you toward sobriety and health.


Concurrent Disorders

Concurrent disorders describe a condition in which a person has both a mental illness and a substance use problem. This term is a general one, and refers to a wide range of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. For example, someone living with schizophrenia who also engages in problematic cannabis use has a concurrent disorder, as does an individual who lives with chronic depression and engages in problematic alcohol use. Treatment approaches for each case are subject to vary.

Another term for concurrent disorder is comorbidity. In the United States, the terms dual diagnosisdual disorder, or mentally ill chemical abuser are used to refer to concurrent disorder.1 In Canada, dual diagnosis usually refers to someone with a mental disorder and a co-occurring developmental disability. (For more information, see Dual Diagnosis.)

It is challenging to determine conclusively how many people have a concurrent disorder because existing studies examine different populations and utilize differing screening tools. Furthermore, people with concurrent disorders are frequently misidentified, as the diagnosis can be more difficult because one disorder can mimic another. Relapse rates for substance use are higher for people with a concurrent mental disorder, as are the chances that symptoms of mental illness will return for those with a concurrent substance use problem. Depending on the setting, prevalence rates for concurrent disorders have been found to range from 20- 80 percent.2

What is known conclusively is that people with mental illness have much higher rates of addiction than people in the general population. Similarly, individuals with addiction have much higher rates of mental illness than people in the general population. One large US study found that approximately a third of people with a mental or alcohol disorder had a concurrent disorder, and half of the people with drug problems had a mental disorder. A smaller study in Edmonton, Alberta had similar findings which revealed the same type of results. In this study, almost a third of mentally ill individuals also had a substance use problem, almost a third of those with alcohol dependency also had a psychiatric diagnosis, and among illicit drug users, almost half had a mental illness. If you have any questions about concurrent disorder or comorbidity, please feel free to reach out!