In some cases, medical professionals frequently find co-occurring disorders in specific populations that have substance abuse problems. The following are some examples of these groups that may be particularly vulnerable.
Veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one-third of veterans getting treatment for addiction also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation reports that veterans with addiction may also struggle with problems such as depression, anxiety, HIV, schizophrenia, liver disease, and bipolar disorder.
Inmates. A study published in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal found that half of prison inmates and two-thirds of people detained in jail have an addiction problem. The researchers also found that those with mental health disorders are more likely to have a substance abuse disorder. In fact, 74 percent of inmates with mental health challenges have an addiction, and 60 percent of them admitted to abusing drugs within a month of their most recent arrest.
Homeless. Suffering from an addiction or a mental illness alone can make it difficult for some people to maintain stable housing. When combined, these disorders can make it even more challenging. According to the American Psychological Association, 10 to 20 percent of homeless people are dually diagnosed with addiction and mental health disorders.