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Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders in Adults

When A Patient Suffers From More Than One Disorder 

There are times when a patient’s illness may be rooted in more than one disorder. These “co-occurring disorders” require a special understanding and corresponding treatment. Co-occurrence may be a combination of a variety of disorders. Often—though not always—there may be a combination of addiction and psychiatric disorders present. Whether this happens to be the diagnosis or not in any given patient, it is the appreciation of what that patient’s unique co-occurring disorders are and how they interact that will help drive the best treatment program.


At Silver Hill Hospital we are proud of our special expertise in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. We have 80 years of experience in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders and are one of the nation's best-known addiction treatment centers as well. We have become extremely proficient at identifying the co-occurrence of multiple diagnoses and skilled in treating them simultaneously.


For patients with a diagnosis of a co-occurring disorder that includes a psychiatric disorder and addiction, the treatment approach is a combination of medical and psychotherapeutic interventions. The objective is for the patient to develop an understanding of the dual nature of their illness and to develop the strategies necessary to manage both. In addition, the programs for patients with addictive and co-occurrence disorders include 12-Step meetings to increase the likelihood of continued abstinence.


Patients who have been diagnosed with co-occurring disorders are initially admitted to the Patricia Regnemer Main House. If the diagnosis includes addiction the patient will participate in programs both for the treatment of their addiction (which may include medically managed detoxification) and a program for the treatment of their psychiatric disorder. One of Silver Hill’s strengths is the fact that our psychiatrists are all additionally trained in the treatment of substance use disorders and many of our psychiatrists have addiction specialty boards. Patients with co-occurring disorders that do not include addiction are provided with programs to address their unique co-occurrence requirements.


After initial treatment in Main House, which is a short-stay unit, patients may be offered extended treatment in our residential Transitional Living Program, or our Intensive Outpatient Program or may be discharged home for continued treatment by their referring clinician, often in conjunction with an aftercare Outpatient Program in the community.


Family members are encouraged to participate in our Family Forum.


Eating Disorders 

Every patient with an eating disorder who comes to Silver Hill for treatment is individually evaluated. Depending on the patient’s needs their treatment may be administered either within our DBT Program or our Co-Occurring Disorders Program.


The Eating Disorder Program gives patients autonomous control over abnormal eating behaviors. Treatment includes comprehensive evaluation and a program that emphasizes individual control of problem behaviors. The treatment program uses a combination of cognitive, behavioral and psychological techniques. Supervised meals, which emphasize the development of new eating patterns, are a key part of the program. If patients have substance use disorders or another psychiatric disorder in addition to an eating disorder, the patient’s treatment plan will be modified to include all such disorders. Adult patients can participate in the Eating Disorders Program as part of the residential Transitional Living Program.

The First Step — Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is typically an essential first step in the recovery from mental illness, addiction or various combinations of the two, and most patients who enter Silver Hill Hospital begin here. It is a short-stay treatment program offering a high nurse-to-patient and psychiatrist-to-patient ratio intended to stabilize the patient, ascertain their condition and determine future treatment options. If addiction is involved this is where medically safe, physically eased and emotionally supported detoxification will take place.

Co-occurring disorders are very common and seen in up to 60% of patients needing inpatient treatment for an addiction or mental illness.

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After Inpatient Treatment – Transitional Living On Campus

Inpatient treatment for co-occurring disorders is often too brief for patients to receive all the treatment they may need to fully prepare them to return to their communities. That’s why at Silver Hill we offer continuing treatment programs to serve the patient’s needs beyond the inpatient phase. Our Transitional Living Program for Co-Occurring Disorders (TLP) is one of them. In TLP patients continue to live on the Silver Hill campus for an extended period where they have the time and opportunity to focus on developing an understanding of their illnesses and developing the skills to manage their recovery process.

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Continuing Silver Hill Treatment While Living At Home

Inpatient treatment serves to stabilize the patient. But it is often too brief to help them deal further with the underlying problems that may be causing their addiction. That’s why at Silver Hill we offer continuing treatment programs to serve the patient’s needs beyond the inpatient phase. Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is one of them. In this program the patient lives at home and comes to the Silver Hill campus for scheduled IOP sessions.

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