People with serious mental illness often struggle with substance abuse. As reported in 2006, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions indicated that individuals with mental illness diagnoses have a greater prevalence of alcohol and drug disorders than the general public.
The co-occurrence of these disorders makes it more difficult for mentally ill clients to maintain stable recovery from their mental illness. They often have trouble managing family relationships, obtaining stable employment, and are more likely than people with mental illness only to become involved in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, only 12% of people with co-existing disorders receive interventions for both disorders.