Area of Focus

Mental Health & Substance Use

Compass Health Center’s substance use services provide evidence-based treatment for teens, young adults, and adults who have a primary mental health diagnosis complicated by substance use. Our specialized interventions support individuals to learn skills to manage their mental health symptoms while maintaining sobriety. These services are available to patients in our Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Programs.

Schedule an Appointment
What is Substance Use Disorder? - Compass Health Center

What is Substance Use Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “A Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to a person’s inability to control their use of substances such as legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. Symptoms can range from moderate to severe, with addiction being the most severe form of SUDs.”

In addition, “Researchers have found that about half of individuals who experience a SUD during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice versa. Co-occurring disorders can include Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, and Schizophrenia,” states the NIMH. For more information, please see the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report.

Reasons Why Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders Commonly Co-occur - Compass Health Center

Reasons Why Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders Commonly Co-occur

According to NIMH, Research suggests the following reasons may explain why SUDs and other mental disorders commonly occur together:

  • SUDs and other mental health disorders can be hereditary.
  • Generational trauma may trigger the development of mental health symptoms or a Substance Use Disorder.
  • Studies have found that symptoms related to Anxiety, Depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), may cause drug or alcohol use as a form of self-medication. 
  • The reward center of your brain may be affected while using substances, creating a cycle of misuse. These changes in brain structure can increase the chances of developing mental health symptoms.

When to Seek Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders - Compass Health Center

When to Seek Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

Patients in our PHP/IOP Program may be recommended to receive additional substance services. Individuals who are open to receiving mental health care and support from a substance use expert while working to reduce or eliminate substance use may benefit from treatment at Compass.

Substance Use in Teens - Compass Health Center

Substance Use in Teens

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), six out of 10 teenagers engaging in substance abuse also have a co-occurring mental disorder. Substance abuse can intensify symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. This co-occurring condition occurs in more than half of all teens in the United States who abuse drugs.

Substance Use in Adults and Young Adults - Compass Health Center

Substance Use in Adults and Young Adults

Approximately 10% of American adults suffer from Substance Use Disorder at some point in their lives, and 75% of those report not receiving any form of treatment due to co-occurring mental health symptoms or barriers to care. According to a survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Substance Use Disorder in adults often co-occurs with a variety of mental health concerns.


A substance use disorder (SUD) is defined clinically as a problematic pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines specific criteria for diagnosing SUD, including issues like loss of control, continued use despite negative consequences, and a preoccupation with obtaining and using the substance.

Harm reduction acknowledges that not all patients have complete abstinence as their goal and provides skills and treatment that at least allows them to reduce their use and reduce the negative consequences of their use. Harm reduction is not exclusive of abstinence, but rather sees risk and change on a spectrum and encourages people to move along those spectrums at their own pace. Harm reduction may include strategies that like not using when depressed, limiting use to a certain amount, using around safe individuals, or not mixing substances.

There is evidence to suggest that there is a genetic component to addiction. Individuals with a family history of substance use disorders may be at a higher risk of developing addiction themselves. However, genetic factors are just one part of a complex interplay involving environmental, psychological, and social influences in the development of addiction.

The best level of care is completely dependent on the individual, the severity of their use, their risk for withdrawal symptoms, and their individual needs. Inpatient is best for individuals who need medical detoxing and monitoring and residential is often suitable for those who need more structure and an immersive environment. PHP/IOP allows people to receive intensive care and support while living at home, making it a more flexible option and allowing people to practice using skills in their typical environments.

Substance use is often linked with other mental health disorders, creating a complex relationship known as comorbidity. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders may contribute to, exacerbate, or result from substance use and vice versa. It is crucial to address both substance use and co-occurring mental health issues simultaneously for effective treatment and recovery.

Seeking treatment for substance use is recommended as soon as it begins to interfere with daily life, responsibilities, relationships, or overall well-being. Early intervention increases the likelihood of successful outcomes. Signs that may indicate a need for treatment include loss of control over substance use, unsuccessful attempts to quit, exacerbation of mental health symptoms, and continued use despite negative consequences.

At Compass Health Center, we want to make sure that a patient can get the healthcare they need, regardless of their insurance coverage. We accept most commercial insurance plans, and we offer flexible payment plans to help make our services more affordable. Our billing team works with the patient/family to establish any plans needed.

Didn’t find what you are looking for? Click here to contact Compass.


Our Success Stories

Double Quotes - Compass Health Center

Compass saved my life! I came into Compass with suicidal ideations and no hope. After a couple of weeks of being in the program, I did not have those thoughts anymore. Compass helped me change my mindset, from a negative pattern of thoughts to a more positive and optimistic frame of mind.

Double Quotes - Compass Health Center

My child is leaving Compass more equipped to handle her emotions, her anxiety, her depression, and the things that all trigger these. She is willing to use the skills, which is a huge change, and this is all due to how well Compass worked for her.

Parent of Child Patient
Double Quotes - Compass Health Center

I liked how in Compass, everyone was respectful of my opinions, pronouns, and preferred name. There was no judging, and you can open up to people. I also like how I can relate to other kids. I also really appreciate learning new skills.

Double Quotes - Compass Health Center

Compass is a godsend. An amazing program for children who are struggling and families who are seeking help and guidance. I could not imagine that she would be so much better in less than 2 months. I wish we could have found Compass without going to the ER. Thanks for all you do!

Parent of Child Patient
Double Quotes - Compass Health Center

The evening IOP program challenged me in a supportive and respectful way to help change my way of thinking. Compass provided me with the tools to help deal with life situations in a healthy way.

Adult Patient
Service Areas

In-Person and Virtual Mental Health Services for Illinois & Maryland Residents