Co-Occurring Disorder


People with addiction often suffer from one or more underlying mental health disorders. Some individuals may mask their mental health illness by the use of illicit substances, but often this tends to exacerbate the symptons even more.  There are a number of illnesses that frequently co-occur with addiction.  They may include:  bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Identifying and treating co-occuring disorders simultaneously is important to help the service recipient to begin a sustainable recovery.  Experts say, "You really can't treat one condition without treating the other," says James Turner, Clinical Supervisor, Bridging the Gap Services.


Ensuring that service recipients are properly diagnosed begins with the initial assessment. The standard intake interview includes one of a number of mental status screenings.  The screenings not only assist in determining further mental health treatment, but it will also assist in determining the service recipient's group readiness.

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What To Expect


Providing Services To The Community . . .

Bridging the Gap Services serves adult men and women who are insured, uninsured, or under-insured.  We accept self-referrals, referrals from the criminal justice system (attorneys, Division of Parole and Probation, Drug Court, and diversion programs), the Department of Social Services (child protection services), and referrals from other service providers. We also accept referrals from local hospitals and physicians. 

Getting Started Made Easy . . .

Give us a call at 240-318-5790 to begin the Intake and Admission Process . . . it is that simple!  Once the telephone screening process is complete, we will schedule you an appointment to complete an assessment.

This brief telephone screening will gather demographic information, substance use history, mental health history, and any past or current criminal justice involvement to determine the presence of a substance use disorder. 

Our Intake Assessment Process . . .

Bridging the Gap Services utilizes onsite licensed mental health providers and certified counselors to provide substance use disorder and mental health evaluations and treatment services.  The intake process is approximately 90-minutes, but can sometimes take a little longer (if necessary). 

Our Treatment Process For Co-Occuring Disorder

Living with both a mental health disorder and substance abuse or addiction is a deadly combination. The poor lifestyle choices associated with these two disorders often translate into early and/or sudden death for the individual if no treatment is received. 

For those who have both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, an integrated treatment plan may typically include:

Mental Health Assessment and Evaluation:

To ensure that all current mental health symptoms are accurately diagnosed, an evaluation is the next step in integrated treatment. Additionally, all other issues that may be an obstacle in the service recipient's path to recovery are identified.    Based upon the evaluation results and the reported experience of the service recipient, diagnoses are made to help the service recipient better understand and frame past experiences and plan for the future. 

Treatment Planning:

A unique treatment plan is created for each service recipient that integrates a range of therapeutic and medical interventions with the goal of empowering the service recipient to heal from addiction, learn how to manage mental health symptoms, and address any personal issues that may be problematic. 

Individual & Group Counseling Sessions:
Counseling services are provided in groups and in one-on-one settings.  Each session can last 1 - 2 hours in length with a minimum of a half an hour and can be combined with group counseling.

  • Individual Counseling.   The counselor’s role is to establish rapport; motivate compliance; to collect data during the assessment; to complete a psychosocial assessment and an interpretive summary; to work with the service recipient to develop a treatment plan; to monitor progress on identified goals and objectives and to review and update the plan with the clinical supervisor; to facilitate discharge planning; to make referrals where needed, and to complete a continuing care plan with participation from the service recipient. In general, a cognitive/behavioral approach is used to emphasize removal of barriers to recovery and successful management of a chronic disease.

  • Group Counseling.   Types of group sessions may include task-oriented, open discussion, motivational, gender specific, skill- building, among others of use with persons in early recovery. Preference is given to evidence-based practices.

After Care Plan:

Before leaving treatment, service recipients are encouraged to work with a therapist to create a unique aftercare plan. Much like the treatment plan, this should include a unique combination of treatment services that will serve the treatment goals and needs of the service recipient on an outpatient basis during and after the transition into independent living in recovery.