Definition: The term concurrent disorders refers to the co-existence of a mental health problem and a substance abuse issue. For example, someone with social anxiety disorder (SAD) might also suffer with alcohol dependence. Individuals with either a mental health issue or a substance abuse concern are in general more likely to suffer with a secondary problem.
For example, in the case of social anxiety those with this issue may begin drinking as a way to cope with fears of social situations. Over time, drinking can become problematic on its own and secondary to the original problem of being socially anxious. Treatment of social anxiety when it first appears is critical to prevent the development of related issues such as alcoholism or drug use.