Co-Occurring Disorders Program

Eligibility for Services

The Co-Occurring Disorders (COD) Program is funded by the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services and administered by UC San Diego Health’s psychiatry services. Individuals are eligible for services through the COD program if they are actively using substances or are in early recovery, and are indigent or receive Medi-Cal or Medicare funding.

Our health care professionals address the complex, individual needs of people with interacting substance use and mental health disorders through an intensive outpatient program.

We embrace a harm-reduction approach that helps each individual work toward sobriety, while also addressing issues such as anxiety, depression or interpersonal problems. We emphasize mindfulness in daily living, and include family and significant others as an integral part of the recovery process.

Our care teams include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, recovery counselors, marriage and family therapists, and mental health professionals in training.

Services provided through the Co-Occurring Disorders Program include:

  • Evaluation: All new clients participate in a thorough assessment that includes semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. 
  • Medication Management: Psychopharmacologic evaluation and treatment, when needed, are an integral part of the treatment and recovery process.
  • Individual and Family Therapy and Care Coordination: Individuals collaborate with our specialists as they design an individualized treatment and recovery plan.
  • Community Support: Our program helps clients obtain financial assistance, housing, food, and physical health services. We also assist in obtaining community detoxification and residential recovery living when needed.
  • Group Therapy and Peer Support: We offer group therapy to support, educate, and develop skills in coping with cravings, depression, anxiety, trauma and relationships. Peer support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Dual Recovery Anonymous and Smart Recovery, meet on site.
  • Education: Lectures, videos, and discussion groups help clients learn more about addiction and other mental disorders and how to manage their interactions.
  • Vocational Services: Vocational counseling is available to assist with exploring job interests. We also offer help with resume building, mock interviews, professional clothing, and job searches.
  • Court-Mandated Treatment We coordinate with probation and parole offices for clients whose treatment is mandated by the court system for non-violent offenses.

Staged Approach

Because each person's situation is unique, our program is divided into stages based on an individual's capacities and needs, followed by an after-care plan.

The stages of care may include:

  • Helping to create a stable home situation and assuring that basic needs are met.
  • Stabilizing psychiatric symptoms while working toward or maintaining sobriety
  • Strengthening bonds to family and community, and developing interpersonal, behavioral and emotional regulation skills
  • Developing or strengthening vocational goals and community connections 


Part of the mission of our program is to advance treatment and care of individuals with co-occurring disorders. With clients' permission, information on their health status may be used for research purposes. Participation in research is entirely voluntary and does not affect a person's care. Areas under study include attachment, dissociation, cognitive factors, ADHD, childhood maltreatment, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and personality variables.

Appointments & Referrals



Meet Our Specialists