Also referred to as dual diagnosis or comorbidity, co-occurring disorders affect a large number of people struggling with addiction and mental health issues. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 7.7 million adults in the United States have co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders such as depression, psychosis, anxiety, and PTSD. Although a person with an alcohol use disorder and depression will require a different treatment program than someone struggling with a benzodiazepine addiction and bipolar disorder, an integrative approach is considered the most effective treatment for all co-occurring disorders.
An Individualized Approach
It’s important to look for a treatment center that evaluates people as individuals and cares about your specific needs. No two co-occurring disorders are exactly the same, and your treatment plan should begin with a detailed screening process and comprehensive assessment of your medical history, family history, and personal circumstances, from economic to social-emotional.
Although it’s not always possible to tell if it’s the substance use disorder that triggers an underlying mental health issue, or if it’s a mental health issue that contributed to someone developing an addiction, the two conditions affect each other tremendously and must be treated at the same time.
An integrated approach is unique in that it addresses both disorders at the same time, as both conditions are considered to be symptoms of underlying trauma. When the underlying trauma is treated correctly, people begin to experience sustainable progress and improvement with their substance use disorders and mental health issues. Many treatment centers use different types of psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy alongside holistic therapies to treat these disorders.
Past approaches that led to less successful treatment outcomes would treat the issues parallel to one another, or one after the other, as separate conditions. This led to higher rates of relapse because important connections between a person’s addiction and mental health issues were left untreated.
In addition to attending psychotherapy sessions, many people with co-occurring disorders can benefit from medication-assisted treatment, family therapy, and attending peer support groups.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders and Symptoms
It’s quite common for people with substance use disorders to experience co-occurring process disorders such as eating disorders, sex addiction, and gambling addiction. Mental illnesses such as depression, panic disorders, anxiety, and schizophrenia are strongly linked to alcohol use disorders and cocaine use, though there are many possible combinations of disorders that will present with a wide range of symptoms.
Warning signs that indicate that someone may be struggling with a co-occurring disorder include any sudden changes in behavior, and having unusual financial or legal issues. Other symptoms of co-occurring disorders may include suicidal thoughts, risky behavior, social isolation, increased drug use, and sleep disturbances.
Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s important to recognize that substance use disorder often co-occurs with other mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma-related disorders. Seeking treatment for addiction can be an opportunity to address these underlying conditions and improve your overall well-being. At Quest2Recovery, we understand the complex nature of co-occurring disorders and offer a comprehensive, individualized approach to treatment that addresses both the addiction and any underlying mental health issues.
Our team of experienced professionals works closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that incorporates evidence-based therapies, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic approaches to healing. By addressing co-occurring disorders, we can help you achieve long-term recovery and build a foundation for a fulfilling life in sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and start your journey towards lasting wellness.