Also known as dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders refer to a person experiencing a mental health disorder and substance use disorder at the same time. Studies show that about 50% of people struggling with substance abuse have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression. These disorders interact in complex ways and must both be addressed as deeply intertwined issues. Because so many people have a dual diagnosis, it is very important that they receive the appropriate treatment that will help them achieve their recovery goals.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
Drug addiction often co-occurs alongside a multitude of mental health disorders, which can include personality disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. The relationship between addiction and mental health tends to be cyclical, with one disorder contributing to the development or worsening of the other. It’s difficult to say which disorder comes first, as there are many factors that contribute to developing a mental health issue or substance use issue, including genetics, a history of trauma, and a person’s financial status. Many people who struggle with mental health issues are at a greater risk of developing a drug addiction because they may turn to substance use to self-medicate and find relief from their mental and emotional suffering.
Signs Of A Co-Occurring Disorder
Although many of the symptoms that indicate the presence of an addiction or a mental health issue overlap, it’s still a good idea to be aware of some warning signs you should look out for. Social isolation is a strong indication that something is not right, especially if the individual used to be more social and is withdrawing from activities they usually enjoy. Risky behavior is another sign that something is amiss and may include overspending, drinking and driving, and violent outbursts. Other sudden changes in a person’s behavior including an inability to manage their day-to-day affairs are all strong indications that they may need help.
Integrated Treatment Approaches
It is of the utmost importance that co-occurring disorders are treated using what is referred to as an integrative approach, which addresses both disorders at the same time. An integrated approach may include popular and widely used evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), as well as holistic therapies such as energy healing and yoga.
Overcoming Challenges in Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
Although dual-diagnosis treatment is available in many recovery centers today, it is still important to do your research as it is not yet available everywhere. There are also plenty of stigmas about mental health in society, even in addiction treatment circles, which may make it more challenging for people to access the treatment they need. The shame of the stigma alone can prevent people from getting the help they need, which is why there has been an effort in communities across the United States to bring awareness and compassion to mental health issues and drug addiction.
Find Your Path to Recovery
At Quest 2 Recovery, our holistic treatment philosophy is focused on the unique needs of the individual. Our knowledgeable and professional team members offer incredible support and guidance to everyone who attends one of our programs and also help oversee the practical details involved with attending treatment to make your path to recovery as smooth as possible. With a trauma-based approach in a safe, family-like environment, we offer medical detox and tailored treatment plans to help people of all ages learn more about and resolve the underlying issues that cause substance abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact us today.