Co-occurring disorders have been brought to a bigger light in the last few years. A co-occurring disorder means that a person has two coexisting diseases or medical conditions. With an addict, there is the substance use disorder along with a mental health disorder. In the past, addicts would be discharged from hospitals and rehabilitation centers without their mental illness being recognized. The same would go for mental illness patients being released without substance abuse being treated. Around eight million people currently have this dual diagnosis within the almost twenty-two million addicts in our country, and this statistic continues to grow.
Treatment for co-occurring disorders is of vital importance. Untreated co-occurring disorders usually leads to devastation for the addict and the addict’s family. Physical safety, health risks, and having the unnecessary tools to complete everyday tasks are the concerns of why co-occurring disorders need to be treated as soon as possible. The longer the disorder is in full effect, the more complications arise from the situation.
Treating co-occurring disorders is a process trying to figure out if the addiction or mental illness happened first. In some cases, the mental illness came first, and then the addiction became apparent. For example, a psychiatrist treating anxiety may give a patient Benzodiazepines to pacify their symptoms. The patient may become addicted to Benzodiazepines because they are predisposed to becoming addicted to drugs. In others, addiction brought out the mental illness. Anxiety, depression, and paranoia can generate over years of substance abuse. For these reasons, being in a safe and secure environment for co-occurring disorders is essential.
However, there are effective treatments for co-occurring disorders. One of the best is integrated treatment. Clients are approached with a comprehensive treatment plan which includes a set of goals and a relapse plan combining both mental health and substance use assistance all in one. This comprehensive treatment plan also makes it less confusing for the patient to have to communicate with multiple agencies or attend multiple treatment programs. Having a supportive, educated, personalized team makes for a more successful recovery when dealing with the co-occurring disorder ongoing.
Experiencing depression and anxiety is common in addition to drug and alcohol addiction. Design For Change offers a refuge for addicts and alcoholics. Promising the hope that exists in recovery, our programs are changing lives, one step at a time. For information, call: (877) 267-3646