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When a substance addiction disorder coexists with a mental health disorder, the result is called a ‘co-occurring disorder,’ or otherwise referred to as a ‘dual diagnosis.’ Some of the most common mental health problems that co-occur with drug and alcohol addiction include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Attention Deficit Disorder
Research by Mental Health America reveals that one in every three people with depression also suffers from one form of drug or alcohol abuse or another. This ratio on co-occurring disorders translates to a figure of roughly 7.9 million adults in the US, based on a 2014 national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Understanding the Nature of Co-Occurring Disorders
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, admits that specific reasons behind the frequent coincidence of mental health disorders and addiction are yet to be pinpointed. However, the epidemiological research underscores the obvious fact that addiction contributes to mental health issues, and vice versa. Evidence shows that the initial abuse of drugs increases the chances of developing psychiatric disorders and accelerating their progress.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., or NCADD, further emphasizes that co-occurring disorders have a significant effect and interaction with each other, requiring a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment plan which addresses both the addiction and the mental health issue.
Essential Points on Mental Health Disorders and Addiction
(a) Mental health disorders result from a multifaceted host of factors such as genetic predisposition, environment, and other external factors. For at-risk persons who have mental health disorder tendencies, adding substance abuse to the problem can push them over the edge, further increasing and triggering even more symptoms.
(b) Drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two are commonly used as self-medication by people suffering from anxiety and depression. ” While using does provide temporary relief, the adverse effects of substance abuse further exacerbate a person’s symptoms of anxiety or depression.
(c) An undiagnosed and untreated mental health issue aggravates an already existing addiction problem as well. Furthermore, an alcohol or drug abuse that remains unaddressed and untreated makes whatever coexisting mental health issue far worse than it already is when on its own. In other words, co-occurring disorders have a direct correlation with each other, regardless of which problem came first.
One huge factor that complicates the issue of co-occurring disorders is denial, which is but a common denominator in patients who refuse to seek treatment. A person struggling with drugs or alcohol, or afflicted with anxiety or depression, may often downplay and ignore symptoms. However, said symptoms don’t go away on their own, and the condition will progress downhill when left unaddressed, undiagnosed and untreated. Therefore, it is critical that you seek intervention from our drug and alcohol rehab specialists at Ranch Creek Recovery.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA: “The consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring disorders can lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing homelessness, incarceration, medical illnesses, suicide, or even early death.”
Ranch Creek Recovery, therefore, encourages you or your loved one to seek help ASAP and thus steer clear of the effects of untreated co-occurring disorders.
The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Treatment
- Co-occurring disorders addressed alongside each other better ensures positive addiction recovery progress. Early diagnosis is imperative in improving the medical condition, quality of life and general outlook of the person afflicted.
- Psychotherapy and alternative treatments, in combination, is a time-tested and proven formula that successfully treats eight out of ten people afflicted with depression.
What Ranch Creek Recovery Offers
Our specialized program for co-occurring disorders is designed to include individual and group sessions, cognitive therapy sessions, as well as a holistic and experiential therapy approach conducted by our drug and alcohol rehab professionals who have over 20 years of experience. Call our treatment specialists now for a free and confidential assessment.