Written by: Admin
How Should Addiction Treatment Address Co-Occurring Disorders?
The brain and body have a highly complex relationship. Because of these complexities, it should not come as a surprise that substance abuse and addiction have a huge impact on the brain. Substance abuse can instigate, develop, and sometimes even cover up symptoms of other mental conditions. And because addictive substances influence the brain and its chemistry, it can be difficult to identify the root cause of a person’s struggles. This is where co-occurring disorders (CODs) come in.
A co-occurring disorder accompanies or “co-occurs” with a diagnosis of substance abuse disorder (SUD) or addiction. CODs can be psychological, emotional, and even physical in nature. Another name for CODs are “dual disorders” or “dual diagnoses.” As far as recovery from addiction goes, the most effective substance abuse treatments focus on each client’s disorders individually, as well as how they interact with each other.
But just how prevalent are CODs among those struggling with addiction and substance abuse? A recent study found that 50-70% of clients in treatment for substance abuse disorder in the last ten years had histories of at least one psychological disorder. The reverse was true for those in treatment for psychological conditions. Between 20-50% of clients had current or past histories with addiction or substance abuse. With this in mind, it’s essential that an addiction recovery center addresses CODs as a part of their treatment plans.
But there are barriers to addressing CODs in clinical settings. According to one study, these barriers include:
There is a clear need for specific interventions that address CODs for those in addiction recovery. But how to achieve these treatments is not always so simple.
Many CODs can be quite severe or clearly expressed. These include conditions like personality disorders, behavioral disorders and psychotic disorders. Other CODs are less obvious and may just look like mild cases of anxiety or depression. When it comes to substance abuse and addiction, CODs more commonly refer to psychological disorders.
The broad categories of CODs include but are not limited to the following:
Like any complex diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of CODs vary based on each person. For example, socioeconomic circumstances and the types of substances they are abusing are only two examples. As such, the types of mental-emotional disorders can express CODs in drastically different ways.
In general, some of the behavioral symptoms of CODs may include:
Do many of the signs of CODs seem similar to those of addiction and substance abuse? Indeed, there is significant overlap between CODs and SUDs. Because of this, it can be tough to identify the source of a person’s issue. In other words, the mental disorder may be triggering the substance abuse or vice versa.
Addiction treatment centers are one of the best places to start if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and CODs. As a starting point, a treatment center will first provide a dual-diagnosis, which involves treating any underlying causes of addiction. In other words, they can treat mental and emotional disorders alongside the person’s substance abuse patterns.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to reach out for help as soon as possible. Get in touch with one of the team at Impact Recovery today. You can begin the healing process necessary to turn your life around.