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Just as an individual can have more than one physical illness at the same time, he or she can have multiple mental disorders simultaneously as well. In those who suffer from an addiction, it is not uncommon for co-occurring disorders to be present also.
Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders is important for complete healing as each one heightens the other. Concurrent treatment for all psychiatric disorders increases one’s potential for long-term substance abuse recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has collected research that illustrates the value and effectiveness of a combined treatment strategy for co-occurring disorders. Evidence shows that suicide attempts and relapse events are decreased, raising the likelihood of long-term recovery.
Our facilities in Arizona are state licensed, dual-diagnosis programs that are Nationally Accredited with the Joint Commission – the gold standard of accreditation for hospitals and treatment centers in America.
As part of the treatment programs for co-occurring disorders at Recovery in Motion, patients and their families are educated about what having a co-occurring disorder means, as well as how medications help. This education ensures patients, and the underlying causes of their addiction, are better understood by their loved ones. When the real health conditions are understood, patients have a much better chance for long-lasting recovery.
While dual diagnosis treatment isn’t necessary for every patient, many do become aware of their co-occurring disorder for the first time in addiction treatment. This can be both challenging and a relief for patients and their families at the same time, as a co-occurring disorder diagnosis can provide many answers to past behaviors and why substance abuse became a problem.
While there are many psychiatric disorders that could occur alongside drug and alcohol addiction, these are the most common:
Substance abuse can create or aggravate psychiatric disorders and psychiatric disorders can be originated by substance abuse. Regardless of which came first, addiction and psychiatric experts agree that simultaneous treatment is the most effective for long-term healing and management of symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the backbone of the co-occurring disorder treatment program at Recovery in Motion. When treating multiple mental health disorders, the word “recovery” is defined differently for each context. Recovering from substance abuse is an ongoing intention that begins immediately after treatment and continues throughout life. Other mental health treatments view recovery as progressive, advancing through stages in which behavioral goals are accomplished.
Contingency management is also a significant component to healing one with a co-occurring disorder. To help our patients form meaningful habits that will later be part of a healthy lifestyle, clinicians often develop a set of goals that have consequences and rewards.
For example, goals can consist of abstinence from drugs or alcohol, group therapy meeting participation, taking medications appropriately or other goals that pertain specifically to the patient. These therapy sessions also provide the patient with mental health education with his or her co-occurring disorders at the forefront.
Patients in treatment for co-occurring disorders also benefit from role-playing in sessions that help one to prepare for unexpected opportunities to relapse and a study of the patient’s lifestyle that may reveal unhealthy patterns he or she was unaware of before treatment.
Almost 30 percent of people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Of those, 37 percent are alcoholics and 53 percent are addicted to drugs. Over eight studies done in the past three decades show that integrated treatment is ideal for those addicted to substances while also needing treatment for a co-occurring disorder.
Maintaining healthy habits to help keep symptoms of addiction and other mental health disorders at bay are key to life-long recovery. After treatment, it is common for patients to participate in the 12-step program in which the sober community supports each other through their journey to the life they always wanted.
This works well with integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders as well; it transitions nicely through the stages of recovery for both or all co-occurring conditions. National Center for Biotechnology Information has found that “12-step participation was effective for reducing substance use and mental illness because the social support provided by the 12-step programs helped the patient stay in recovery.”
If conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or PTSD aren’t treated as part of recovery from addiction, relapse is likely. Because patients often turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and calm symptoms of their co-occurring conditions, they will likely keep doing so until the symptoms of their mental illness are under control. This is why dual diagnosis treatment is the only way to provide patients with co-occurring mental health issues with hope against relapse.
Treating co-occurring disorders simultaneously heightens one’s motivation to continue in recovery for substance abuse treatment aftercare for an extended period of time. Many have found a stronger conviction in staying clean and sober when they are not also suffering from the symptoms of another mental health disorder.
Recovery in Motion is dedicated to long-term recovery from mental health conditions. The life you’ve always wanted for is within your reach and we’re here to guide you through the healing process. Contact us today to get started.