Co-Occurring Disorders 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 like that at Recovery in Motion is ideal for those addicted to substances who also need treatment for a co-occurring disorder.

Integrated treatment begins with screenings for both substance abuse and mental illness. This allows our therapists at Recovery in Motion to develop treatment plans to treat both substance abuse and mental illness so that people do not get excluded from treatments that they need. Our clients receive one consistent message about their treatment from therapists who are trained to treat both substance use disorders and mental illnesses. In clinical settings like Recovery in Motion where treating co-occurring disorders is normal, our clients receive care for their full range of experiences.

Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders transitions nicely through the stages of recovery for all co-occurring conditions. The 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.”

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 a 12-step program so that they can be part of a sober community that supports each other through the journey of recovery.

How Mental Illness and Addiction are Linked

While many psychiatric disorders can occur alongside drug and alcohol addiction, these are the most common:

Anxiety is a normal stress reaction but those with an Anxiety Disorder respond to stress with excessive fear and anxiety.

These brain disorders include broad mood swings from manic episodes which can include symptoms of grandiosity, agitation, elation, and delusions to depressive episodes which include low energy and low motivation.

This condition overwhelms an individual with feelings of sadness and hopelessness, making it difficult to enjoy or even participate in things they did previously.

A person with OCD usually experiences recurring obsessions and compulsions characterized by repetitive behaviors.

This occurs in people who have been involved in or witnessed a traumatic event, PTSD produces intense and disturbing emotional reactions related to the experience.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America describes Social Anxiety Disorder as an intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.

Substance abuse can create or aggravate psychiatric disorders and psychiatric disorders can be originated from substance abuse. Regardless of which came first, addiction and psychiatric experts agree that simultaneous treatment is the most effective method for long-term healing and managing symptoms.

Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

Just as an individual can have more than one physical illness at the same time, he or she can suffer from more than one addiction or mental illness. It is very common for addicts to have co-occurring disorders. Mental illness and substance abuse heighten each other so integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders is important for healing. Concurrent treatment for all psychiatric disorders increases your 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. This research shows that suicide attempts and relapse events are decreased, raising the likelihood of long-term recovery.

The dual-diagnosis treatment programs at Recovery in Motion are Nationally Accredited by the Joint Commission. As part of our treatment programs, we educate our clients and families on what having a co-occurring disorder means and how medications help. This helps our clients better understand themselves and feel understood by their loved ones. When we understand our health conditions, we are better able to find long-lasting health and recovery.

Dual diagnosis treatment isn’t necessary for every person but for many people, addiction treatment is the first time they become aware of their co-occurring disorders. A co-occurring disorder diagnosis can be challenging but also a relief because it might explain past behaviors and why substance abuse became a problem.

You are more likely to relapse if conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or PTSD aren’t treated as part of recovery from addiction. Many people first turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their mental health symptoms. It’s common to turn to substances again if you don’t treat your mental illness as well. People who treat their co-occurring disorders together are often more motivated to continue their recovery because they have the tools to manage their mental illness. Dual diagnosis treatment helps you address all of your symptoms and underlying trauma so that you can heal and are less likely to relapse.


What to Expect

At Recovery in Motion, we use cognitive behavioral therapy as the basis for our co-occurring disorder treatment program. When we are treating multiple mental health disorders, recovery looks different for everyone. Recovery from substance abuse is a lifelong journey that starts with sobriety and continues through forming healthy habits and managing triggers. Mental health treatment includes a combination of therapy, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and sometimes medication. CBT helps you reframe your thoughts to positively impact your actions and decisions.

Contingency management is another significant component of treating people with co-occurring disorders. Clinicians work with you to set goals to help you form meaningful habits. For example, your goals could be abstinence from drugs and alcohol, attending two group therapy meetings per week, and consistently taking your medication. Your therapists will work with you to develop a series of rewards that replace the feelings you would have gotten from drugs and alcohol.

You may also take part in role-playing sessions that help you prepare for triggering events and possible relapses. Instead of feeling shame around relapsing, your therapist will work with you on your next steps to get you back on track in recovery. They will make note of your lifestyle and identify unhealthy patterns that you might have been unaware of before treatment. Recovery in Motion is dedicated to helping people find long-term recovery from mental health conditions and addiction. The life you’ve always wanted is within your reach and we’re here to guide you. Contact us today at (866) 418-1070.