When an individual is suffering from both substance abuse and a mental health condition, the illness is referred to as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. One example of a co-occurring disorder could be an addiction to opiates while also suffering from anxiety. Battling a dual diagnosis makes treating each condition much more difficult. Those with this condition are less likely to follow through with their medication treatments, which is likely to result in damaging side effects for both illnesses.
If you or someone you know is battling with a co-occurring disorder, contact the professionals at Drug Rehab Oklahoma City for expert advice or to find out more about the programs offered at this facility.
The Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Connection
There are several reasons why addiction and mental illness are regularly linked. Some of the more common examples include:
Onset of symptoms: For some, abusing drugs and/or alcohol causes the onset of mental health symptoms that may have been suppressed for some time, while others become stressed or depressed due to their continuing drug use. Self-medication: Those with a mental illness may abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a means to cope with or self-medicate in order to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of their mental health disorder. One worsens the other: Drugs and alcohol usually have a negative impact on one’s mental well-being and the medicines they are taking. For instance, alcohol is likely to make anti-depressants less effective.
Mental Health Disorders Commonly Associated With Addiction
Some examples of drug addictions and mental health disorders that are commonly linked include:
Depression: Depression causes individuals to feel hopeless, sad, and helpless. It is most common with those suffering from depression to engage in alcohol abuse.
Anxiety: Anxiety describes the feeling of being nervous, on edge, or constantly stressed, normally at a greater level than is appropriate given the situation. This condition typically causes one to use opiates in order to ease symptoms of the condition. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Those who suffer from PTSD have experienced a traumatic experience, such as abuse, war, or a natural disaster. Alcohol and benzodiazepine abuse is a common substance of choice for individuals with this disorder. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a fixation or need to create routine or order. These individuals are likely to attempt escape from obsessive thoughts through opiate or tranquilizer abuse to ease their symptoms. Eating Disorders: Eating disorders include binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia, and occur when an individual either has a warped view of his or her weight or cannot control their eating. Furthermore, one may also be battling depression and/or anxiety due to body image issues and may also abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a way to cope with their feelings.
Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders Those facing co-occurring disorders are treated for both their substance abuse condition and their mental health illness. They are first encouraged to enroll in a safe, medically supervised detox program to rid their bodies of dangerous substances and treat the dependency issue of their disease. They are then transferred to a formal residential facility where both of their addiction and mental health struggles are addressed and treated through relapse prevention methods including individual and group therapy, education, and aftercare programs to help ensure a permanent recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, call Drug Rehab Oklahoma City at (405) 648-4844 for advice and/or more information on dual diagnosis treatment options available to you.