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Co-occurring Disorder Treatment
Individuals with a dual diagnosis ( also known as a co-occurring disorder) represent a growing population in the drug and alcohol addiction community – and because of the nature of dual diagnosis (more on this later), may respond differently to drug and alcohol addiction recovery programmes. They are at a much higher risk for destructive behaviours such as self-harm and suicide. That is why patients with a co-occurring disorder must get the professional addiction treatment they need.
A dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder refers to individuals suffering from one or more medical disorders. Dual diagnosis refers to an individual with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or unhealthy behaviour (process addiction) combined with a psychological disorder such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or another mental health issue. Individuals with drug addiction as well as a major physical health problem such as AIDS or cancer are also considered to have a co-occurring disorder.
Recovery for those with a co-occurring disorder and addiction can be a challenge, which is why it is so important for the individual to seek the help of a professional treatment centre. At The Cabin, we understand that patients with co-occurring disorders need special treatment due to the psychological problems related to their addiction. Treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders is more complicated and requires therapists with experience in dealing with these cases. Not only does the clinical team at The Cabin possess a wealth of experience in the treatment of co-occurring disorder cases, but we also have strong and consistent collaboration with referring physicians for the treatment of our clients presenting with such diagnoses.
Now more than ever, individuals from all walks of life are being diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. As more individuals emerge looking for help, rehab facilities are positioning themselves to treat these complex cases. A few facts about dual diagnosis:
Dual Diagnosis occurs in individuals suffering from a wide range of addictions. The following are likely to have a co-occurring disorder:
People with a co-occurring disorder can have any number of mood or personality disorders. The most common mood and personality disorders associated with addiction include:
In more severe co-occurring disorder cases, the individuals may have multiple mood or personality disorders, creating an even greater challenge to their recovery.
Many people entering an addiction treatment centre are dealing with both a substance addiction as well as a mood disorder. Rehab centres receive patients with mood disorders ranging from depression to Bipolar. Other mood disorders include substance-induced mood disorders, anxiety disorders as well as personality disorders. Mood disorders are classified as a type of mental illness that create disturbances in thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Oftentimes, individuals suffering from mood disorders will use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. The danger in self-medication is that it tends to increase their symptoms, further fuelling depression, anxiety and other consequences of substance abuse.
Those that are addicted to substances as well as suffer from mild to extreme depression, bipolar disorder, or manic depression must recognise that they need to seek treatment for their substance addiction to recover from their depression.
Substance abuse alters the mood of the user, causing depression and other mood shifts. Those already suffering from even a mild form of depression are even more likely to dive into deeper states of depression. Oftentimes, the individual’s depression is so strong that they have thoughts of committing suicide and may act on these thoughts. Seeking the professional help of an inpatient recovery centre that has vast experience in treating co-occurring disorders and addiction is critical to beating both the addiction and the cycle of depression.
Anxiety is another form of mood disorder which could be caused by other mental health issues or prolonged outside stressors (which can cause anxiety). Relationship stress as well as family, work, finance, school and grief-related stress (even drug abuse-related stress) can all trigger anxiety.
These individuals may suffer from acute anxiety attacks (panic attacks) that can feel like near-death experiences. Oftentimes, individuals with anxiety will turn to alcohol and other drugs as a way to self-medicate. Sometimes they will even seek prescribed medication to treat their anxiety which can then turn into prescription drug addictions. Some will also choose alcohol or other pills as a way of dealing with anxiety at the onset of symptoms. Seeking the professional help of a recovery centre is critical to beating both the addiction and the cycle of anxiety.
The treatment protocol for individuals with a dual diagnosis is different from the treatment for those who are only suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or a mental health disorder.
Sadly, dual-diagnosis patients are at a much higher risk of self-harm and suicide. Treating these cases can be challenging as many of the symptoms of mental illness and addiction tend to mimic each other in the early stages of recovery. Drug and alcohol addiction also has the potential to mask a mental health problem as well as make the underlying mental health problem worse.
In treating these intricate and delicate situations, it is essential to work with a professional rehab centre that has strong experience in treating patients with co-occurring disorders and addiction. At The Cabin, we recognise the importance of understanding co-occurring disorders. While patients work through their recovery programme at our centre, we collaborate with their referring physician on their dual diagnosis to create a comprehensive aftercare plan for when they return home. Rest assured, our clients have our support throughout the entire addiction treatment and recovery process.
Those suffering from multiple addictions – or addictions combined with psychological or physical problems – represent a large portion of the population looking for rehabilitative treatment. This is why it is so important that individuals diagnosed with co-occurring disorders persevere in finding adequate treatment for their specific needs.
Always make sure that your treatment centre establishes a relationship with the referring physician and collaborates with your dual diagnosis. Select an addiction recovery centre staffed by professionals with sharp-end experience in treating individuals with co-occurring disorders and addiction.
Individuals with a dual diagnosis need comprehensive care and the rehab treatment centre should work together with other medical professionals to address the different aspects of your condition. Misdiagnosing is still common with individuals suffering from a dual diagnosis. So, working with a recovery centre that possesses a strong understanding of the various conditions within a dual-diagnosis framework is key to sustained recovery.
As with all addiction, and more so with co-occurring disorders, the sooner you or your loved one gets treatment for the disorder, the higher the chances of a successful recovery will be. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how we can help.