In many instances, substance abuse and dependency is coupled with a separate but simultaneous disorder. This disorder is frequently psychological – depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are all common co-occurring disorders. It is typical for men and women with addictive personalities to also engage in other behavioral addictions while abusing drugs or alcohol. These may include gambling addictions, addictions revolving around food (anorexia, bulimia, or overeating), compulsive shopping, or sex addiction. Up until recently, the treatment of substance abuse was entirely separate from the treatment of psychological disorders. Different therapeutic methods were employed, and care was delivered at entirely different facilities. It was not until recently that addiction specialists teamed up with psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, formulating teams that would simultaneously treat substance dependency and dual diagnosis disorders.
Why Are Co-Occurring Disorders So Prevalent?
Most individuals who suffer from substance dependency also suffer from some dual diagnosis disorder. It is not uncommon for those suffering from symptoms of depression and/or anxiety to find immense relief in the effects of alcohol and illicit substances. Those with any sort of psychological or mood disorder who go undiagnosed and untreated are liable to begin using drugs and alcohol accordingly in order to alleviate feelings and emotions that are either uncomfortable or overwhelming. The US Department of Health and Human Services currently estimates that somewhere around 5% of the total American population suffers from a severe psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder. Out of this population, over 7 million individuals battle severe substance dependency. The treatment of co-occurring disorders is absolutely pertinent in protecting this group of citizens from stigma, isolation, poverty, illness, and incarceration.
Treating Co-Occurring and Dual Diagnosis Disorders
Fortunately, the realization that substance abuse is frequently linked to mental disorder has lead to the establishment of numerous dual diagnosis disorder treatment facilities throughout the nation in recent years. Help is now available for those who are addicted to a chemical substance and who suffer from an underlying disorder simultaneously. Both afflictions are treated in the same facility at the same time, thus the process of healing is comprehensive, thorough, and lasting. If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol while potentially attempting to cope with an underlying mental disorder, please feel free to call one of our trained representatives for a complete list of potential treatment options today.