More than half of individuals struggling with their mental health simultaneously develop substance use disorders. In the past, these entailed distinct treatment protocols, meaning that patients often bounced back and forth between treatment programs, with minimal overall success. We now have a much better understanding of co-occurring disorders and the need for clients to address mental and physical health concerns for a successful recovery.
Although these programs may require more intensive care, expert treatment is available with dedicated specialists at Gulf Breeze Recovery. Contact our team at 833.551.2304 to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and our holistic, comprehensive approach to restoring our clients’ overall well-being.
The Relationship Between Mental Health and Addiction
A history of self-medication or treating medical or psychiatric conditions without a doctor’s prescription can indicate a client who is more predisposed to co-occurring disorders. This is because taking unregulated drugs can obscure the signs of progressive mental illness. Therefore, individuals living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are highly susceptible to developing substance abuse disorders.
In addition, those with a substance use disorder may be adversely affecting their neurological function, inadvertently causing drug-induced brain changes. For example, depending on the substances being consumed, they may be exacerbating existing mood regulation problems or compromising the regions of the brain associated with impulse control.
Due to these factors, individuals with co-occurring disorders are more likely to experience negative drug interactions, develop a violent criminal record, undergo serial hospitalizations, fail to obtain basic needs like housing, or become contracted with communicable illnesses such as HIV or Hepatitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders?
Many of the signs and symptoms of substance use and mental health problems are similar, so it is ideal for diagnosing and treating each in isolation when possible.
Risk factors for both substance abuse disorders and co-occurring disorders include a broad array of diagnosable conditions, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
Some behavioral patterns to look for:
- Extreme emotional highs and lows, such as alternating mania and depression
- Changes in eating, sleeping habits, or libido
- Social withdrawal from friends and family
- Cessation of formerly beloved hobbies or other activities
- Difficulty concentrating or memory loss
- Suicidal ideation
- The emergence of risky new behaviors, such as promiscuity or gambling
- Complaints of physical malaise or symptoms without apparent cause
- Frequent absence or poor performance in the workplace
- Visible increase in tolerance to the effects of drugs or alcohol
- Unexplained fear or paranoia
Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
New, more comprehensive approaches are available for clients with co-occurring disorders, and it is no longer necessary to treat individual disorders separately. In fact, new research suggests that integrated approaches addressing medical, psychological, emotional, and physical needs (such as financial rehabilitation or instruction on how to return to the workplace) are actually more successful in the long run.
Some patients may benefit from psychopharmaceutical therapies, which can be highly effective when administered under close medical supervision. Others will require medically managed detox assistance, cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy to learn how to re-connect with others, and educational programs to offer clients practice in their own self-care. For most clients, recovery will involve a combination of these methods, strategically scaffolded to allow clients to graduate between stages in treatment.
Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Successful rehab does not only entail drug or alcohol detox; you must acquire certain tools to actively work towards ongoing health and happiness to rebuild your life. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we offer a holistic, integrated approach to dual diagnosis treatment, supporting you in your efforts towards recovery. Call our team at 833.551.2304 to see how we can help you start on a new path to wellness and permanent change.