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Co-occurring Disorders/”Dual Diagnoses”

If someone has both addiction and a mental health disorder, they are classified as having co-occurring disorders (a.k.a. “dual diagnoses”). These disorders impact nearly every aspect of an individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. At Origins, we know that co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders impact one another and must be treated together.

Co-occurring Disorders Are Common – You Are Not Alone

According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), about 45% of Americans seeking addiction treatment have been diagnosed as having co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. This includes mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. These conditions must be treated simultaneously alongside the disease of addiction in order to achieve sustained recovery. After primary addiction treatment, an aftercare plan will recommend continuing care options to address such conditions.

Co-occurring conditions that are often occur alongside addiction are:

  • Mood disorders: Clinical depression is debilitating to normal life function. Along with anxiety, it is the primary co-occurring diagnosis cited by people with addiction. Anxiety includes a large spectrum of emotional experiences, from stressful reactions to everyday situations to extreme anxiety such as PTSD.
  • PTSD: Both men and women suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is precipitated by traumatic experiences in one’s life. Many women in drug and alcohol treatment have been the victim of some form of verbal and physical abuse. Disassociation from self and events, anger, depression, high anxiety, and insomnia are some symptoms of PTSD.
  • Process addictions: Shopping, gambling, disordered eating and sex process addictions often co-occur with a substance use disorder. They may be cross-addicting behaviors that exacerbate one another.
  • Personality disorders: These include borderline personality disorders (BPD), histrionic, and narcissistic disorders. Other examples might be obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, schizoid, avoidant, and dependent personality disorder.
Addiction Is Complex – Integrated Treatment Is Key

Integrated treatment is comprehensive programming that offers all of the therapeutic resources necessary to help the individual heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is no one cause of addiction, though living with a mental health disorder may increase the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder — and vice versa. Everyone is different. In some cases, a mental health disorder predates the development of a drug or alcohol abuse. In other cases, mental health symptoms are not apparent until after addiction has taken hold — sometimes, these conditions are exacerbated or worsened by drug use.

A comprehensive treatment plan for people with co-occurring disorders should include:

  • Evidence-based therapies
  • Medical care (including medication, when appropriate)
  • Psych services
  • Case management
  • Family education and programming
  • Life skills training
  • Spiritual support

Every client deserves a treatment plan designed with their individual needs in mind.

Treatment at Origins Begins with an Assessment

At Origins, each of our patients takes part in thorough behavioral health assessments to ensure that all substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders are diagnosed and treated. We develop individual treatment plans that are designed to meet the unique needs of every patient. Through rigorous assessment, each individual is given a plan for healing that guides the way to sustained recovery.

Origins’ Addiction Specialists Include Physicians, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists

To be effective, co-occurring disorders must be treated at the same time, in the same place, by the same treatment team. Our expertly trained professionals treat co-occurring disorders through multi-disciplinary, medically intensive programming. Together, our treatment teams attend not only to the physical and mental needs of our clients but the psychological and spiritual needs as well. This highly specialized, integrated treatment model has been shown to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life.

People Can and Do Recover

While there is no cure for any mental health disorder, including addiction, many go on to lead incredible lives filled with hope and courage. Numerous research-based therapies and treatment interventions have been proven to be effective in treating those who are living with co-occurring diagnoses. The key is receiving personalized treatment that is intensive and integrated. When long-term support and therapeutic interventions are applied, people with co-occurring disorders can recover.

At Origins, we know that co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders impact one another and must be treated together. Mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness is central to recovery.