Why Does Treating Addiction Involve Both Physical and Mental Healthcare?

At least 45 percent of people who have an addiction disorder suffer from a co-occurring mental health condition, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Likewise, reports that appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveal that 50% of individuals suffering from acute mental health issues have addictive disorders.

Because substance abuse disorders (SUD) and mental health disorders often occur together, those who have what is known as a dual-diagnosis of co-occurring addictive and mental health conditions need specialized treatment plans that fully encompass and treat their disorders as the intertwined issues they are. When you are dealing with a mental health condition your substance use disorder often becomes worse, and vise-versa. Therefore, having a treatment plan that addresses both the physical and mental health issues that you are experiencing is incredibly important for your long-term recovery and success.

Diagnosing and Treating Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

It is important that addiction treatment involves mental healthcare because oftentimes the psychological disorder is a fundamental aspect of an individual developing an addiction by way of self-medicating. Treating the mental health condition is, therefore, an integral part of treating the addiction. There are several psychological conditions that consistently co-occur with substance use disorders, including the following: attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.

Common symptoms and warning signs of co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders include, but are not limited to, the following: Denial and refusal to seek help. Frequently feeling sad or anxious. Difficulty managing responsibilities. Erratic, impulsive behaviors and delusional thinking. A history of abuse and/or trauma, especially if unresolved. A family history of addiction and/or mental health conditions. Previous diagnosis of mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. A connection between your substance use and mental health (if you become depressed during or after drinking alcohol, for instance). Using drugs or alcohol to try to control your moods, face certain situations, stay focused, and/or cope with difficult and painful memories.

There are a variety of ways in which co-occurring disorders are treated. To treat mental health conditions, you’ll likely participate in individual and group therapy. Lifestyle changes and medication are also a common aspect of mental health treatment plans. In terms of substance abuse treatment, the process might first involve medical detox in order to allow you to safely withdrawal from any substances you have been using, followed by inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, lifestyle changes, individual therapy, and regular participation in support groups and meetings.

When selecting a treatment program, it is important that they have experience in utilizing research-based methods to treat your specific disorders, are licensed, accredited, have a great reputation, and solid aftercare program. An effective program for treating co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders should include the following aspects:

• Comprehensive treatment of each disorder you are dealing with, including education about your disorders, any related issues, and aftercare assistance.

• Consistent individual therapy, group therapy, and various exercises that teach you healthy coping skills and better ways in which to deal with the stressors and challenges that occur in everyday life, while also fostering healthy relationships and minimizing your risk for substance abuse.

• You should be actively involved in the decisions that are made regarding your treatment and also in goal-setting and developing strategies for your continued success in recovery.

It is important to remember that there is always hope for recovery. Treatment is one phone call away. Dealing with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders is extraordinarily difficult, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Many people who suffer from co-occurring disorders have overcome their obstacles and gone on to lead incredibly happy and fulfilling lives, and you can too. The longer your disorders go untreated, the harder everyday life becomes for you. Are you ready to get help and make a change? We specialize in treating co-occurring disorders at our highly-regarded treatment center. By treating both your mental health and addiction disorders at the same time, you will have the greatest chance of long-term success. Our caring counselors are available to help you 24 hours a day. So please pick up the phone and call 800-411-8019, today.