Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders 101

The Treatment of Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders in Drug Rehab

addictionCo-occurring disorders in drug rehab is when you have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. Co-occurring disorders used to be called dual diagnosis. Dealing with substance abuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction is never easy, and it’s even more difficult when you’re also struggling with mental health problems, but there are treatments that can help. With proper treatment, support, and self-help strategies, you can overcome a dual diagnosis and reclaim your life.

What is an addiction?

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, an addiction is habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control. More specifically in the case of alcohol abuse, alcoholism is chronic alcohol abuse, dependence, or addiction; chronic excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages resulting in impairment of health or of social or occupational functioning, and increasing tolerance requiring increasing doses to achieve and sustain the desired effect. Symptoms of withdrawal may occur on sudden cessation of alcohol intake.

What are co-occurring disorders in drug rehab?

Formerly known as dual diagnosis or dual disorder, co-occurring disorders in drug rehab describe the presence of two or more disorders at the same time. For example, a person may suffer substance abuse as well as bipolar disorder.

How can you treat an addiction and co-occurring disorder together?

Co-occurring disorders in drug rehab are very common and because of that, there are proven treatment methods available to these clients. Most rehab facilities implement their addiction treatment models with a co-occurring disorder treatment model to create a dual-diagnosis track. This type of treatment helps people develop hope, knowledge, skills, and the support they need to manage their problems and to pursue meaningful life goals. These clients are also able to receive their prescriptions for their mental health if needed which can help them stay more balanced. A person is receiving integrated treatment because their clinician or treatment team will do several things at the same time, including:

  • Help the person think about the role that alcohol and other drugs play in their life. This should be done confidentially, without any negative consequences. People feel free to discuss these issues when the discussion is confidential, nonjudgmental, and not tied to legal consequences.

  • Offer the person a chance to learn more about alcohol and drugs, to learn about how they interact with mental illnesses and with medications, and to discuss their own use of alcohol and drugs.

  • Help the person become involved with supported employment and other services that may help the process of recovery.

  • Help the person identify and develop recovery goals. If the person decides that the use of alcohol or drugs may be a problem, a counselor trained in integrated dual disorders treatment can help the person identify and develop personalized recovery goals. This process includes learning about steps toward recovery from both illnesses.

Provide special counseling specifically designed for people with dual disorders. If the person decides that the use of alcohol or drugs may be a problem, a trained counselor can provide special counseling specifically designed for people with dual disorders. This can be done individually, with a group of peers, with family members, or with a combination of these.

If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for a co-occurring disorder then we can help. Please contact FHE Health at 844-299-0618.



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