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Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Programs

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A man in co-occurring disorder treatmentOn its own, drug addiction can be devastating. Complicating matters is the fact that it’s often accompanied by other mental illness conditions, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When two or more mental illnesses occur at the same time, they are described as co-occurring disorders or co-morbid conditions. When this happens,  co-occurring disorder treatment is the most appropriate option to achieve long-term recovery. 

A few mental illnesses that often coincide with drug addiction include: 

  • Schizophrenia 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Compulsion disorders 
  • PTSD 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Bipolar disorder 

If you are, or someone you love is, struggling with addiction, it is important to understand co-occurring disorders so you can receive the very best treatment available, such as mental health treatment in Augusta, MI

Co-Occurring Disorders Can Be Difficult to Diagnose 

The diagnosis of a co-occurring disorder may seem like a reason for drug addiction. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy, or even possible, to determine which issue came first—the co-occurring disorder or the addiction. 

To determine the best treatment program for each person, however, trained and experienced care providers can perform evidence-based diagnostic tests when the individual reaches out for treatment. This way, every aspect of care is directed to treating the entire person, rather than only addressing the addiction issues on their own. 

Co-occurring Disorder Treatment Plans Must Be Flexible 

In some cases, an individual may suffer from a mental illness before engaging in drug abuse. As their addiction grows, their mental illness—the one that existed prior to addiction—may become worse. When this happens, upon admittance to a treatment facility, they may be provided with a treatment plan that addresses the symptoms as they are presented.  

After recovery has begun, however, the original illness may begin to wane. The symptoms may not be as severe because they are no longer being fed by the addiction and illicit drugs. This does not mean that they are no longer in need of treatment. Rather, it’s still important to treat both the addiction and the original, pre-existing co-occurring disorder so that neither condition will be a danger to the other. This is why it is so important that a treatment plan be flexible. During treatment, the levels of care can be raised or lowered depending on the primary needs of each resident. 

Co-Occurring Disorders Require Simultaneous Care 

For simplicity’s sake, it may seem like a good idea to tackle one major issue at a time. For instance, if drug addiction seems to be posing more problems than an anxiety disorder like OCD, one might think that treating the addiction issue is more important. Likewise, if individuals are suffering from depression to the point of possibly harming themselves, one might think that simply cutting off their supply of drugs by checking into a residential treatment facility would be enough—that concentration should be placed on the depression and the drug addiction can be dealt with later. 

Unfortunately, the easy road is not always the best route. Research has shown that it is better to treat both mental illnesses at the same time to allow for the best prognosis in the long run. When an individual is being treated at a residential facility—actually living in a place of healing and understanding—they can concentrate on these multiple issues while they experience the total submersion of around-the-clock treatment. 

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the most effective types of care for drug addiction treatment involves inpatient or residential therapy. This type of treatment plan can be long-term, lasting for months, a year, or longer, or short-term, typically spanning the course of several weeks or a month. An inpatient program for the treatment of co-occurring disorders offers several added benefits that may not be available when an individual chooses to continue working or to live at home: 

  • Inpatient care offers emotional, physical, and psychological support 24 hours each day and night with staff on hand at all times to address issues. 
  • Residential care removes some of the burdens of daily life, such as consistent responsibilities and pressure from friends, family, or work. 
  • Residential treatment facilities can offer complementary therapies, such as relaxation techniques for spiritual, emotional, and physical pain relief. 
  • Inpatient care features private, sedate surroundings that are conducive to the healing process. 
  • Healing and recovery become priorities as the individual is completely immersed in the recovery process. 

For some individuals, inpatient treatment is not an option for any number of reasons. Intensive outpatient programs are also available. These programs allow for intensive individual, group, and family therapy while the individual meets obligations to family or vocational pursuits. 

Types of Therapy for Dual Diagnosis 

Treating a co-occurring disorder is a little different than treatment for other chronic diseases. Individuals who suffer from diabetes, for instance, may need to adjust their diet and exercise or take medication to control aspects of the disease.  

While medication is also an option for some individuals suffering from co-occurring mental illnesses, several types of psychological counseling may also be involved, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and family therapy. Each of these types of therapy for co-occurring disorders can come together under the care and compassionate reassurance of trained, experienced professionals to create a safe and nurturing environment for the person in recovery. 

Getting Help for Co-Occurring Disorders 

Each person’s needs are different and unique. Regardless of the type of treatment that is right for you, the most important goal is to get the help you need, or your loved one needs, to overcome the negative effects of a co-occurring disorder. According to the evidence, the earlier an intervention occurs, the better the prognosis will be for recovery. Therefore, call us today at 269.280.4673 or reach out online to get started on your recovery journey.