According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one in every eight Americans has a significant substance abuse problem, from alcohol and marijuana to cocaine and heroin. Out of those, forty percent suffer from co-occurring disorders, the presence of a mental disorder with substance abuse. Co-occurring disorders bring a unique problem to the table, and also require specialized treatment.
The Dangers of Co-Occurring Disorders
Co-occurring disorders create a difficult problem for the individual suffering. Although people may suffer from any number of psychological disorders, the most common are anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders. The cycle created by mental illness and substance abuse is dangerously self-perpetuating. Sometimes, the individual experiences a psychological disorder first, and drug abuse is a form of self-medication. Drugs take away any emotional distress, and are a quick fix for the problem. However, as drugs effect brain chemistry, they always make the mental issue worse. Although it may temporarily be pushed aside, it will come back stronger. As the suffering individual begins to experience worse psychological symptoms, they abuse substances more heavily, and the cycle is started. Also, a person may abuse drugs without a psychological disorder, and heavy use can lead them to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety. As the disorder begins to take shape, substance intake is increased in order to numb the pain. Co-occurring disorders are a hard cycle to break, and require serious treatment if one is serious about living a healthy life.
Drug Rehab for Co-Occurring Disorders
Drug rehab for co-occurring disorders demands a special type of treatment center. These programs, sometimes called dual diagnosis centers, specialize in the treatment of those with substance abuse problems and psychological issues. Drug rehab for co-occurring disorders often involves a holistic method of approach, as the person must be treated as a whole. Different forms of individual, group and family therapy allow the person to take a look at the root cause of their addiction, as well as to identify possible triggers for relapse. Some centers may also include massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Also, psychologists and psychiatrists are available in order to diagnose the mental illness and treat it appropriately. These professionals are also addiction specialists, so they are uniquely well-equipped to aid the recovering addict. Drug rehab for co-occurring disorders is necessary for those who truly are ready to live healthily and happily.
At a typical treatment facility, the patient is treated for their substance abuse problem, but their psychological disorder may be ignored or minimized. The lack of appropriate treatment is very dangerous to the recovering individual. Although the substance abuse problem may have been treated, the emotional pain is still present, and often drives people to relapse repeatedly. With proper treatment, the individual will be able to maintain their sobriety and their mental health. Many people find that their doctor recommends ongoing therapy or participation in twelve step groups, as continuing the care received at a drug rehab for co-occurring disorders may be the key to a healthy lifestyle.