Diagnosing, Understanding And Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Diagnosing, Understanding And Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

What A Co-Occurring Disorder Is

Individuals who struggle with substance abuse sometimes struggle with mental health disorders as well. Called co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis, they can sometimes be difficult to diagnose.

Mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders are often entwined due to the ability of some drugs to mask or relieve some symptoms of mental illness. Unfortunately alcohol or other drugs do more than fail to treat an existing mental health disorder; they also make it difficult to develop appropriate and effective coping skills.

Types Of Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders can be the combination of multiple drug and/or alcohol addictions, multiple mental health diseases, or a combination of a mental health disorder and simultaneous substance abuse.

Substance abuse is diagnosed when dependence on drugs or alcohol interferes with the ability to function at work, school, and in social settings. It is also diagnosed when substance use creates or worsens a medical condition or when substance use occurs in dangerous situations.

Common mental health disorders found in chemically dependent people include mood related disorders and anxiety related disorders. Individuals with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia may have higher instances of co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

Patterns of behavior apparent in persons with co-occurring disorders can include worsening mental health symptoms even during consistent treatment, self-medication with illegal drug substances, and substance abuse that proves resistant to treatment.

How AMHC Can Help

At Advantage Mental Health Center we have a team of highly skilled and qualified physicians who work tirelessly and compassionately to create an individualized treatment plan to help patients cope with co-occurring dependencies. Because the need for assistance in these situations is urgent, we’re available to see most new patients in a week or less.

We use integrated recovery plans to treat co-occurring disorders simultaneously for maximum results. Behavior recovery plans, medication therapy, and other treatment options form the foundation for a lifetime of better living with help from our caring professionals. There is hope, and we’re here to help.