Co-Occurring Disorders

cooccuring disorders

What are co-occurring disorders? A disorder of this type is one that results in a person having a substance use disorder as well as a mental health disorder. Co-occurring disorders are also commonly called dual diagnosis. These types of disorders are actually very common among those seeking treatment in an addiction treatment program or a mental health setting. It is estimated that at least half of those with an addiction suffer from a mental health disorder or vice versa. Of the 11 million people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, nearly 6 million of those are individuals with a dual diagnosis. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association 37% of alcoholics and 53% of drug dependents also have at least one serious mental illness. Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29% are chemically dependent.

What causes Co-occurring Disorders?

Research suggests that some cases of dual diagnosis are related to genetics, however not all cases are caused by this. Scientists cannot fully explain why a mental health disorder occurs; however there are theories that suggest stress and biological vulnerability work together and attribute to mental disorders.

Biological vulnerability refers to how easily one will develop a specific condition. People can acquire mental disorders early in their life. There are genetic deficiencies that can affect a person in this manner (even in the womb). For some, the mental disorders are a result of drug use during their mother’s pregnancy. Over 42,000 babies suffer from fetal alcohol affects every year.

Studies found that those with mental health disorders are more biologically sensitive to the effects of drugs and alcohol. They have also found that those with mental health disorders use these substances as a means of self medication and are twice as likely to develop an addiction.

Effective Treatment of the Disorder

A person suffering from an addictive disorder typically goes to a rehabilitation center. A person with a mental health disorder finds their treatment through a specialized mental health facility. So what happens when someone has both disorders and must treat them at the same time? A co-occurring disorder treatment facility must be found for the best outcome. The purpose of this facility is to treat both disorders together to get favored results. Integrated treatment can provide the foundation for lifelong recovery from addiction and mental disorders. There are many services that are provided in a dual diagnosis recovery center to help you in your recovery journey. Services range from counseling and therapy to finding the appropriate medication regimen. Peer support is included, along with after care/alumni services, case management and individual counseling.

Co-occurring disorders are more common than one may think. If you or someone that you love is suffering from co-occurring disorders, finding help is a call or click away to a specialized treatment facility. At New Directions for Women, our multidisciplinary treatment team is comprised of Master’s Level Licensed Therapists and Certified Addiction Counselors who are passionate about providing comprehensive, individualized residential rehab and intensive outpatient addiction treatment. New Directions for Women is located in Southern California in Costa Mesa next to Newport Beach’s Back Bay preserve. We offer help to women, pregnant women, women with children and families who desire a similar result. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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