When treating addiction, the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders is common. The relationship between substance abuse and mental health conditions is complex, and many people seeking recovery need specialized treatment to overcome both of these concerns. Dual-diagnosis treatment in Summerlin, Nevada, can address both disorders simultaneously and start people on the path to holistic recovery.
Prevalence of Co-Occurring DisordersWhen a person is living with both a substance use and mental health disorder, treatment professionals use the term “co-occurring disorders” to describe both conditions. Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse has shown that:
- Nearly 7.7 million people in the United States have co-occurring disorders
- 37.9% of people with a substance use disorder have a mental illness
- 18.2% of people with a mental illness have a co-occurring substance use disorder
The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Mental IllnessThe connection between addiction and mental health is bi-directional. This means that either disorder can lead to the other. When a person develops a co-occurring disorder, both problems require specialized treatment. Focusing on one problem in isolation can quickly lead to challenges that result in relapse.
Self-MedicationOne theory for why these mental health and substance use disorders so frequently co-occur is known as the self-medication hypothesis. This model explains how many people who are experiencing mental health issues seek out drugs or alcohol in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms. For example, a person experiencing depression may turn to substance abuse in order to overcome their feelings of hopelessness and fatigue or to resolve their sleep difficulties. While the substance may bring some short-term relief, it can quickly develop into drug addiction — and their mental health symptoms become progressively worse.
Substance-Induced Mental Health ProblemsThe second theory for the connection between addiction and mental health points to the fact that many people develop mental illness as a result of substance abuse. Addiction can be devastating and lead to a host of mental health consequences. In time, these negative effects of drug or alcohol addiction can become pathological, requiring mental health treatment to overcome. A person who abuses benzodiazepinesfor instance, may find that they grow more anxious when not under the influence. During early sobriety, they may experience panic attacks, social anxiety, or specific phobias.
Common Co-Occurring DisordersWhile any combination of mental illness and addiction is described as a co-occurring disorder, some mental health conditions are more prevalent than others. The most common co-occurring disorders include:
- Major depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
How Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Can HelpDual-diagnosis treatment providers offer integrated mental health and addiction services to ensure that everyone gets the individualized care they need to achieve recovery. Our dual-diagnosis treatment centers have a diverse team of addiction, mental health, and medical professionals who work together to deliver specialized care, addressing each of our client’s unique needs and building holistic health.
Behavioral TherapyBoth addiction and mental health disorders can benefit from a targeted behavioral health treatment plan.These behavioral therapiesare delivered in both one-on-one counseling and group sessions, and they might include these therapies:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Mindfulness therapy
- Narrative therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Seeking safety therapy