A co-occurring mental health disorder is diagnosed in addition to a Substance Use Disorder. This is sometimes referred to as a dual diagnosis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately half of people with a mental health disorder will also experience a Substance Use Disorder in their lifetime. The same is true for those with a Substance Use Disorder.
It’s unclear which causes the other, but the connections between the two are likely multi-faceted. People with mental health disorders may turn to substances to alleviate emotional pain and discomfort. At the same time, many substances exacerbate the symptoms of mental health disorders. For example, chronic alcohol use can increase symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. People with untreated co-occurring disorders often wind up in a vicious cycle of continued use and increased or intensified symptoms.
There are high rates of co-occurrence between substance use and Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders, ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Schizophrenia. People with Schizophrenia have higher rates of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders than the general population.
Co-occurring disorders used to be treated separately. However, for the past few decades, it has become more common to treat the two disorders together. It is important to do so for a number of reasons. It’s difficult to treat a mental health disorder if a person is still using substances. In addition, if a person is only treated for a Substance Use Disorder and not a co-occurring mental health disorder, they may relapse to self-medicate.
If you are suffering from a substance use and co-occurring mental health disorder, it is important to seek treatment at a place that can treat co-occurring disorders. Places like these will not only get you off substances; they will help you process the root causes of your addiction while treating your mental health disorder.
At Amatus Recovery Centers, we offer high-quality, individualized treatment for substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. At our facilities across the country, we will help you build the tools to thrive in long-term recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. To find out more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.