What is Co-Occurring Disorder?
Co-occurring disorders are when people suffer from both mental illness and substance abuse. An undiagnosed mental illness can offer lead to substance abuse as many turn to substance use as a coping method. In fact, the total number of American adults with co-occurring disorders is estimated at nearly 8.5 million by the NIH.
Understanding the co-occurring disorders is an important first step to overcoming this crimpling condition.
Effects of Leaving Co-Occurring Disorders Untreated
Living in a life of suffering, co-occurring disorders leads to compounding effects. Many that suffer struggle to live normal lives because of their abusive relationship with substances overtake their abilities to perform at work and have a toxic effect on relationships. In the beginning, the substances help users suppress the effect they feel from mental illness. This begins the ruthless cycle of constant down and up trying to avoid both the mental illness and the withdrawal symptoms from the substance. Many find themselves in trouble with the law or in a hole that they can’t find a way out of. In many cases, people eventually take their own lives.
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatments
1. Understand the relationship between mental illness and the substance use
Co-Occurring disorders need to be treated differently than if they were stand-alone issues. Often people focus on the substance use and overlook the underlining mental illness. This leads to the users restoring back to the substance to self-medicate to suppress the mental illness.
Starting co-occurring treatment the goal is to identify both disorders and make sure they are both properly treated. This helps people who suffer from co-occurring disorders take control of their mental illness and provides other coping mechanisms. In turn, helping them avoid the once-abusive relationship with substances.
2. Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Starting the treatment process for co-occurring disorders. Once the disorders have been identified. The patients will enter two different treatments. By treating both illnesses it helps the patients stop this painful cycle.
Different Types of Co-Occurring Treatment Programs
Live-in Treatment Program
Co-occurring disorders treatment programs include group and individual therapy, educational lectures, meditation, recreational therapy, and participation in 12-step support groups. Patients are housed in a facility with 24-hour staffing.
Personal success in recovery increase when treatment focuses on all aspects of the entire person. Clients in the NorthStar Regional Program will be treated holistically. We address substance abuse, mental health, and medical services.
Our intensive co-occurring treatment is an intensive form of substance abuse rehabilitation. Clients will visit our treatment center(s) several days a week for a few hours at a time. Intensive outpatient programs meet on weekdays in the morning and evening. Programs consist of group therapy and individual counseling.
We are committed to supporting and promoting mental health care as a critical part of overall addiction treatment. Individuals who have a substance use disorder, as well as a mental health disorder, are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders. This is also sometimes called a dual diagnosis. Each client in our co-occurring disorders intensive outpatient program (IOP) will be treated holistically, addressing substance use, mental health, and medical topics at the same time in the same place with the same staff. This approach allows us to achieve the best treatment outcomes.