It is not uncommon for those struggling with substance use disorders to also experience mental health disorders, and vice versa. One may worsen the symptoms of the other making it more difficult to enter into recovery if both conditions are not treated simultaneously. At Crossroads, we understand this and provide our clients with co-occurring disorders programs, which treat substance use disorders and mental health disorders together to provide positive outcomes and establish lifelong recovery. When clients have a better understanding of the interrelated nature of these conditions, they can equip themselves with effective strategies for managing both.
The Connection Between Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders
It is unclear in many cases which problem developed first – substance use or a mental health disorder. The two share many similarities as each drives the other. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that around one-third of people experiencing mental illness and one half of those with severe mental illnesses also battle substance use. Statistics for those with substance use disorders are strikingly similar with about one-third of those who misuse alcohol and more than half of those who misuse drugs also having a mental illness. Dual diagnosis encompasses those who experience symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders.
It can be hard to differentiate between the two because many people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with their mental illness, but mental illness can also make them more susceptible to substance use. This vicious cycle can be difficult to overcome, but with comprehensive treatment that addresses the widespread impact of these conditions, recovery is possible. If only one condition is treated but not the other, it can increase risk of relapse because clients are not prepared to cope with the influence of one upon the other. Treating both simultaneously allows clients to develop the strategies necessary for their individual situation.
Understanding Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorder is a term that can refer to several different types of conditions. It encompasses alcohol use disorders or alcoholism as well as drug use, which includes stimulants, hallucinogens and opiates. Some of these substances are illegal drugs, while others are prescription medications. Just because a medication is prescribed by a doctor does not mean that addiction cannot occur. No one starts using drugs or alcohol with the intention of becoming addicted, but addiction can transpire very quickly and be a tough cycle to break.
Common Mental Health Disorders
There are numerous mental health disorders, which can occur alongside substance use disorders resulting in a dual diagnosis. They may include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In an effort to cope with the symptoms of these conditions, some people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which can actually make symptoms worse. In other cases, substance use can lead to mental health problems. Fortunately treatment is available to help clients improve their mental health while also addressing substance use to create a healthier lifestyle.
Get Individualized Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Crossroads Today
Crossroads recognizes the challenges that men and women face when dealing with mental health and substance use disorders and offers individualized dual diagnosis treatment. With gender-responsive, trauma-informed approaches to treatment, clients are able to explore the interaction between these two conditions and learn effective strategies of coping with them. The disorders are treated simultaneously through intensive therapy, holistic treatment, wellness services, and more. Men and women are treated separately with a focus on the specific issues that their gender commonly faces.
At Crossroads, clients experience comprehensive care in a safe, serene environment so that they can focus on recovery and remember who they wanted to be.If you or someone you love could benefit from dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders treatment, contact Crossroads today for more information.