Co-occurring disorders happen when mental health conditions coincide with addiction. People with addictions are nearly twice as likely to suffer from at least one mental health issue. The treatment industry is just now recognizing the necessity to form best practices around addiction and mental health as this was not the case in the past.
History of Addiction Treatment
Medical professionals identified and treated only one issue in the past which left other issues unacknowledged. People who suffered from co-occurring disorders such as mental health conditions often went without treatment which caused the issue to grow worse, aggravating the existing addictive behaviors. In the 1980s, researchers and medical professionals began studying ways addiction and mental health issues intersected one another. Studies demonstrate that between 30 and 40% of respondents suffering from a mood or anxiety disorder also had a co-occurring drug addiction. More than 70% of respondents listed a mental health issue and smoking addiction. Respondents in another survey with alcohol addiction were shown to be two to three times more likely to report having an anxiety disorder than respondents without alcohol addiction.
The Future of Addiction Treatment
The field of mental health and addictive co-occurring disorders has grown tremendously with expansive practices in treatment protocols. Integrated treatment, as it is known, assesses an individual for the whole spectrum of mental health issues both addiction-related or otherwise. Once an individual is diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, the healthcare professional will work with the person to address mental health concerns. The point of treatment in this way is to allow both the healthcare professional and individual with addiction understand and address ways the two conditions engage and intersect with one another and how best to handle treatment.
As co-occurring disorders are being researched, medical professionals and others in the field still seek more information about the following:
- Environmental and genetic factors which influence an individual’s likelihood of developing co-occurring disorders
- Diagnostic methods which prove effective for early identification and treatment
- Ways medical professionals may adapt treatments of mental health issues to effectively treat co-occurring disorders
Healthcare professionals work to provide the most effective and appropriate treatments for patients. A well-rounded rehabilitation and recovery plan can support individuals who need help treating co-occurring disorders with mental health conditions. Addiction treatment is never a one-size-fits-all approach. More research is needed to understand addictions and to offer best practices for individuals who struggle to regain control and recover. Treatment options should provide for the individual experience with customized plans which provide a comprehensive program for the whole person, not just the addiction.
Hired Power offers resources for families and individuals who struggle with addiction and mental health conditions. Call us for more information on how we can help get you back on track.