Co-occurring disorders can manifest themselves in many different ways. In some cases, a person may have a pre-existing mental condition that hasn’t been treated correctly, leading them to substance abuse. In other cases, substance abuse creates mental illness. Whatever the case, the combinations of substances and mental health conditions can lead to a unique treatment plan for patients.
It is surprisingly common for a person to have a dual diagnosis of a substance addiction and mental health condition, and this number is only increasing. The following are the most common co-occurring disorders.
Cocaine Addiction and Anxiety Disorders
The most common co-occurring diagnosis is cocaine addiction and anxiety disorder. This is most likely because prolonged use of cocaine leads to symptoms that are synonymous with anxiety disorder, such as:
The addiction cycle can be vicious if both of these disorders are present in a patient. The addict may abuse cocaine for the euphoric and powerful high that makes them feel numb to their anxiety. However, the continued use of cocaine only makes their anxiety symptoms worse.
Heroin Addiction and Depression
Heroin produces a short-term euphoric high that is quickly and incredibly addictive. Over time, however, the portions of the brain which are responsible for producing pleasure signals burns out. When heroin is abused over a period of years, this brain damage can develop into depression. This depression can make withdrawal symptoms for heroin more intense, creating a more dire need for rehab to assist with the withdrawal and recovery process.
The symptoms of heroin addiction and depression can include:
- Negative mood
- Flat emotional affect
- Low energy
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Social isolation
- Suicidal thoughts
Alcoholism and Anti-social Personality Disorder
There is a strong correlation between anti-social personality disorder and alcoholism. Alcoholism is often used to mask the symptoms of anti-social personality disorder, which can include lack of remorse, irresponsibility, aggressiveness, and deceitfulness. Although every person is different, in most cases the addict is first diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder, and later diagnosed with alcoholism.
This co-occurring disorder is incredibly dangerous, as certain symptoms that are present in a person with anti-social personality disorder, such as anger, aggression, and physical violence, are amplified when combined with alcohol. It is vital that a person with this dual diagnosis receives professional help right away to understand and recover successfully from alcoholism and anti-social personality disorder.
Marijuana Addiction and Schizophrenia
Common symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking. In order to cope with these symptoms, or in an attempt to subside them, schizophrenics often begin abusing marijuana.
The truth is that often times marijuana actually increases symptoms associated with schizophrenia, making their condition worse in the long-term.
It is imperative that when an addict enters treatment with co-occurring disorders, they receive treatment for both to ensure the most effective recovery possible. In order to do so, Destination Hope creates an individualized plan for each of our clients. The standard protocol for this plan includes:
- A preliminary psychiatric evaluation
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Group counseling
- A comprehensive discharge plan
Two different treatments operating as one dual diagnosis program allows us to give greater attention and detail to each factor causing addiction. You’re only one step away from conquering a co-occurring disorder. Contact Destination Hope to get started on your path to recovery.