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What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

co-occurring disorders

It is not uncommon for people with substance use disorders to also have challenges associated with mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. Often this is referred to as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. If you suffer from addiction and mental health challenges, seek out professional help in a dual diagnosis treatment program.

What Are Common Addiction and Mental Health Combinations?

Mental health is usually the first disorder present in a person’s life. When you do not receive professional help to navigate depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, you turn to other substances to find relief. Here are the most often combinations of co-occurring disorders:

  • Depression and Alcoholism. Many people struggling with depression often feel sad, tired, and frustrated. Drinking alcohol allows people with depression to feel numb and escape from their current feelings. However, once someone with depression is addicted to alcohol, they will exhibit impulsive, risky behaviors.
  • Anxiety Disorder and Benzodiazepine Addiction:  Anxiety disorders such as panic attacks often result in people feeling dread and fear. The intensity of their worrying can lead to increased blood pressure, sweating, a racing heart, and even insomnia. Prescription sedatives such as Xanax and Valium make users feel relaxed and less worried. However, long-term use will lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, leading to a cycle of abuse. A doctor can support a medically monitored detoxification program that will reduce the desire for sedatives.
  • PTSD and Opioid or Heroin Addiction: The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include flashbacks and emotional triggers, making people relive the trauma repeatedly. PTSD can also make people avoid specific places, people, or even events that will make them replay a memory in their mind. As a result, they may feel various emotions, including anger, jitters, detachment, or even numbness. These feelings often lead people to begin using prescription opioids or heroin addiction. Both heroin and prescription opioids can numb people’s pain, making them feel relaxed and able to escape their reality and trigger memories momentarily. Using heroin or opioids will lead to addiction that will present further challenges for someone who needs to find ways to navigate difficult moments in their lives.
  • Anxiety and Marijuana: Anxiety–especially social anxiety–often can be so challenging that people isolate themselves to avoid events and large crowds. They are often filled with fears so great of being criticized or judged that they cannot help but isolate themselves. They may tremble uncontrollably, have a racing heartbeat, and feel dizzy, sweaty, or nauseous when facing their fears. To fight these feelings, many people smoke marijuana as it helps people feel more relaxed in social settings. However, prolonged use of marijuana will lead to a psychological addiction–users do not believe that they can function and attend a social event without smoking first.

Get Support With Co-Occurring Disorders With Rise Above Treatment

If you have a mental health disorder and actively abuse substances like drugs or alcohol, you need professional guidance and support. Co-occurring disorders require the attention of mental health and addiction treatment specialists.

Rise Above Treatment’s dual diagnosis treatment program can assist you to place you on the road to addiction recovery. In addition, you will learn how to manage your mental health disorder effectively. At our facility, we offer:

  • Multiple-substance addiction treatment
  • Alcohol detox and addiction treatment
  • Fentanyl detox and addiction treatment
  • Benzodiazepine detox and addiction treatment
  • Amphetamine detox and addiction treatment
  • Cocaine detox and addiction treatment

If you are experiencing addiction and mental health challenges, Rise Above Treatment is ready to welcome you into our community. Contact us at (877) 641-0717 to learn how a dual diagnosis treatment option can help you live a healthier life.

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