It is a relentless cycle; people with mental illness use drugs to self-medicate and people that use drugs struggle with depression and other mental health issues.
Co-occurring disorders or comorbidities, where mental health disorders occur concurrently with substance abuse, are some of the most complex disorders to treat. This article explores how and why addiction and mental illness often co-occur, and how to get treatment for both in Washington State drug rehab.
Treating Co-Occurring Disorders in Washington State Drug Rehab
The National Institute of Health cites multiple studies that show around one-half of the people who experience a mental disorder in their lifetimes will also experience a substance use disorder. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable; about 60 percent of youth in treatment programs for substance use also have comorbidity for mental illness. The teenage years are when mental illness typically manifests, but it is also the time when adolescent experimentation with drugs and alcohol arise.
Did the drugs cause the mental illness or vice versa?
The NIH says:
"Having a mental disorder in childhood or adolescence can increase the risk of later drug use and the development of a substance use disorder. Some research has found that mental illness may precede a substance use disorder, suggesting that better diagnosis of youth mental illness may help reduce comorbidity."
The Cleveland Clinic spells it out boldly, stating: “Drinking and drugs worsen anxiety, depression, and other problems.” When all these issues come together, you have a clinical diagnosis of a co-occurring disorder. It is said that substance abuse is twice as common in people with diagnosed depression or anxiety-related illnesses. There are two theories for this correlation:
- The person may try to “tamp down” his or her anxiety or illnesses like ADHD with drugs or alcohol. This is commonly termed “self-medicating.”
- The drugs or alcohol could actually cause the depression. Drugs like meth can actually lead to psychosis.
No matter which theory is most accurate, co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are incredibly complex to treat. Washington State drug rehab facilities are tasked with simultaneous treatment to help substance users overcome addiction while still treating the underlying mental health disorder. Without treating both, the chance of relapse is very high.
Co-occurring disorders face double the stigma, meaning that you must show real courage when seeking help. You also must have the tenacity to find the right Washington State drug rehab facility that can provide state-of-the-art care including medicine-assisted therapies to reduce withdrawal symptoms, and behavioral or therapeutic counseling in an inpatient residential treatment facility. Due to the complexity of co-occurring disorders, a more intense, guided treatment modality is highly recommended.
Facilities that offer a wide range of services including case management and group and individual counseling are crucial to ensuring you will get the right care at the right time to tackle all of your health issues simultaneously in Washington State rehab. Treating one side of the coin will not rid you of your problems; mental health and substance use are too closely connected not to address them concurrently.
There are treatment facilities designed specifically for treatment of both mental health and substance use. To learn more about admissions to our residential treatment facility, contact us today. We can help you address both issues and get on the road to total wellbeing.