What is a substance abuse disorder?

You can overcome your struggles with mental health and substance abuse. And with support and diligence, you will go on to have a successful life.

What constitutes a co-occurring disorder?

A co-occuring disorder is any combination of addiction and mental health issues. This may involve alcohol and depression, anxiety and cocaine, or many others. And if you or a loved one are struggling with a co-occuring disorder, then you know the kind of havoc the condition can cause.

Even on their own, addiction and mental health issues are difficult challenges to surmount. Both will affect many factors of life, such as work and finances. And relationships with family and significant others will also be tested.

If you are struggling with both at the same time, the challenges will be even greater. You want to improve, and be healthy and stable. But with twice the weight of a single condition on your shoulders, you feel overwhelmed.

Depending on your background, a co-occuring disorder might come about in many ways. You might have mental health issues that start in childhood, and lead to addiction down the line. (Substance abuse is often a form of self-medication for mental illness.) Or you may develop an addiction that ends up causing mental health issues itself.

Treatment for co-occurring disorders

Both the co-occurring disorder and the life events that led to it are difficult to overcome. Especially on your own. But with support and guidance, you can work through them.

To begin recovery, you will start an integrated treatment program. This will consist of lifestyle changes (including sleep habits and nutrition). It will also include treatment geared towards substance abuse and mental health.

Some components of that treatment include:

  • Medical Detox
  • Evaluation and diagnosis
  • Treatment plan (developed for you personally)
  • Therapy (personal and possibly group and/or family)
  • Aftercare plan

In order for recovery to begin, the physical components will come first. Once you have a diagnosis, you will receive help in developing a treatment plan. This will consist of therapy, which is the cornerstone in your journey to recovery.

Mental illness and addiction feed into each other. So just as the medical component is vital, so too is the mental component. True recovery can only be achieved by addressing both.

You will receive one-on-one therapy to begin addressing mental health issues. You will address the past life events that may have led you to this point, and unpack them in a safe space. And you will be able to develop personal plans for your progress in the present and future.

We will be with you every step of the way. Your treatment plan will be entirely dependent on your needs. If you have a partner or family whose relationship with you has been affected, we will provide a space to heal those connections. We may also recommend group therapy, whether focused on mental health or addiction support.

Developing those personal connections outside of therapy will only serve to enhance your recovery process. And even as you improve and start looking toward aftercare, we recommend maintaining an ongoing therapy routine. Recovery is a long journey, but a worthwhile one. And you deserve support in that process.

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