Understanding and Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

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Overcoming a mental illness or substance use disorder on its own is difficult. Recovering from both at the same time is an extremely complex challenge. Fortunately, help is available in the form of co-occurring disorders treatment at High Focus Centers. To best recover from co-occurring disorders, it’s important to understand them.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

A co-occurring disorder is defined as having multiple behavioral health disorders simultaneously, such as a mental health condition, substance use disorder, or eating disorder. For example, one suffering from depression and dependency on prescription painkillers would be deemed to have a co-occurring disorder.

In some cases, it is easy to discern which side developed first. Mental illness is often a contributing factor for substance use in the form of self-medication. However, it is also possible for substance use to lead to a mental health disorder. Regardless of the order of development, treatment can be challenging.

How to Treat Co-Occurring Disorders

In the past, co-occurring disorders were treated separately and with different techniques. This method did not produce effective results for patients. Now, they are treated at the same time using holistic, evidence-based treatment models, which improve chances of recovery. Common components of this approach include:

• A stronger support system.
• Tools for managing mental health triggers.
• Better medication therapy.
• Cross-trained staff.
• Integrative approaches to treatment.
• Longer-term care.

Treatment is comprehensive as mental wellness is incorporated into the substance use recovery program. Patients are equipped with the tools and training to effectively overcome both disorders.

Tips for Finding Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Effective recovery starts with finding the right co-occurring disorder treatment program for you. Do your due diligence and research various treatment centers. Once you have researched a few options, here are a few questions to ask to narrow down your list:

Does the treatment center use evidence-based practices?

The best indication of an effective treatment program is if it uses evidence-based, holistic treatment models. This means that scientific studies and data support the program’s methods and claims. Examples of evidence-based treatment include treatment models like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing. Better understanding co-occurring disorders can help you understand what a treatment program should offer and what you should expect.

Is the program the right fit for you?

Selecting a treatment program is not a process that should be taken lightly or rushed. Do your due diligence in vetting treatment programs and don’t feel pressured to commit to the first one you find. Select a program and/or therapist that matches your unique needs and personality. Doing so will increase the chances of recovery and prevent relapse.

Start Your Journey to Long-Term Recovery

If you are suffering from a co-occurring disorder, you are not alone. High Focus Centers is here to help you overcome this complex and difficult challenge. If you or a loved one requires treatment for a co-occurring disorder, get in touch with us today. Our expert treatment team will work to understand your unique needs and create a treatment plan that is right for you.