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Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders

December 2, 2011

When you are suffering from addictions to drugs and/or alcohol along with a co-occurring disorder, you may struggle with the knowledge that something is wrong and with the fear and worry brought on by this awareness. These problems are often characterized by odd behavior and unhealthy thinking patterns. It can be very upsetting to not know the cause of these behaviors for both the addict and their loved ones. The awareness that your life experience is not “normal” can create many emotions like fear and shame.

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

A person struggling with these issues often wishes to be like everyone else and hopes that their issues will resolve themselves and go away. Loved ones who recognize that someone is struggling with addiction may also sense there are multiple layers to that suffering but are unsure and reluctant to broach the subject out of fear. Acknowledging the addiction and the co-occurring disorder is the first step in getting treatment that works. At Serenity Acres, we have a team of specialists that work specifically with co-occurring disorders to ensure that everyone on your treatment team is providing well rounded treatment tailored just to you.

There are many approaches to treating both addiction and psychological disorders. Typically, co-occurring disorders have been treated separately in non-integrated services. This course of treatment is beneficial for an individual with one condition, but for those suffering from addiction on top of the co-occurring disorder, it can cause the treatment process to be unsuccessful or to take much longer than necessary. Lasting recovery for the individual committed to change and healing can be delayed while time, hope and money slowly fade. At Serenity Acres, we use a wide team of specialists in addition to many different modalities such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12-Step education, and more. Utilizing this unique approach is very effective and can shorten the amount of time a person needs to spend in treatment.

The term co-occurring disorder (or dual diagnosis) refers to an individual having one or more substance abuse disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders at the same time. These psychiatric issues can be depression, anxiety, bi polar disorder, or any other type of psychiatric disorder.

Diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring conditions focus on both addiction and the psychiatric conditions that interfere with the person’s ability to function effectively and their physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being. While the co-occurring conditions are separate and independent, interaction between the conditions makes treatment and recovery more complex.

The prevalence of co-occurring conditions is difficult to accurately capture; however, a well-designed study of addiction and psychiatric disorders* found a 79 percent rate of co-occurring disorders among individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for any single disorder. These diagnoses included severe to mild-moderate psychiatric diagnoses such as severe conditions of schizophrenia to mild-moderate conditions of anxiety or panic, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder.

The Serenity Acres Difference

It is our goal to provide the best clinical practices to serve individuals and their families in the treatment of co-occurring conditions. Our treatment model is based on taking the most effective holistic and traditional practices and blending them to provide a completely unique way of understanding and treating these conditions.

Starting the Healing

Successful treatment of co-occurring conditions creates awareness, understanding and the opportunity for change. Education and research on conditions that affect the body, mind, and spirit provide hope to those who experience a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. The many modalities offered at Serenity Acres treat the mind, body, & spirit simultaneously. If the individual is not ready for change, acknowledgement of the conditions by loved ones will nonetheless help to create an environment conducive to future wellness and healing.

If you or a loved one need help with addiction or addiction along with a co-occurring disorder, please call us 24 hours a day 800-335-7440

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