Co-Occurring Disorders

In 2018, more than 9 million Americans struggled with Co-Occurring Disorders.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders, formerly known as dual diagnosis, is the technical term for mental health disorders that coexist with substance abuse disorders. Approximately 8 million individuals in the United States of America suffer from co-occurring disorders, particularly as people with mental health disorders are statistically more likely than those without to have a substance abuse disorder. Furthermore, co-occurring disorders are often difficult to identify, due to the wide array of symptoms, and as a result, only one disorder is identified for treatment. This often means that the symptoms are generally unalleviated until mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors are able to properly diagnose each disorder. Dual diagnosis is often a misnomer for co-occurring disorders, along with comorbidity – neither of them truly encompass co-occurring disorders, which is a specific term for the co-occurrence of substance use disorders alongside mental health disorders.

How we approach treatment.

Treatment for co-occurring disorders must aim to treat both the mental health disorder and the substance abuse disorder, including treatments such as medical detoxification, psychotherapy, family therapy, social support groups, medication to treat mental health disorders, and aftercare treatment. Some psychotherapy approaches that may also be used as treatment are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Treatment levels depend on duration and severity of the individual’s condition, with detoxification, as well as residential treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment depending on the severity within the individual. We at Divine House utilize a myriad of expert professionals in order to create a treatment team that is uniquely qualified to treat the various different aspects of co-occurring disorders. We focus on lifestyle changes such as improving sleep habits, addressing any chronic medical conditions, improving communication skills and nutritional behaviors, working on family and intimate relationships, addressing and managing legal issues as well as job skills and work-related issues. Furthermore, we recognize that recovery is a lifelong process – simply because a patient has completed therapy and is well on their way to rehabilitation does not mean that they do not require aftercare, which is why we provide recommendations to programs such as 12-step meetings, recovery support groups, online support groups, and outpatient therapy sessions.

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