Drug addiction isn’t always a person’s sole mental health problem. People addicted to drugs often have other psychological disorders which complicate, exacerbate, or even abet their addiction problems: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and so forth. These co-occurring disorders (formerly known as “dual diagnoses”) are real and recurrent mental health issues, just like addiction, and must be addressed in therapy. Knowing more about the nature of co-occurring disorders will help you understand what you or a loved one is going through.
Co-Occurring Disorders Explained
A co-occurring disorder is a mental disease such as bipolar disorder or depression which occurs side-by-side with addiction. Often, these conditions fuel each other. A person’s depression might cause them to begin drinking or using drugs in order to escape their pain; or, alternately, a person’s drug abuse may cause their mood to fluctuate or their lifestyle to decline and induce depression. Regardless of which condition preceded the other, it’s necessary for both to be treated thoroughly in rehab.
How Does Drug Rehab Centers NYC Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?
Drug Rehab Centers NYC uses time-tested and approved methods to address psychological disorders of every stamp. Their rehab centers are experienced in handling dual diagnoses and can offer up a cadre of experienced mental health professionals to assess the damage and teach the patient how to handle their conditions constructively. Patients need to be educated about the ways in which co-occurring disorders abet addiction and how addiction can take hold of a healthy mind. Mental health specialists take care to address both psychological disorders (and any secondary addictions) as being interrelated, providing a holistic approach to therapy which addresses each separate malady equally.
The most important thing is to guarantee the patient’s safety, scrub their system of toxins, and prepare them for the regimen of rehabilitation yet to come. For this reason, detox is usually the first step in the process. This cleanses the patient’s system and removes their overmastering physical dependency on their drug of choice. Detox, however, does nothing to address the mental aspects of drug addiction or the co-occurring psychological disorder, so this step is more of a preliminary but necessary step toward rehabilitation proper.
This forms the crux of rehabilitation treatment, and the instrument by which a patient’s mental health issues are addressed and remedied. Therapy is group and individual talks between patients and qualified mental health specialists. Firstly, therapists educate patients about the basic mechanisms of addiction and the ways in which it can utterly seize hold of an otherwise healthy adult mind—or a mind which harbors a dual diagnosis. Secondly, therapists urge patients to consider, confront, and understand the reasons they began to use drugs—their situation in life, their stressors and private anguishes, and so forth.
Thanks to advancements in psychiatry and medical science, there are a variety of drugs and prescribed medications which can treat both addiction issues and mental health disorders. Doctors will assess the patient’s mental state and their dual diagnosis and prescribe certain drugs which will help alleviate cravings and the symptoms of the psychological disorder, and monitor the patient’s progress over the course of many weeks. Dosages will be adjusted and different medications prescribed based on the patient’s needs and their rate of improvement.