For some people, addiction is a symptom of a co-occurring mental health disorder; for others, drug or alcohol abuse seems to trigger symptoms of mental illness.

If a person has a problem with mental health that goes unnoticed or isn’t addressed during substance abuse treatment, that individual is at a significantly greater risk of relapse. Anxiety, depression, mood disorders, stress and psychosis are some of the most commonly occurring mental health complaints we see alongside addiction.

At Recovery at the Crossroads, highly qualified counselors guide you through our dual diagnosis therapy program, which is curated by a psychiatrist who is our medical director. Read on to find out more.

What Is Comorbidity?

Comorbidity, or a co-occurring mental health disorder, is the term given when someone is struggling with a substance use disorder while simultaneously experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Causation is so complex that it’s practically impossible to determine whether mental illness causes addiction or the other way around, but luckily, both are treatable. 

Substance abuse leads to certain areas of the brain becoming disordered, and these areas happen to be located in the same or nearby regions of the brain that are responsible for mental health disorders. As such, some mental health issues increase the risk of a person turning to substances — and all psychoactive substances increase the risk of triggering an underlying propensity towards mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

At Recovery at the Crossroads, every counselor who works with individuals who have a dual diagnosis has a master’s degree. This is because co-occurring SUDs and mental illness can be highly complex and require intricately designed therapy and prescriptive support. 

Comorbidity is usually determined during a psychiatric assessment at the beginning of treatment. After the initial evaluation, we’ll follow up with case management, medication management and one-on-one counseling sessions that are provided additionally alongside the SUD treatment continuum.

Dual diagnosis therapy takes place for several hours each week, and the treatment plans are reviewed every 12 to 16 weeks to ensure they meet the individual’s unique needs.

Benefits of Co-Occurring Therapy

Provided you’re open, honest and willing, getting therapy for your mental health can be a life-changing experience. Exploring your history, thoughts and emotions with a friendly, qualified therapist helps you establish boundaries, learn about your triggers and develop healthy coping strategies for challenging emotions.

Some of the main benefits of getting therapy for co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction include:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Better interpersonal relationships
  • Reduced chance of relapse
  • Improved performance at school or work
  • Reduced risk for medical complications
  • Heightened understanding of yourself and your symptoms

Education, Love and Support Are Powerful Tools for Healing

There are millions of people who are struggling with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders but not getting the care and attention necessary to heal. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be facing addiction alongside a mental illness, get in touch with Recovery at the Crossroads today at 888-342-3881.