Often individuals who are struggling with an addiction are also struggling with mental health issues. The two are usually found together. This condition is known as Co-Occurring Disorder. It has been suggested that those individuals with an addiction are twice as likely to suffer from at least one mental health issue
Addiction and Mental Health Treatment in the Past
Co-occurring disorders are quite commonly diagnosed these days, however, their recognition as regards to treatment is still relatively new. Years ago it was typical for medical professionals to identify one issue of a co-occurring disorder and treat it, while leaving the other unacknowledged and untreated. When only disorder is treated, this usually means that the other one grows much worse, and consequently starts negatively affecting the treated disorder.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that medical professionals and researchers started really studying the interaction between addiction and mental health issues. The results of a 2006 survey indicated that approximately 30 to 40 percent of survey respondents had co-occurring disorders of the mental and addiction kind. A study conducted in 2010 dubbed addiction and mental health issues as the leading cause of non terminal health concerns worldwide. This only reinforces the need to develop a greater understanding of these disorders and study them to be able to better treat and ultimately even prevent them.
Advances in the Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders
There is a growing awareness of co-occurring disorders within the medical community, and this has led to an expansion of the treatment available for it. This is called integrated treatment, wherein the individual is assessed for the whole spectrum of mental health issues, whether they are related to addiction or not.
Once diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, the individual’s medical professional will then work with them to come up with a treatment plan which allows the individual to recover from both issues.
It is still early stages in the study of co-occurring disorders, and many questions still need to be answered, such as:
- What are the factors that affect an individual’s likelihood of developing co-occurring disorders, environmental and genetic?
- How to diagnose a co-occurring disorder early?
- Does the presence of one mental health issue lead to the individual developing a co-occurring disorder?
Every day the medical field gains a greater, deeper understanding of how co-occurring disorders impact an individual. Medical and healthcare professionals are now able to provide appropriate treatments for their patients who suffer from addiction and mental health issues.
At The Villa we can provide you with many treatment options. Call us to find out more information on which treatments may work best for you.