What Is a Co-occurring Disorder?

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woman asks therapist what is a co-occurring disorder

In understanding addiction, there are many facets surrounding how and why people abuse drugs and alcohol. Some people are dependent on substances because they have a hard time coping with negative emotions in a productive way. Others have a mental health issue that adds to the complexity of their addiction. What is a co-occurring disorder and how does it affect someone’s addiction?

What Is a Co-occurring Disorder?

woman asks therapist what is a co-occurring disorderA co-occurring disorder is when a person with addiction issues has a mental illness, too.

The following are examples of co-occurring disorders:

  • Alcoholism and depression
  • Painkiller dependence and anxiety
  • Alcoholism and PTSD
  • Cocaine addiction and eating disorder

It’s not always clear if someone develops a mental health issue first and then the addiction, or if it works the other way around. What is clear is that both issues exacerbate one another, making symptoms more severe.

If a person suffers from PTSD, he may drink alcohol as a way to self-medicate. Gradually, as his dependence on alcohol grows, his trauma issues may become worse. He’ll drink more to compensate, and the problem only increases.

Someone else may abuse stimulants for their appetite-suppressing qualities. She already has an eating disorder; drug abuse becomes another problem.

A qualified addiction treatment facility offers care for people suffering from these types of disorders.

Treatment Options for Co-occurring Disorders

The best type of treatment options for someone with a co-occurring disorder is those that address the mental health issues at the same time as the addiction issues. Even if a person gets help for one of his issues, the other one will remain.

For instance, if someone receives treatment for PTSD but doesn’t get help for alcohol addiction, his substance abuse can continue. While it may seem that his trauma issues improve, he’ll eventually suffer PTSD symptoms again because the alcoholism wasn’t addressed.

The Hills: A Luxury Facility That Can Help

The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California provides the compassionate care our clients need. If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a co-occurring disorder?” we can answer this question as well as provide treatment for it. Whether it’s anxiety, panic disorder, depression or another disorder, you can begin healing in our unique setting.

Our addiction treatment programs include:

No matter how long drug and alcohol addiction have impacted you and your loved ones, you can overcome it. Begin your recovery in our luxurious, comfortable facility. Call us today at 844-915-0287 for more information.

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