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Addiction’s Most Common Co-Occurring Conditions

Co-occurring conditions refer to experiencing a mental illness while locked in a substance use disorder. While many combinations are possible, some are more common than others. Therefore, when seeking treatment for a substance use disorder, it is vital to simultaneously receive treatment for the co-occurring mental health disorder. In addition, educating yourself on the warning signs will help you understand the difficulties faced in treatment.

Mental health disorders and addiction coexist because those struggling with depression or extreme anxiety may resort to drugs or alcohol for relief. On the other hand, those struggling with an addiction can become depressed because of their helplessness. Co-occurring conditions are often referred to as dual-diagnosis. Damaged mental health is common for those experiencing a substance use disorder.

Why Mental Health Disorders Co-Occur with Substance Use Disorders

There are some possibilities for why co-occurring conditions exist between mental health and substance abuse disorders. However, it’s not always true that one caused the other, and it can be difficult to discern which disorder occurred first. Both mental health disorders and substance use disorders can develop from the same genetic and risk factors. In addition, each type of disorder can trigger the other to occur through self-medication. Finally, altered brain functioning with addiction can, in turn, cause the development of a mental health disorder.

Different substances tend to be co-occurring conditions with certain mental illnesses. Alcohol use disorders are closely linked to anxiety-related disorders at a rate of twenty to forty percent.  Generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder are the most common co-occurring mental disorders with an alcohol use disorder. Because alcohol is so easily obtainable, alcohol use disorders occur more frequently and can be a coping mechanism for extreme anxiety.

Many people with a substance use disorder use drugs to cope with mental health disorder symptoms. Dual diagnosis is a broad category of situations with co-occurring conditions. Determining this diagnosis before choosing a treatment center is crucial to treat both conditions simultaneously. Discussing this during intake phone calls can clear up any confusion and be sure all needs are met.

Common Co-Occurring Conditions

Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Just as some anxiety disorders facilitate the development of an alcohol use disorder, PTSD is similar. Struggling with symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, high anxiety, and quickly triggered fearful episodes, many with PTSD reach out to alcohol to cope. The inability to understand or resolve past trauma is often the cause of addictions, but trauma therapy can address and treat this disorder. Co-occurring conditions feed each other in more ways than one.

Alcohol use disorders can interrupt the ability to discern how to navigate through life without inviting life-threatening and traumatic events. In addition, co-occurring conditions can erupt in the inability to sleep properly, cope with troubled thinking, and resolve memories that continually erupt in turbulence in emotions. Treatment for alcohol use disorder and PTSD helps to resolve old traumas and end the need for harmful coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, veterans and abuse victims have a high percentage of these co-occurring conditions.

Alcohol Use Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder

A very high percentage of those with an antisocial personality disorder also have a substance use disorder, with alcohol being the most common drug. These co-occurring conditions are fed by an inability to relate to people healthily. Quite often, those with antisocial personality disorder have abnormal or destructive behaviors. Using alcohol in excess only exacerbates the mental health disorder.

Substance Use Disorders and Mood Disorders

Among the most common co-occurring conditions are substance use disorders and mood disorders. Major depressive and bipolar disorders are the most significant disorders affecting behavior. Wrought with challenging behaviors, dysfunctional mood levels, energy, and sleep disruptions, mood disorders cause a need for relief. Substance use is the easiest way to deal with these signs and symptoms.

Increasing the possibility of dysfunctional relationships and substance use disorders with co-occurring mood disorders prolongs the signs and symptoms of each entity. In addition, experiencing long-term co-occurring conditions here increases negative thinking and the chance of suicide. The mood disorder causes a need for relief and results in more drug use. Treatment facilities are most likely able to treat this combination of disorders.

Cocaine Addiction and Anxiety Disorder

Cocaine is responsible for influencing the development of almost ten psychiatric problems. Inducing feelings of paranoia, users can participate in violent behavior patterns. Symptoms of cocaine addiction include hallucinations, insomnia, paranoia, and more. This can spur anxiety and eventually cause the co-occurring condition of an anxiety disorder.

Heroin and Depression

Depression and heroin usage are hazardous because of the changes in brain chemistry. These co-occurring conditions counteract the production of neurotransmitters in the brain and reap the inability to experience happiness without the drug. This combination is, unfortunately, debilitating. In addition, there is a high probability of overdose and suicide with this combination.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions

Treatment for co-occurring conditions is possible and essential to treat simultaneously. Once detox has been completed, treatment must begin immediately. When seeking a treatment center, inquire about their programs for dual diagnosis. Mental health professionals typically resort to behavior modification therapies to change coping mechanisms. Delving into past traumatic experiences to resolve them is crucial for those with those backgrounds.

Find Help with Addictions Most Common Co-Occurring Conditions in Tennessee

Find help with your loved one’s addiction and co-occurring condition if you are in Tennessee by contacting Freeman Recovery Center in Nashville, TN. We are very familiar with how one disorder interacts with a co-occurring condition to escalate the symptoms. We have current treatment protocols and use best practices to treat both the SUD and mental illness. Contact us for more information.

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