Addiction treatment is not just about getting clean from drugs or alcohol–it’s also about treating any underlying mental health disorders that may have contributed to the addiction or may be present as a result of it. Dual-diagnosis disorders are considered “co-occurring” conditions that involve both addiction and mental illness.

What Are Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual-diagnosis disorders are mental health conditions that occur when a person is affected by both a mental illness and substance abuse. The two conditions can feed off each other, making it difficult for the person to recover from either condition. 

Dual-diagnosis disorders are also known as co-occurring disorders. Many different mental health conditions can be classified as dual-diagnosis disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Substance abuse can take many forms, from illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine to alcohol or prescription medications.

The 6 Most Common Co-Occurring Disorders In Addiction Treatment.

In order to understand co-occurring disorders, it is important to know what the most common co-occurring disorders are, so let’s take a look at each one in detail.

Depression And Cocaine Addiction.

Depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders in addiction treatment. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with cocaine addiction also suffer from depression, which can make it difficult to achieve and maintain sobriety. 

Depression can cause various symptoms, including low mood, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, sleep problems, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating. The use of cocaine can also make depression worse, which can trigger cravings and use of the drug.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (Adhd) And Alcohol Abuse.

ADHD is a common co-occurring disorder among those struggling with alcohol abuse. People with ADHD often struggle with impulse control, making it difficult to resist the urge to drink or use drugs. 

However, drinking in response to impulsivity may be a type of self-medication. In addition, people with ADHD are more likely to experience negative emotions and may turn to alcohol to help relieve their symptoms.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ptsd) And Opioid Addiction.

PTSD is another common co-occurring disorder in addiction with opioid addiction. People who have developed PTSD as a result of trauma or abuse may try to self-medicate their symptoms by using opioids, which can lead to an addiction if they struggle with repeated use and dependence on the drugs. 

PTSD and drug addiction can also interact in a vicious cycle, as the emotional distress that comes with PTSD can trigger relapse and cravings.

Bipolar Or Anxiety Disorder And Alcohol.

Bipolar and anxiety disorders are two of the most common mental health conditions diagnosed in addiction treatment, and they are often co-occurring. 

People who have bipolar disorder or an anxiety disorder may turn to alcohol as a way to self-medicate their symptoms, or they may use it during times when they experience mania or a panic attack. Alcohol abuse can worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder and anxiety, leading to more frequent drinking and, eventually, addiction.

Schizophrenia And Marijuana Addiction.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. People with schizophrenia may use marijuana to self-medicate, or they may experience psychotic episodes resulting from their schizophrenia and turn to the drug for relief. 

However, using marijuana can actually make symptoms worse, and it can also increase the risk of psychotic symptoms such as paranoia or delusions. Marijuana often heightens sensory experiences, which can be particularly dangerous for a person with schizophrenia who may have trouble distinguishing between real and imaginary stimuli.

Eating Disorders And Appetite Suppressants.

Eating disorders are also common co-occurring disorders in addiction treatment. For example, many people with anorexia or bulimia may turn to appetite suppressants like amphetamines or diet pills to help them lose weight. 

Unfortunately, these drugs can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms such as low mood and anxiety while at the same time increasing their risk of drug dependence. Individuals then become trapped in a cycle of using appetite suppressants to manage their symptoms, which will eventually lead to addiction.

Each of these co-occurring disorders presents its own challenges, but overall, the most common underlying factor in addiction is a lack of effective coping skills. 

Many people who struggle with addiction do not have effective tools to deal with difficult emotions or stressors, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with these feelings. At Evolve Indy, we focus on helping our clients develop healthy coping mechanisms and address the underlying issues that may be contributing to their substance use.

In order for someone to receive the help they need, they may need to attend a drug rehab or alcohol rehab center. Dual-diagnosis treatment involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both addiction and any underlying psychiatric issues. Our team at Evolve Indy has a wide range of expertise in various methods for drug treatment and alcohol treatment, and we can help you or your loved one overcome addiction and any co-occurring disorders. So don’t wait; reach out now, and receive the help you deserve!


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