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Co-Occurring Disorders Essentials 

Table Of Contents

Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual-diagnosis, involve the diagnosis of a mental health illness on top of addiction. Dual-diagnosis disorders is a serious problem to contend with, but Discovery Transitions has the staff and facilities, located in Los Angeles, to take care of multiple types of co-existing disorders.

Mental illness and addiction are inherently separate, but profoundly affect each other. Over time mental illness can lead to substance abuse, and vice versa, creating a dangerous cycle. With simultaneous treatment sufferers can lead healthy, normal lives, but without treatment, issues won’t go away on their own will become worse over time.

Either mental illness or addiction can occur first, but both can feed on each other. It’s not uncommon from someone suffering from anxiety or depression disorders to self-medicate for relief, but that relief could quickly spiral into a deadly addiction. It’s also not uncommon for someone suffering from addiction to develop co-occurring mental disorders due to their drug or alcohol problem.

The combination of dual diagnosis disorders can accelerate both issues much faster than they would by themselves, which is why dual-diagnosis professional treatment is strongly encouraged before something serious happens.

Any substance abuse and any mental illness can create a dual diagnosis, but treatment centers see five distinct combinations more than any other type of co-existing disorder. If you’re suffering from any of the following five dual-diagnosis, you’ll need the help of a professional treatment center to get back on track:

Alcoholism and Depression 

Alcoholism and depression disorder is one of the most statistically likely co-occurring disorders. Either may precipitate the other. Alcohol abuse causes an abnormal influx of pleasure chemicals that causes good feelings at first, but deep depressive feelings once those chemicals disappear.

It’s common for depressed people to reach for the bottle for some temporary joy but the cycle of depression and alcohol can lead people down dangerous paths. Alcohol is classified as a depressant, and while that refers to its effects on the central nervous system, there’s no doubt that depression disorder and alcoholism exacerbate each other.

Co-occurring disorders intensive outpatient treatment

Cocaine Addiction and Manic Depression 

Co-existing disorders of cocaine addiction and manic depression is common for dual-diagnosis treatment centers. Manic depression differs from clinical depression disorder due to the intense mood swings that can range from excitedly high highs to dangerously low lows. Cocaine produces a euphoric high but that high comes at the expense of your mental health. The ‘crash’ of a cocaine high may temporary for the abuser, but the manic depression can last for days and weeks.

Opioid and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Opioids include both natural and synthetic opiate derivatives that operate through the body’s opioid system. Opioids include natural derivatives like heroin and synthetically derived pharmaceuticals like oxycodone.

Regardless of the opioid type, all are incredibly powerful, addictive, and deadly. Patients suffering from PTSD often turn to opioids to temporarily ease the stress or find sleep. This can quickly lead to substance abuse. Because of the highly addictive properties of opioids, it’s not uncommon for addicts to engage in risky or dangerous acts. These actions could also lead to PTSD. It’s recommended opioid addicts seek inpatient treatment due to the drug’s ability to kill quickly.

Xanax and Anxiety 

Xanax is manufactured to treat anxiety but like all benzodiazepines, can be incredibly addictive. Patients prescribed Xanax for anxiety can quickly develop a tolerance and need more for the desired effects. Before long the user finds themselves addicted and more anxious than ever. The cycle is hard to stop without treatment.

Five Signs You Have a Co-Existing Disorders 

If you’re experiencing any of the following five signs of dual-diagnosis – it’s time reach out to our dual-diagnosis treatment program:

  1. Using drugs for self-medication. Anytime someone turns to drugs or alcohol to soothe their mental illness is a time for concern.
  2. Experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of your drug use. Many types of drugs including alcohol cause depression and/or anxiety when abused.
  3. Relying on drugs to feel normal. Using drugs to feel normal either physically or psychologically is the sign of a deep problem.
  4. You have a family history of mental illness. Those with a family history of addiction and/or mental disorders are much more likely to suffer issues themselves.
  5. Taking drugs to cope with past trauma. It can be difficult to deal with trauma like PTSD, but the surge from drugs or alcohol is only temporary. Discovery Transitions can help you learn to manage both trauma and substance abuse.

Getting Help for Co-Occurring Disorders at Discovery Transitions 

Dual-diagnosis disorders can seem impossible to manage. However, you can get your life back with the help of Discovery Transitions’ dual-diagnosis treatment. We have extensively trained medical and counseling staff, a low staff to patient ratio, and decades of combined experience in clinically proven treatment methods. The pain of co-existing disorders can spiral your life out of control. Discovery Transitions in Los Angeles, CA can get you back on track.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

  • Discovery Transitions changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.

    Leto M

  • Going to treatment at Discovery Transitions was one of the best programs I've participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and overall good-natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling, case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate with other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced every day. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.

    Skyy S

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