Addiction is a complex illness that affects a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are many reasons why people get into substance abuse and one of the most common is because they have an underlying mental illness.

Those struggling with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety may turn to drugs or alcohol in a misguided attempt at treating themselves. If someone is depressed, they may want something that makes them animated and upbeat, if they’re anxious they may seek substances that make them feel calm. 

Unfortunately, the addictive nature of some of the substances they choose can end up creating tolerance and dependence, worsening the situation.

When someone with an addiction is also struggling with a mental health condition, it’s referred to as having a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis in addiction treatment.

Diagnosing Co-occurring Disorders in Rehab

It’s often difficult to diagnose co-occurring disorders because sometimes the symptoms of addiction or substance abuse can mask the symptoms of a mental illness, and vice versa.

To diagnose a co-occurring disorder, an individual is taken through screening and multi-level assessments that aim to understand them better. This type of assessment is often done prior to admission to a treatment center and is often the first thing done when a person presents themselves for treatment.

The comprehensive evaluation that’s carried out takes into account several things including the individual’s physical and mental health history in chronological order to establish a timeline of events. Additionally, the treatment center will also want to know the person’s history of substance abuse, any previous addiction treatment they’ve received as well as their periods of abstinence and relapse.

Specific screening tools may be used for assessing co-occurring disorders including the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and the Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders (PRISM), among many others.

It’s important to conduct a screening and assessment evaluation before admitting patients to rehab as this ensures they’ll receive the correct diagnosis and individual treatment regimen to help them get better.

Since addiction and mental health conditions impact each other, they must be treated together at the same time using an integrated and comprehensive treatment approach. Treating one while ignoring the other may lead to a worsening of symptoms and potentially lead to relapse.

Help is Available

If you’re looking for co-occurring disorder treatment, help is available at the Grand Falls Center for Recovery.

We’re an addiction treatment center in Missouri specializing not only in drug and alcohol treatment but also dual diagnosis treatment. We understand how challenging and draining it can be to struggle with both addiction and mental illness and we do our best to ensure clients receive compassionate, safe, and comfortable integrated treatment.

We also ensure that each client has a robust aftercare plan that will help them attain long-term recovery after leaving our rehab facility.

Contact us today and let us help you through your recovery.

Download this article

Call Now Button