Everything You Need to Know About Co-Occurring Disorders

Everything You Need to Know About Co-Occurring Disorders 1

Individuals who are suffering from substance abuse disorder and any sort of mental disorder are diagnosed as having dual disorders, or co-occurring disorders. The condition is even sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis. In the beginning, both conditions were treated separately. However, with time and new findings, it is suggested that both conditions are treated simultaneously.

Substance use disorder / addiction

The disorder includes an individual having:

  • Substance, drug, or alcohol abuse issue
  • Substance, drug, or alcohol dependency

Usually, substance abuse is diagnosed when substance use creates issues in social relationships, at work, or at school. Also, it is diagnosed when the condition worsens with time, and the individual suffering from the disorder becomes dangerous for themselves and others around them.

On the other hand, substance, drug, or alcohol dependency is a far more severe condition. Along with facing the negative consequences, an individual with dependency issues have tried but failed at controlling their substance use. In some cases, physiological dependence is observed as well.

It is diagnosed when an individual is seen using more of the substance to experience the same effect, or the withdrawal of the substance creates symptoms like nausea, tremors, etc. Drug addiction rehab San Diego like Boardwalk Recovery offer treatment options for almost all types of addiction. Their staff understands the condition well since they themselves have been there once, and thus can share real-life stories of recovering from addiction.

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Everything You Need to Know About Co-Occurring Disorders3

Symptoms of substance abuse disorder include:

Behavioral changes:

  • Drop in the performance level at school or work
  • Frequently getting involved in fights, illegal activities, accidents, etc.
  • Engaging in suspicious behaviors
  • Using substances in hazardous situations like while using a machine at work or while driving.
  • Unexplained change in overall behavior
  • Experiencing agitation, and unusual hyperactivity
  • Sudden and severe mood swings, and anger outbursts
  • Appearing fearful or paranoid
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Lacking motivation

Physical changes: 

  • Abrupt weight gain or weight loss
  • Declining physical appearance
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired co-ordination
  • Experiencing tremors
  • Abnormally sized pupils
  • The weird smell on breath, body, and clothes

Everything You Need to Know About Co-Occurring Disorders 2

Social changes:

  • Suddenly hanging out with new friends in new places
  • Developing unusual hobbies
  • Experiencing financial issues
  • Using substances even when creates issues in relationships

Reasons why mental disorders and substance abuse disorders occur together

  • When certain illegal drugs are abused, they make individuals with addiction experience certain symptoms of mental health disorders.
  • Mental health disorders can lead a person to abuse substances or alcohol. Certain individuals even start abusing prescription drugs as a form of self-medication.
  • There are some common underlying causes that both substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder share.

Both the conditions can trigger one another. Over 1 in 4 individuals diagnosed with a serious mental condition is diagnosed with substance abuse as well. Individuals suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, etc. are more likely to develop substance abuse and addiction.

Finding a place where the dual diagnosis is treated with the utmost care, and with the help of different and unique treatment options, is your best bet. The treatment will work better if both the disorders are treated together, at the same place, with the same team.

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