Comorbidity describes when a person suffers from two chronic illnesses at the same time. A common incidence is when an individual is dealing with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. This is a dangerous cycle, no matter the severity or substance. Getting professional addiction and mental health treatment is the best choice for anyone suffering from these debilitating effects.
In the US, about ten million people every year are diagnosed with comorbidity, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Unfortunately, too many people are still unaware of all available treatment, and thus do not seek out the programs that they really need. An inpatient or outpatient dual diagnosis treatment center provides for mental health and addiction needs, so each individual will have the best chance at a lasting recovery.
Mental health disorders and addiction both require management if the patient is going to avoid a relapse of either condition. Understanding what is comorbidity can help you decide on the proper course for you or a loved one.
What is Comorbidity?
The relationship between addiction and mental health disorders is complex. For example, research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that people with a mood disorder are more likely to be diagnosed with drug dependency compared to people without the same disorder. However, this does not mean that one always comes before the other in the same manner. In fact, substance abuse can create a mood disorder, or a mood disorder can be an underlying cause of addiction.
Undiagnosed or untreated mental health disorders often drive those suffering symptoms to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. All too quickly, this self-medication spirals into abuse and begins the cycle of addiction. Comprehensive addiction treatment must seek the roots of both disorders, in order to create the most effective treatment plan. If this does not occur, the chances of relapse for both conditions remain high.
Comorbidity’s association with brain functions causes the relationship between drug abuse and mental disorders. Both conditions affect the functioning of the brain and impact the outcome of the other.
Factors Influencing Comorbidity
Genetics and environment both play a role in substance abuse and mental illnesses. Some genes increase the risks of both addiction and mental health disorders. Both conditions can be made worse by growing up or living in negative environments. In some cases, interactions between genes and the environment cause the patient to continue to be vulnerable to drug use and mental illness even after treatment.
Comorbidity differs in each person and every individual requires treatment for their needs. Psychiatric treatment must alleviate severe mental health symptoms so that progress can be made treating the roots of addiction. Additionally, addiction therapies must focus on the long-term coping skills and resources each individual needs to maintain their recovery.
The True Life Center in San Diego, California offers comprehensive outpatient dual diagnosis treatment. Your treatment may include:
- Neurobiological Integration Program
- Residential-Style Treatment Program
- Holistic Addiction Treatment
- Life Skills Training
- Transitional Life Coaching
Do not suffer in silence. Seek quality outpatient dual diagnosis treatment center at True Life Center by calling 866.420.1792. Do not delay, we are here to help you understand what is comorbidity so you or a loved one can find recovery.