Addiction and HIV

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Addiction and HIV Can Occur Together

If you have an addiction, you might be more likely to develop the virus HIV, as addiction and HIV can sometimes hand-in-hand. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, government research shows that nearly 10% of HIV cases are a result of actions taken under the influence of drugs.

The relationship between addiction and HIV can be contributed to injection drug use: When people who are infected with HIV share needles with others, HIV can be easily transmitted from one person to the next. People can also contract HIV through engaging in unprotected sex, and unfortunately, when people are under the influence of drugs, they may be more prone to risky sexual behaviors.

Given the relationship, you may have to consider what it will be like to seek rehab with HIV.

Symptoms of Addiction and HIV

To determine whether it is time to seek rehab, it is helpful to evaluate whether you might be demonstrating symptoms of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, if you have an addiction, you will be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, which is the clinical term for addiction. Some symptoms of a substance use disorder include strong drug cravings, being unable to stop using drugs, and using larger amounts of drugs than intended.

Someone who has an addiction or substance use disorder may also give up other activities in favor of drug use, use drugs even when it causes them to be unable to meet demands at work or home, or use drugs even when it is physically dangerous. One physically dangerous activity people may engage in as a result of addiction is risky or unprotected sex.

Concerns Linked to Addiction and HIV

If you are planning to go to rehab with HIV, you may not realize that your drug abuse can make HIV symptoms even worse. As SAMHSA has explained, addiction can increase brain cell damage that occurs with HIV and lead to impairments in mental functioning. According to a research report in Behavioral Medicine, drug abuse can also weaken the immune system, which can be dangerous for a person with HIV, since HIV suppresses the immune system.

Finally, addiction can reduce a person’s adherence to treatment for HIV, creating additional risk. In totality, the two can be particularly dangerous together. Seeking rehab with HIV can be a life-saving decision.

Addiction and HIV: Effects on Your Mental Health

In addition to being related to each other, addiction and HIV can also worsen your mental health. According to Behavioral Medicine, a significant portion of people with HIV have a dual diagnosis, meaning they have both an addiction and a mental illness. Conditions like depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and psychosis are common among people with HIV.

The stress of coping with a medical problem, as well as the stigma people face from an HIV diagnosis, can certainly worsen mental health. What this means is that if you are going to rehab with HIV, you will need to find a program that can treat both addiction and mental illness to help you recover.

Treatment for Addiction and HIV

If you are ready to go to rehab with HIV, experts recommend that you select a program that uses an integrated treatment approach. This means that your addiction treatment provider will need to help you engage in healthcare services and stay compliant with any HIV medications you are taking.

In addition to this, your addiction treatment center should provide a range of services to treat substance abuse. These include detox, relapse prevention, counseling to increase your motivation to stay abstinent, and support groups.

To address mental health, your rehab center should provide therapy to address mental health symptoms, as well as any necessary medications.

Finally, given the fact that living with the triple diagnosis of HIV, mental illness, and addiction can be stressful and socially isolating when you go to rehab with HIV, you should ensure that your addiction treatment provider can help you to access social supports and provide you with case management to meet all of your needs.

The Benefits of Going to Rehab with HIV

You might be concerned about going to rehab with HIV, but the reality is that seeking addiction treatment will be beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. Some studies have shown that when people with HIV seek addiction treatment, they also show better adherence to their treatment for HIV.

This means that rehab can help with both symptoms. In addition, when you remove drugs from your life, you can avoid some of the negative side effects that can worsen your health and wellbeing, such as immune system suppression and mental impairments.

Specific Therapies in Addiction Treatment for HIV

It is well-established that addiction treatment is important for those who have HIV. There are several specific therapies that may be beneficial for treating those who are living with both addiction and HIV. For instance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can reduce drug use and improve your adherence to your HIV treatment. On the other hand, if you have addiction and HIV as well as a co-occurring personality disorder, dialectical behavioral therapy may be effective for you.

There is also evidence that medication-assisted treatment, which combines counseling and medication in addiction treatment, can meet the unique needs of people living with opiate addiction and HIV. Ultimately, the best treatment modality for you will depend on your unique needs and situation.

Going to Rehab with HIV in California

If you have an addiction and you are currently HIV positive, Resurgence is here to help. Based in Orange County, we offer a range of services, including detox, outpatient care, and inpatient rehab.

Our inpatient rehab centers provide you with access to pools, beaches, piers, and waterfalls, so you can recover in a relaxing environment. We are prepared to meet the needs of those who are dually diagnosed with addiction and mental illness, which is especially important for those who are living with HIV, given the high rates of mental health conditions.

We are also proud to offer a range of therapies, including dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, which are known to be effective for those who go to rehab with HIV. Ultimately, we believe in providing a personalized treatment plan for each patient, so we are confident that we can meet your needs.

Paying for Addiction and HIV Treatment

Even if you are confident that seeking addiction treatment is the best choice, you may be concerned about paying for rehab. Resurgence hopes to eliminate some of the concern for you by offering a free insurance verification program.

Give us a call or fill out the insurance verification form on our website, and we will tell you what services your health plan covers, as well as what you can expect to pay out of pocket for addiction treatment.

We accept most PPO insurance plans, and we will collaborate with your provider on your behalf. Give us a call today; we are always here to help.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.